Monday, August 1, 2011

Cabanatuan City top cop to be replaced by police colonel from Crame

Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. 
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, August 2, 2011-This city’s police station chief Police Superintendent Eliseo Cruz is set to be replaced by a police colonel from Camp Crame to pave the way for his promotion into the next higher rank next month.

A source said that Cruz replacement is Superintendent Bernard Dasugo, who is a section chief at the Directorate for Personnel and Resource Management office (DPRMO). Dasugo reportedly has the backings of the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).

Dasugo, who is 10 years Cruz’s junior, is a product of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). He will assume the post as officer-in-charge.

“Cruz has overstayed in his post since he is already police chief for four (4) years already dating back to 2006. Normally, a police chief’s stint in a particular assignment lasts for only three (3) years. He’s already there for four years so his stay in his post is too long,” the source, who sought anonymity said.

Last May 29, 2006, Cruz was first appointed city police chief during the remaining last year of the third and last three-year term of Vergara.

A month before he assumed his post, a controversy erupted when Vergara opposed his designation and even recalled several patrol cars donated by the city government to the city police in protest. Cruz told Vergara he was willing to resign his post if only to restore normalcy in the relations between the city government and the city police.

In a surprising change of heart, Vergara later accepted Cruz’s appointment. Cruz was relieved on June 8, 2009 and went into schooling up to February 2010.

Last May 2010 elections, Vergara won and reassumed his post and he sought Cruz’s reinstatement, paving the way for the latter’s second tour of duty as police chief on July 1 last year.   

The source said Dasugo’s designation will still have to be approved by Vergara, adding that provincial police director Senior Superintendent Roberto Aliggayu has been informed of Cruz’s impending relief.

Aliggayu and Cruz were caught in a controversy when the anti-illegal quarry provincial task force of the Nueva Ecija provincial government impounded 10 quarry trucks of the city government last June 30 for allegedly operating illegally. The trucks were later ordered released by the court.

This prompted Chief Superintendent Edgardo Ladao, regional director for Central Luzon of the Philippine National Police to advise Aliggayu and Cruz to take no unlawful orders from both Vergara and Governor Aurelio Umali who have been feuding over the city government’s bid to convert the city into highly urbanized city.

Mayor Vergara later criticized Cruz over the impounding of the quarry trucks, claiming the latter lacked guts in his “teleradyo” program over the Vergara-owned DWJJ.

Offended, Cruz told Vergara he was resigning but the latter later apologized for his outburst and prevailed on Cruz to stay in his post.

Cruz said that he accepted Vergara’s apology, saying it was hard to turn it down considering the latter showed class in his act of humility.

Chief Superintendent Jesus Gordon Descanzo, who was once the station commander here said if Cruz remains in his post, it would set back the latter’s hopes of getting promoted to senior superintendent or full-pledged colonel. 

It was learned that eight of Cruz’s “mistahs” in the 1990 batch of the Philippine Military Academy were already promoted to full colonel.

In 2009, Cruz is a recipient of the prestigious Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS) award which was handed by no less than then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  

Cruz’s reported impending relief comes on the heels of the selection of the Cabanatuan police as Central Luzon’s city police station of the year for 2010 whose awarding rites will be held August 11 in Camp Olivas, Pampanga. (Jason de Asis)

Twin bids seeking to declare Cabanatuan a HUC, lone district conflicting

Photo of Nueva Ecija Board
Member Emmanuel Antonio
"Anthony" Umali.
CABANATUAN CITY, August 2, 2011–A member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan said, that the twin resolutions passed recently by the Sangguniang Panglunsod asking President Aquino to issue a proclamation declaring this city as a highly urbanized city and seeking congressional sponsorship to declare it a lone congressional district are conflicting and don’t jive with each other.

Board Member Emmanuel Antonio “Anthony” Umali, younger brother of Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio “Matias” Umali, told newsmen that the intended goals of HUC conversion and lone district run counter to each other, a fact seemingly lost on its proponents.

Umali said that they are saying that the city is now developed so it can qualify as HUC. On the other hand, they say it should be converted into a lone district to get more aid. Obviously, there is conflict in that resolution of Cabanatuan City council.

The younger Umali was reacting to the recent passage by the city council of the HUC resolution and a resolution requesting his sister-in-law, third district Rep. Czarina Umali or other Nueva Ecija congressmen to sponsor a bill declaring Cabanatuan as a lone district.   

In passing the HUC resolution, the city council, chaired by Vice Mayor Jolly Garcia, said that the city has met all the necessary requirements for conversion, including income. Eleven of the city councilors, mostly supporters of the governor’s estranged former ally, Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara, signed the resolution.

If President Aquino issues a presidential proclamation declaring Cabanatuan a HUC, a plebiscite will be held among residents to ratify the proclamation.  

The passage of the twin resolutions came nine months after Governor Umali and Vergara parted ways over the HUC issue which the former vehemently opposed. Umali said Cabanatuan is not yet ready and ill-prepared to become HUC, adding its conversion would cripple the delivery of basic services to Cabanatuenos.

Vergara has argued that the HUC conversion of Cabanatuan is long overdue, saying its full development could not take off while under the provincial government.

It is the second attempt to convert the city into HUC. In 1995, Vergara’s predecessor, then-mayor Manolette Liwag pushed for HUC conversion which was subsequently proclaimed by then-President Fidel Ramos. However, the move lost badly during the plebiscite, largely due to the opposition made by the Josons. 

If the bid succeeds, Cabanatuan would be politically independent from the provincial government and voters from Cabanatuan will no longer vote for governor. Also, all taxes collected in the city would no longer be remitted to the province and all resolutions and ordinances passed by the city council would no longer be reviewed by the provincial board.         

Board Member Umali echoed the governor’s view that Cabanatuan is still not ready to become a HUC. “In due time, Cabanatuan will be ready and when that time comes, all of the Umalises will support it. But not at this time,” he said.

He said that with regards to lone congressional district, the governor is open to re-districting, involving the whole province, not just Cabanatuan. The issue about the HUC conversion must be settled first before the lone congressional bid is discussed.

“Once Cabanatuan is converted into HUC politically independent from the province, the provincial government will no longer have the powers to check on possible abuses by erring city officials,” the governor warned earlier. (Jason de Asis)


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