North Cotabato mayor seeks relief of town police chief

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 03 September) – The mayor of Kabacan, North Cotabato is seeking the relief of the municipal chief of police for his alleged failure to curb criminality.

On Wednesday, Mayor Herlo Guzman asked provincial police director Col. Henry Villar to remove Maj. Peter Pinalgan from his post following the Aug. 29 mass shooting that killed nine Moro residents.

The massacre site in Kabacan, North Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

Pinalgan has yet to complete his term limit of two years as Kabacan chief of police.

He was appointed late last year, according to Col. Bernard Tayong, spokesperson for Task Force Kabacan and deputy chief for administration of the provincial police office.

The provincial police office created Task Force Kabacan on Tuesday.

In an interview, Tayong said Villar was still “weighing things” related to Guzman’s request.

He said Villar has yet to establish whether or not there’s enough basis to remove Pinalgan.

“It’s not possible to remove your personnel simply because there’s a request. You have to know if there’s a failure on the part of our police officers in carrying out their job,” he said in Filipino.

He said they consider Pinalgan a “working police officer”.

“We know how Major Pinalgan performs his task. Even after the Kabacan shooting, Pinalgan has done what was expected of him to prevent further escalation of conflict in his AOR (area of responsibility),” he added.

Guzman told Villar he made the request for Pinalgan’s relief based on recommendations coming from some key personalities and local leaders.

The mayor said the investigation of the shooting incident would be tainted if Pinalgan remained in his position. (Malu Cadeliña Manar/MindaNews)