MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/9 March) – Former Basilan police director Senior Supt. Cristeto Rey Gonzalodo is the new Bukidnon police director, replacing Senior Supt. Nerio Bermudo, who has been subject of calls for replacement by Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. since last year.
Gonzalodo handled the community relations of the Police Regional Office in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) before he was selected by Gov. Alex Calingasan over two other candidates out from the five shortlisted by the Philippine National Police.
Bermudo facilitated the turnover of command to Gonzalodo Tuesday at Camp Ramon R. Onahon.
Gonzalodo vowed to initiate changes at the provincial police office and committed to meet with the governor and the military leadership soonest.
A MindaNews source said Calingasan choose Gonzalodo over Senior Supt. Rustom Duran and Senior Supt. Geraldo Rosales, both from the police regional office in Northern Mindanao.
MindaNews is yet to reach the governor for comments.
Camp Crame’s Senior Officer Promotion and Placement Board has received five applications for the vacated post of police provincial directorship, Supt. Canilo Agua Fuentes, Bukidnon Provincial Police Office deputy for crime operations, said earlier.
But Fuentes, at the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Bukidnon Chapter’s weekly “Interaction” program on Sunday morning, did not name the five applicants.
He said the post of provincial police chief has been declared vacant effective January 25.
He added that the PNP placement board in Camp Crame met on the same day to discuss the replacement for Bermudo who has finished his two-year “tour of duty.”
The provincial board called for Bermudo’s ouster September last year over the alleged failure of his leadership to curb the rising criminality in Bukidnon.
At that time, Zubiri called on the governor to sack 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. W will recommend (to the governor) their replacement,” the vice governor said.
The two police officials denied Zubiri’s allegations.
Zubiri asked Linsagan to do something about the criminality by the end of the year “or else.”
During the provincial board’s January 26 session, he asked why the two officials were still occupying their posts.
“The longer they stay, [the crime situation] is getting worse,” board member Rogelio Lago said.
Calingasan told MindaNews earlier that he extended the stay of the two police officials until the end of January to let them finish their “tour of duty.”( Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)