Bato: No conflict with LGUs, police
BONTOC, Mountain Province—Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa on Wednesday stressed there is no conflict in the control and supervision of local government officials over the police force in their respective areas of jurisdiction and the supervision and control of PNP officials over their men on the ground.
Dela Rosa, who was given the local name “Moling” (hard rock) after being named an adopted son of the province, said local officials are the police’s partner in executing the government’s anti-drug, anti-criminality campaigns and peacekeeping initiatives.
Their “primordial aim” is to maintain peace and order in the country, he added.
“The conflict on the supervision and control of the local police force by local officials only happens when local officials are involved in illegal activities that tend to compromise their efforts in the implementation of the government’s all-out campaign against illegal drugs and other illegal activities,” Dela Rosa said.
“If such a problem exists, then the PNP is authorized to remove the supervision and control of local officials over the PNP in their areas but such scenarios are isolated.”
The PNP chief said local officials can invite municipal, provincial, city or regional police officials for clarifications in relation to the discharge of their assigned duties and responsibilities, and in relation to the government’s priority anti-criminality campaign and peacekeeping initiatives, “for transparency and for the alignment of local and national programs.”
Dela Rosa said the PNP wants the harmonious implementation of national and local initiatives on anti-drug, anti-criminality and peacekeeping initiatives through the cooperation and support of local officials “so that the administration’s primary objective of achieving lasting peace in the country will be realized.”
The government’s aggressive anti-drug campaign is geared toward curbing the illegal drug menace “that continues to be the major deterrent in the realization of lasting peace in the country,” Dela Rosa said. “That is why the involvement of all sectors in the campaign is being solicited by the law enforcers to help in the campaign.”
What is important for Mountain Province and other provinces in the region, which were recently declared drug-free, is for the maintenance of their drug-free status by not allowing the re-entry of individuals who have been identified as drug pushers or users, and the use of prohibited drugs in any part of the province “so as not to taint its status,” Dela Rosa added.
For his part, Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr. said those who were pinpointed as drug personalities in the province came from outside the province, seeking refuge in Mountain Province because of the government’s aggressive anti-drug campaign in the different parts of the country.
Lacwasan remains optimistic that the province will remain drug-free because of the harmonious working relationship among the provincial officials, residents, and law enforcers who remain vigilant in curbing drugs in Mountain Province, “which was able to achieve its drug-free status in just eight months of the government’s aggressive anti-drug campaign.”