Thursday, September 15, 2011
Baler chief of police relieve over crime waves
BALER, Aurora, September 15, 2011-Police Superintendent Benjamin Villasis, chief of police here was relieved by Senior Superintendent Ervin Gumban, provincial director of the Aurora police based in Camp Ravina over the mounting crimes of high-profile robbery-holdup and theft incidents.
Villasis was replaced by Chief Inspector Edgardo Togonon who is assigned formerly as the provincial spokesperson chief and now concurrently PNP chief for operation at Camp Ravina a month after Mayor Arthur J. Angara criticized Gumban and Villasis over the failure of police to stem the tide of robberies and hold-ups.
Central Luzon regional director Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao from Camp Olivas, Pampanga, downplayed the relief of Villasis, saying that the latter went on official leave. “Since he has gone on leave, Gumban replaced him with Togonon and that’s no problem with me,” he said in a phone interview.
Earlier, Angara said that he was totally disgusted with the performance of the PNP in combating lawlessness in this capital town, particularly the rush in high-profile robbery-holdup and theft.
This after unidentified men broke inside the service center of the Aurora Electric Cooperative along Gloria St., Barangay Suklayin last month and ran away with P193,798 worth of cash and other valuables.
Angara was particularly angered that the latest incident happened near the police station. He said with a new police chief, he expects crimes to go down.
He said that his leadership is being embarrassed by the crime wave particularly as this town – Aurora’s smallest municipality but which is the center of education, trade and commerce - is experiencing an unprecedented tourism boom.
Angara said that Villasis texted him after relinquishing his post and even sent him a “thank you” message.
Vice Mayor Nelianto Bihasa, who was with Angara during the birthday bash of the mayor’s sister, Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo at the capitol compound Wednesday night said he warned Togonon to shape up and make sure crimes would go on a downward turn.
Angara-Castillo said that she is expecting that Togonon will immediately conduct case tracking and back tracking of unsolved criminal case to solve the crime waves here.
The crime surge was such that according to Camp Olivas, 170 incidents of theft and 56 robbery cases had taken place in the province from January to June 2011. The first semester report showed that Aurora – on record as the most peaceful province in the region – even registered higher incidents of theft compared with the more populous Tarlac province which posted only 135 theft cases.
Last July alone, four robbery-holdup incidents were perpetrated one after another, even victimizing a reporter, a prominent contractor, a former board member and a government employee.
Back to Villasis, a reliable source said that despite the alleged failure of Villasis to solve the high profile robbery holdup and theft incidents here in Baler, Villasis is reportedly soon to replace Police Superintendent Eliseo Cruz, an outstanding policeman of the year nationwide who is manning Cabanatuan City police force in Nueva Ecija as chosen by Mayor Jay Vergara. (Jason de Asis)
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