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Councilor Acosta: Relief of 35 DCPO officers ‘political’

COUNCILOR Luna Acosta on Tuesday insisted that the decision to relieve 35 personnel of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) was most likely political in nature.

Acosta passed a resolution supporting the official statement released by Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte slamming the removal of DCPO officers, including city director Col. Richard Bad-ang, and 34 personnel on May 25.

In a sideline interview, the committee chair on peace and public safety told reporters that the order seemed like a “coordinated attack” against the Duterte administration.

“Its very concerning, nganong apilon ang trabaho sa tao sa away pulitika, dapat dili ani ang ginabuhat,” she said questioning what is in battle, whether it is the law or the “whims and caprices” of an administration. 

To recall, before the removal of the police officers, Senator Miguel Zubiri stepped down from his post as the senate president.

It was followed by the appointment of Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Secretary Leo Tereso Magno as the Mindanao Development Authority Secretary replacing former Secretary Ma. Belen Acosta.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Acosta, the city councilor’s mother, to head MinDA in February 2022 with a fixed six-year term.

“We do not have to relieve 35 personnel just to conduct an investigation, we have done previous investigations before on the war on drugs, it has not happened this way,” she said.

She added the immediate removal undermines the morale of the DCPO, especially the station commanders who are “highly seasoned.” 

Kung investigate man, dapat tarung pud ang investigation, unbiased and efficiently as possible, dili pwede dugay-dugayon nila ang process, under the guise of investigation,” she added.

The 20th City Council approved the resolution during the suspended rules on its 20th regular session, May 28. 

“The City Council of Davao strongly supports the statement of City Mayor Duterte especially his statement that such action “contradicts the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust crucial for the effective governance and law enforcement,” the resolution states.

The resolution stressed the August body is one with the City Mayor’s call for transparency and accountability in handling the matter. 

“We call upon the PRO XI especially the Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS) XI on the prompt and unbiased resolution on the investigation,” it added. 

Acosta said they will send invitations to the Department of Interior Local Government and the Police Regional Office XI to appear in the June 4 regular session and shed light on the basis of the removal.

“The city of Davao and the people deserve an explanation as to why it is this drastic. We would understand if there is only one or two, not 35, it is very concerning and we have to look into that,” the councilor added.

Mayor Duterte called the recent relief of 35 Davao City Police Office personnel as an “abuse of power” in the statement posted on May 25. 

PRO XI spokesperson Major Catherine Dela Rey said on Monday the 35 officers and personnel placed on administrative leave have reported to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section at Camp Catitipan in Buhangin.


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