By Paulo Loreto Lim
In response to a letter penned by Task Force Kasanag (TFK) National Commander John Chiong regarding drug lord Jessie Ramos, who surrendered to police last year but is said to still be engaged in illegal activity in Hinigaran, Malacañan Palace ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to take appropriate action.
Presidential Complaint Center Director Jaime Llaguno Mabilin recently requested PNP operations director, Police Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, to pursue the case.
Earlier this year, Hinigaran Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo requested former Hinigaran Municipal Police chief, Police Senior Inspector Lawrence Bathan, removed from his post, claiming he had been “uncooperative” and made it difficult to combat illegal drugs.
According to the mayor, an earlier report by the Hinigaran Barangay Drug and Abuse Council (BADAC) declaring the municipality drug-free was false, citing the ongoing presence of Ramos.
Last month, after receiving a letter from PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa seeking Bathan’s immediate removal, resulting in the appointment of Police Chief Inspector Jake Barilla as the new municipal police chief, Arceo claimed Ramos fled town.
The mayor noted, “This is the result of me having control over the town police chief.”
He reported having a good working relationship with Barilla but said 10 police officers requested transfers following the previous police chief’s relief.
Chiong was instrumental in the reassignment as his group wrote letters to authorities on behalf of the mayor.
“Cooperation between the LGU (local government unit) and the police is a major factor in the fight against crime and corruption,” he explained./WDJ