Doria relieved; Serapio is new reg’l police chief

Calderon designated Chief Supt. Felizardo Serapio, director of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF), as the new Region 12 police director effective today, February 14, as approved by the Commission on Elections.

He will replace Chief Supt. German Doria, who initially announced his impending relief last week supposedly due to “operational lapses” in connection with the February 2 jailbreak in Kidapawan City and the series of bomb attacks here and in the cities of Cotabato and Kidapawan last month.

But Calderon clarified that Doria’s relief has nothing do to with his performance, which he acknowledged as “very impressive.”

“He has performed well and he is well accepted by the community and the media. But the PNP leadership feels that this reshuffle is really needed at this time because there are operational concerns that must be addressed immediately,” said Calderon, who personally visited the region last week.

Doria told reporters last Friday that he was relieved by the PNP leadership after it was reportedly upset with the security lapses in the region during the past weeks.

He said among the singled out incident was the January 10 spate of bomb attacks here and in the cities of Kidapawan and Cotabato when top leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were meeting in Cebu City.

Doria said he was also informed that the national leadership was alarmed with the security situation in the region following last week’s escape of three suspected bombers and 44 other inmates from the Cotabato provincial jail.

“There could be some lapses in our operations but I can assure you that we really did our best. It’s just unfortunate that our superiors were not satisfied with our performance,” he said.

Doria stressed that the entire police units in the region, especially the intelligence operatives, have been working double time since December due to numerous threats of bomb attacks in the area.

He credited the entire regional police unit for accomplishing a “trouble-free” Christmas holidays in the region.

But Doria stressed that he immediately accepted the PNP leadership’s decision saying abrupt reshuffles are normal occurrences in their organization.

He also expressed support to the appointment of Serapio, whom he described as highly qualified for the post due to his experiences with the SAF. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)