Police officer in Kidapawan dispersal now Davao City’s top cop

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 April) – The police officer who figured in the violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City last year now heads the police office of Davao City.

The Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board has chosen Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum as the city’s acting police director.

In a statement, the Police Regional Office –11 said Tagum will assume office on Monday, April 3.

But Tagum told Mindanews that his assumption took effect on April 1.

In an interview with reporters, Tagum said he was surprised over his new assignment.

FROM ABRA TO DAVAO. Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum, the acting Davao City Police Office chief, speaks to reporters inside his office on Monday (April 3, 2017). Tagum is expected to formally assume his post in a turnover ceremony at DCPO grounds on Tuesday (April 4, 2017). Mindanews Photo

“I’m honored to be chosen by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as the acting DCPO chief. My credentials could speak for my qualification,” he said.

Tagum, who hails from Kidapawan City, is a member of the Philippine National Police Academy Class Tagapagkalinga Class of 1991.

His first assignment was at the Regional Operations unit of PRO-11 under then Chief Inspector Ronald dela Rosa, who is now the chief of the PNP.

Prior to his assignment as provincial director in North Cotabato, he served as regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group -10 based in Cagayan de Oro City.

The police officer hogged the headlines after the violent dispersal of protesters in Kidapawan City in April last year that left two persons dead and dozens injured.

Tagum, who was the ground commander of the unit assigned to the protest, was eventually relieved as provincial commander of the Cotabato Provincial Police Office.

Karapatan Southern Mindanao condemned Tagum’s designation as Davao City’s police chief, claiming it “illustrates the reign of culture of impunity in this government.”

“Tagum must be held liable for the deaths of two  individuals including a bystander and wounding several peasants during a violent dispersal in Kidapawan City last April 1, 2016,” Jay Apiag, spokesperson of Karapatan Southern Mindanao Region told MindaNews in a text message.

He said Tagum was also responsible for the “illegal arrest and detention of 81 peasants who were charged of several trumped-up charges” following the dispersal last year.

Prior to his assignment here, he was the provincial director of Abra for seven months.

He admitted that the DCPO post is very challenging given the scope of the area of responsibility.

As the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, who spends his weekends at home, keeping the city safe has made the job even more challenging, he added.

“To be assigned as the police chief of this city is beyond my wildest dreams. Thus, I would give my best because I can only serve the people of Davao City once,” said Tagum, who has been in the police service for 29 years. (MindaNews)