By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Hinigaran Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo said, during a radio interview yesterday morning, he personally met with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa recently during a function in Metro Manila and thanked him for relieving Hinigaran Municipal Police chief, Police Senior Inspector Lawrence Bathan, of duty earlier this week.
Arceo, who previously penned a letter to the PNP chief, making the formal request after officials from Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18) and Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) expressed their support for Bathan, said Dela Rosa immediately called NOPPO director, Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil, Jr., to request Bathan’s relief after hearing about the situation in Hinigaran.
The mayor also made the request for Police Chief Inspector Jake Barilla to serve as the new municipal police chief.
Arceo said he has yet to report to his new post.
Last week, Arceo claimed there were threats to his life, following his public row with the municipal police chief, but clarified Bathan was not directly involved in the alleged threats.
The town mayor claimed Bathan had been “uncooperative” and made it difficult to combat illegal drugs.
Castil, meanwhile, asserted Bathan’s removal was conducted per instructions by PRO-18 director, Police Chief Superintendent Edmund Gonzales, but reiterated previous claims that there was no basis for the municipal police chief’s relief./WDJ