By AARON B. RECUENCO
Manila, Philippines – Starting today, Escalante City in Negros Occidental may ofﬁcially have a homeless police force.
This, after Escalante City Mayor Melencio Yap allegedly ordered the eviction of the local police force from the building they presently occupy, an action seen as in retaliation against the investigation being conducted against the local chief executive.
The eviction notice was served by Yap’s men on Saturday afternoon, during the time that the Escalante City Police Station was also being stripped off of ﬁve computers, chairs, other ofﬁce equipments and even the only patrol car, also on order of the City Mayor, said Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, director of the Negros Occidental Police.
All of the items ordered taken back, according to Guisihan, are donations of the City government to the more than 40-strong local police force.
“We don’t want to contest that issue, and even ﬁght for those equipment and patrol car since they are donations, so our personnel just let the Mayor’s men did what they were ordered to do,” said Guisihan in a phone interview.
“During that incident, our personnel were also told that that building being occupied by the City Police Station will also be padlocked, that we have until Monday (today) to move out,” he added.
But Guisihan said such incident was actually a result of conﬂuence of events that might have earned the ire of Yap, starting off with alleged killings and other criminal incidents allegedly masterminded by the local chief executive.
The ofﬁcial said it was some local residents and groups that raised such issue, backed up by some local religious groups.
The issue was aggravated, according to Guisihan, when the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) issued a resolution stripping off Yap with the police power, or supervision and control of the Escalante City Police, sometime in July this year.
The issue reasoned out by the resolution, said Guisihan, are the allegations raised against Yap.
“It was that during the Napolcom resolution was issued that Mayor Yap allegedly threatened that he would withdraw all the support to the local police, so this has been going on for a while now,” said Guisihan.
What further made the matter worse was when three of police bodyguards of Yap were earlier ordered relieved from their posts after they were accused of having links with some criminal activities in the past, according to Guisihan.
He added that 11 other policemen were also relieved on orders of the police regional director, over the same allegations.
On Saturday, Guisihan said he had already ordered his men to look for a building to rent, which will serve as a temporary home for the Escalante City Police.