Bukidnon provincial board asks guv to hold peace and order summit

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/28 January) – Citing the “alarming” crime rate and security situation in the province, the Bukidnon provincial board has asked Gov. Alex P. Calingasan to convene a peace and order summit.

Board member Jay Albarece, who urged the immediate holding of the summit, has proposed too an ordinance for its institutionalization to provide long-term solutions to Bukidnon’s various peace and order problems.

Board member Nemesio Beltran Jr. sponsored a resolution in September calling for the same.

Board member Manuel Dinlayan, citing the slow pace of the case of Bukidnon State University instructor Jaspher Jay Santonino, who was killed in November, also backed Albarece.

Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. said one of the things that should be done is to replace the provincial police director and one of his deputies.

In September, Zubiri called on Calingasan to sack provincial police chief, Supt. Nerio Bermudo and his deputy for administration, Supt. Jerry Linsagan, citing their alleged failure to stop illegal gambling and other crimes in the province.

Zubiri made the call at the question hour on Sept. 22 when the provincial board tackled the issue on illegal gambling.

“They failed to stop illegal gambling in the province, we will recommend (to the governor) their replacement,” the vice governor said.

The two police officials denied the claim.

Calingasan met with Bermudo two weeks ago to discuss the rising crime incidence in the province.

Sometime in 2010, Bermudo spoke at the provincial board where Zubiri warned him to produce results by the end of the year or be sacked.

“Now it’s already January 26 and they are still there,” Zubiri told the board members.

“The longer they (police officials) stay, it (crime situation) is getting worst,” board member Rogelio Lago said.

Calingasan told MindaNews via SMS he extended the stay of the two police officials until the month’s end to let them finish their “tour of duty.”

Back in September, Lago agreed with Zubiri’s suggestion to sack erring police officials.

He added the provincial government should file charges against them.

But on Zubiri’s suggestion to overhaul the police leadership in the province, Lago, former Baungon town mayor, asked: “Naa pa ba kaha ta’y mapili (Do we have a choice?),” adding most, if not all, police officials are accessories (to illegal gambling).

“I can prove that,” he said citing his experience in Baungon where three police officers who were relieved were only reassigned.

Lago, however, said he agrees with the plan to overhaul the police leadership in the province. He said that during the summit the new officials should submit themselves to a covenant. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)