Police officials relieved over NPA raid in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/06 May) – Police Director General Raul Bacalzo has ordered the suspension of Bukidnon police director Senior Supt. Cristito Rey Gonzalodo and Malitbog police chief Inspector Alexander Eugenio for their failure to thwart the attack on the town’s [police] station on Tuesday by suspected New People’s Army rebels.

Senior Supt. Lyndel Desqitado, deputy regional director for operations, told MindaNews Thursday evening the order would be effective for the entire duration of the investigation on the attack.

Desqitado said the investigation could last from one to three weeks. He added that Gonzalodo, who assumed as provincial director on March 8, may continue serving the post if found to be not remiss in his duty.

Chief Supt. Conrado Laza, Northern Mindanao regional police chief, ordered Desqitado to serve as officer in charge of the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office pending the investigation.

Desqitado said Gonzalodo was included in the suspension order by virtue of command responsibility.

Reports said the Malitbog police were unable to put up resistance against the raiders.

MindaNews sought Gonzalodo for comment but he refused, saying it was improper for him to speak as he was already relieved and an investigation was being conducted.

Desqitado said all members of the Malitbog police station were ordered to undergo retraining at the Regional Special Training Unit.

Supt. Canilo Agua Fuentes, Bukidnon Provincial Police Office deputy for operations said the town’s police force was replaced by the Provincial Police Safety Company led by Senior Inspector Wilfredo Ochigue.

Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. declared during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session on Wednesday that he wants Gonzalodo removed as provincial police director. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)