Bongat: Escobal may leave if he wants to

NAGA CITY—A day after Mayor John Bongat declared that he was willing to endorse Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge city director Filmore Escobal as full-fledged city director to the PNP, the local chief executive said Escobal may leave if he wants to.

Mayor John Bongat and OIC City Director Filmore Escobal
Left: Mayor John Bongat, Right: OIC City Director Filmore Escobal
Interviewed over radio station BBS-DWLV, Bongat reacted to the report a couple of weeks ago that Escobal was considering going back to Davao City, where his family resides.

“One’s responsibility to his family is important,” Bongat acknowledged.

The mayor added that if Escobal had a better opportunity in Davao City, he would allow him to take it.

At the same time, however, the mayor expressed his regret over the souring relationship between the local government unit (LGU) and the PNP.

Escobal, in the earlier report, lamented that the Naga City PNP does not enjoy support from the local government.

The city director narrated that during typhoon Glenda, their team was demoralized as their request for some cups of coffee was turned down, despite the fact that they had been working really hard.

Escobal, in his statement, clarified that his complaint was directed at City Administrator Florencio “Jun” Mongoso, and not at the local chief executive.

Bongat, however, appeared to have felt offended that Escobal did not tell them the problem outright.
“Makanos na dai pigsasabi samo [an problema]. Mas maray na sabihon, dai magparasabi-sabi,” 
Bongat asserted.

The mayor explained that the PNP is not the sole government agency that the LGU supports. “We also extend assistance to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the teachers, the different government offices,” he said. “Now if it happens that the police spent too much money without our consent, that is not our fault. They have their MOOE [Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses funds], we have our own.”

“We have limited resources in Naga,” Bongat stressed.

“If he [Escobal] is used to having an adequate budget in Davao, he must understand that Naga is a different case,” he added.

Meanwhile, reports reaching BICOL STANDARD said that Escobal was also slighted when an employee from the office of Mongoso allegedly wanted to have Escobal sign the intelligence fund expenditures since January to September.

Escobal, allegedly, repeatedly refused to sign the blank document, because he does not understand what it was all about.

He also promised that he would talk to Mayor Bongat to discuss the matter.

Bongat said that during the time when said issue erupted, both he and the city director were in Davao. 
The mayor was waiting for Escobal to personally discuss with him whatever gripes he may have, but they were never brought up, Bongat said.

Asked by BICOL STANDARD on his comment on this recent development, Escobal said in a text message that in November, he will have completed his six-month tour of duty requirement as OIC city director.

“Tamang-tama sa December,” he remarked.—BICOLSTANDARD.PH

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