By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Hinigaran Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo yesterday claimed Jessie Ramos, the top drug personality operating in the municipality, has fled town.
“This is the result of me having control over the town police chief,” the mayor stated.
Police Chief Inspector Jake Barilla was recently named municipal police chief after Arceo previously complained his previous police chief, Police Senior Inspector Lawrence Bathan, was “uncooperative” in the local campaign to combat illegal drugs.
Bathan was earlier relieved upon orders from Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa; despite Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil, and Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18) director, Police Chief Superintendent Edmund Gonzales, claiming Bathan was doing his job and there is no basis for his relief.
Arceo says he currently has a good working relationship with Barilla and pointed out the Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force, created by Bathan, has since been dissolved.
The mayor noted 10 police officers have since requested transfers following the previous police chief’s relief.
Despite the mayor claiming no control over the local police force, Bathan is the third police chief Arceo has requested relieved from the post./WDJ