By Jennifer P. Rendon
Within a week’s time, the whole complement of the Iloilo City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU) and Iloilo City Police Station 5 in Mandurriao district will be swept clean of personnel and replaced with new faces.
As it turned out, the anti-illegal drug operation at Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao, Iloilo was the last straw that broke the camel’s back for Brigadier General Leo Francisco.
He made the announcement during the turnover of command ceremony for the ICPO’s officer-in-charge on Friday, Jan 27, 2023.
Colonel Joeresthy Coronica took over the ICPO’s helm from Colonel Leo Batiles, who is due for retirement in March 2023.
Addressing Coronica, “I am giving you full authority to recommend the changing of all officers, even PNCOs (police non-commissioned officers) of this office, and do it in one week’s time.”
“Change the personnel of your CDEU. Change all the personnel of your Station 5. I want your recommendation before my office before we will face Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas,” he said.
Led by Inspector Marlon Perez, the CDEU is composed of around 15 personnel while ICPS5 headed by Major Rey Sumagaysay has around 91 personnel.
Francisco did not mince words that he was not satisfied with their performance.
It came at a time when the PNP needed accomplishments on illegal drugs, especially from police who are assigned to “targeted areas.”
“But unfortunately, upon my review and it’s based on records, they failed my expectations,” he said.
Francisco cited instances where operations turned out negative if the local police were informed.
He said he is giving Coronica the leeway to change officers and other PNCOs as he sees fit.
The region’s top cop said the new ICPO chief should talk to Batiles and look into the personnel’s accomplishments.
“Lagi niyong tatandaan na ang pagbabago ay kailangan upang mas lalong maging matatag sa serbisyo at makapagbigay ng tamang serbisyo sa mamamayan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Francisco said commanders who are doing well in their duties will be retained.
“I always believe that ‘why fix it if it ain’t broke’,” he said.
As this developed, Francisco said formal orders will be immediately issued once he receives the recommendation.
Coronica could also request personnel from other units.
“That’s all our desire: to infuse new officers in ICPO,” he said.
For those who are not affected by the relief and reassignment, Francisco said they must toe the line or be shipped out of ICPO.
“Bilang mga opisyal, kaakibat natin sa serbisyo ang pagbabago at hindi na bago sa ating lahat ang ma-transfer, ma-relieve, at minsan ay ma-floating,” he said,
To ICPO personnel, Francisco pointed out the support of the local government unit to the local police from equipment, vehicles, and buildings.
“Ang gagawin na lang ng kapulisan ay magtrabaho ng tama at ‘yun ang dapat mong gawin Colonel Coronica,” he said.
Francisco also enjoined all ICPO personnel to support Coronica’s leadership.
“‘Pag hindi niyo ibingay ang support nyo, I’ll see to it that you will go nowhere. Ayokong magkaroon tayo ng mga komentong hindi dapat dahil wala tayong masasabi sa suporta ng ating local government,” he said.
In the coming weeks, Francisco said he hopes to see changes in the ICPO.