By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Hinigaran Mayor Nadie Arceo yesterday said there have been threats to his life, following his public row with municipal police chief, Senior Police Inspector Lawrence Gerald Bathan; however, the mayor maintains the police chief is not directly involved in the alleged threats.
Arceo said, since he has been requesting Bathan be relieved from his post, there have been “suspicious-looking” individuals following him.
In an interview with reporters, Arceo said he has been sleeping in the municipal hall amid reports his home is supposed to be raided.
Last week, Arceo claimed his police chief is “uncooperative,” which is making it difficult to combat illegal drugs.
According to the mayor, the report by the Hinigaran Barangay Drug and Abuse Council (BADAC) claiming the municipality is now drug-free is false, as he believes druglord Jessie Ramos is still operating in the area.
He believes 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.
However, Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18) director, Police Chief Superintendent Edmund Gonzales recently came to the police chief’s defense, saying, “Bathan is doing his job.”
The regional police director said police records show, under Bathan, the Hinigaran municipal police have recovered a total 24 grams of shabu, with an estimated street value of P400,000.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil, also defended Bathan, saying he is satisfied with his performance./WDJ