THE PROVINCIAL PEACE and Order (PPOC) monthly meeting Friday caused quite a stir when, as expected, the recent murder case of a young female employee of a lending company was mentioned.
However, Tagbilaran City PNP Chief Col. George Vale cautioned that his office could still not divulge case details for it might jeopardize their on-going investigation.
On the suspicion that the victim was raped because “when she was found, her clothes were in disarray,” Vale voiced out his concern, requesting for a legally-sanctioned autopsy doctor in Bohol to expedite police investigation.
“In cases such as this, time element is very important for the swift apprehension of criminals, and a medico-legal officer based in Bohol would be most helpful” he added with concern.
PPOC Chair Gov. Edgar M. Chatto categorically stated that the Council “strongly condemns the Tagbilaran murder” and added that the Provincial Government is more than willing to give reward money to anyone who could give out relevant information that could fast track the case’s solution to give Boholanos a sense of safety.
Col. Vale said that he had already spoken with Provincial Legal Officer Atty. John Mitchell Boiser, also a Council member, on the matter.
Vale informed the PPOC that as per Atty. Boiser’s advice, a formal written request on the subject should be addressed to both the PNP and NBI Chiefs for said medico-legal officer must first undergo trainings from both agencies before his formal assignment in Bohol.
On this, Gov. Chatto directed the PPOC secretariat to prepare the necessary documents for both agencies so that qualified doctor applicants could start their training immediately.
The meeting then centered on Bohol’s illegal drug problem where no less than PNP Chiefs Vale and Agustin both confirmed that the personalities recently arrested in Carmen town are part of a drug ring operating in the entire province based in said municipality.
Col. Agustin added that they are already matching certain aliases with alleged drug lords based in the area.
Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, also the Provincial Peace and Security Cluster Head, raised the issue of a certain news report of a local mediaman who allegedly wrote a news article about narco-politics being present in Bohol, clearly “insinuating” that the information directly came from the NBI.
NBI Bohol Executive Officer Atty. Arcelito Albao reiterated what NBI Bohol Chief Atty. Rennan Oliva told local media during a press conference at Camp Dagohoy Monday afternoon.
“We were misquoted. The NBI did not say that there is narco-politics in Bohol. In fact, we haven’t personally met with the reporter. And we were NOT even interviewed by said reporter prior to his article which came out in the newspapers,” Atty. Albao categorically said.
However, Atty. Albao also informed everyone that the reporter had already retracted from his news report.
This particular incident raised many eyebrows among those present during the meeting.
Some were even overheard saying, “Tua ra! Hilig man gud na siya’g gama-gama’g estorya unya iyang ipagawas nga news. Pakauwaw lang. Meresi!” (There! It has already been his style to fabricate stories and submit them as news. How humiliating. Good for him!”)
To this, Gov. Chatto emphasized the importance of good journalistic work and that of being responsible, especially when one is part of the Fourth Estate, that is, the media.
The governor pointed out that falsehood and misinformation in the profession would do no good to anyone doing it.
Gov. Chatto then informed the Council that lately, there have been text messages circulating around saying that “people could already sell shabu freely for anyway, Gov. Chatto is around to back them up.”
“Even my wife Pureza was one of those who received the message,” he said.
“I PITY THEM,” said the governor, referring to those who are responsible in sending out this kind of messages to the Boholanos.
“In spite of our shared leadership, our shared efforts in fighting all kinds of criminality, these people won’t stop at nothing just to smear my name; and I do pity them for they have resorted to cheap tactics just because they have no good works to speak of.”
The governor then informed Council members and guests of the reasons why, after Col. Constantino Barot, Jr., he chose Col. Agustin as the next PNP Provincial Chief despite having had ten other applicants for the position aside from the latter.
“There were eleven applicants in all but I chose Col. Agustin because his experiences outweighed his qualifications. He was the only PMAer in the lot. I scrutinized his track record and learned that he is very effective in his anti-crime programs,” Gov. Chatto said.
He then added that he loved Col. Agustin’s “no-nonsense all-out war against drugs and criminality.” He’s the kind that we would want to stay with us forever,” the governor said, clearly proud of his choice and decision.
Gov. Chatto underscored the fact that Col. Agustin has “created a benchmark” in defending the peace and security of Bohol.
The governor said that he assures Boholanos of the newly-created standards of vigilance, dynamism and commitment which Col. Agustin has set for Bohol.
The PPOC then thanked and commended Col. Agustin for his leadership by example by awarding a Plaque of Recognition for his numerous achievements.
This, because under his watch, Bohol has recorded the biggest drop in crime incidence compared to other areas in the region whose records showed constantly increasing crime rates.
This is also in support for Agustin’s nomination in the Metrobank Foundation’s Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service.
“Col. Agustin did not fail the Boholanos,” Gov. Chatto said with conviction. (JLV/PGBh/EDCom)