By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Following complaints from Hinigaran Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo, claiming municipal police chief, Police Senior Inspector Lawrence Bathan, is “uncooperative” in the fight against illegal drugs, Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18) director, Police Chief Superintendent Edmund Gonzales, yesterday responded saying there is no reason to replace the town’s top cop.
During a celebration of the 116th anniversary of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Gonzales said Bathan is “performing well,” especially when it comes to illegal drugs.
He also spoke for Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil, saying he was satisfied with the municipal police chief.
Gonzales suggested the mayor file a formal complaint in order for higher-up officials of the PNP to evaluate Bathan’s performance.
Along with his complaint, Arceo previously said he is doubtful of the Hinigaran Barangay Drug and Abuse Council (BADAC) declaring the municipality drug-free, as he believes druglord Jessie Ramos is still operating in the area.
The mayor claimed 90 percent of the town is still drug-affected and criticized the municipal police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for allegedly ignoring his complaints.
Bathan earlier replaced Police Senior Inspector Gerald Moya after the latter did not meet the command’s expectations in apprehending illegal drug suspects./WDJ