Sacked Maasin cops to train while under probe

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

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ILOILO City – All police officers in Maasin, Iloilo who were relieved after New People’s Army (NPA) rebels raided their station a week ago will undergo “enhancement training.”

They include the station commander, Senior Inspector Ray Cordero, the Police Regional Office 6 spokesperson Superintendent Gilbert Gorero told Panay News.

Aside from improving their policing skills, the training is expected to bolster their confidence and willingness to fight, Gorero said.

But while training, all the 23 officers will be subject to investigation to determine the extent of their liability with regard to the June 18 raid, he stressed.

The successful raid that saw rebels subduing nine officers and carting away firearms and equipment exposed the weaknesses of the Maasin police station, Gorero said.

The police officers lacked the will to fight and a sense of responsibility, and did not have a close relationship with the community, he said.

“The enhancement training will address these weaknesses,” said Gorero.

Right after the raid, the regional police director Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag sacked the Maasin police force and let the Regional Public Safety Battalion take over as “caretaker” of the station.

Senior Superintendent Christopher Tambungan, deputy regional police director for operations, said he had been reminding all officers to be alert and not to leave their stations unmanned.

“They do not internalize everything I’ve been telling them. And now this happened,” Tambungan said, referring to the Maasin police station raid.

Minutes after the raid, the spokesperson for the NPA-Panay (Coronacion Chiva “Waling-Waling” Command), issued a statement praising the NPA-Napoleon Tumagtang Command for the operation.

Ka Julio Montana enumerated various reasons for the raid.

He accused the Maasin police of extorting from poor vendors and tolerating the proliferation of illegal drugs and illegal gambling in the town.

Montana added that the raid was also the rebels’ answer to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police’s all-out war campaign against the revolutionary movement./PN




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