The head of the police force of North Cotabato was sacked from his post over the bloody Kidapawan City dispersal that left at least three people dead and several others wounded, most of them policemen.
No less than Director General Ricardo Marquez, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has ordered the relief of Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum, which he said, took effect on Wednesday.
This is a matter of procedure when an investigation, after an incident is commenced,said Marquez.
Tagum was the ground commander of the police team that cleared the national highway in Kidapawan City which was reportedly blocked by the protesters.
But Marquez said relieving commanders is a normal procedure in the PNP, especially pending the result of any investigation.
He added that the relief order also came after it was confirmed that the lawmen who were deployed in the area fired their guns. The firing resulted in the death and wounding of some protesters.
There is an already an acknowledgment from the PNP that some personnel deployed in the LEO (Law Enforcement Operation) fired their weapons,said Marquez.
We are waiting for the result of the investigation to find out their reasons for using their firearms, he added.
The PNP has earlier deployed a fact-finding team tasked to investigate the dispersal in Kidapawan City. It is led by Director Isagani Nerez, also a lawyer who currently head the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao.
Completing the team are Supt. Danilo Macerin, Senior Supt. Felix Servita, Supt. Rainiero de Chavez, and Senior Supt. Daniel Macatlang.