Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ecija top cop sacked, replaced by Novo Ecijano police officer

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, January 16, 2013-A legitimate resident of Nueva Ecija is the new provincial director of the Philippine National Police, replacing Senior Superintendent Walter Castillejos who was fired barely four months ahead of the May mid-term elections.

          Senior Superintendent Crisaldo Nieves, a native of Barangay San Isidro, Zaragoza town, assumed the post in turn-over ceremonies Wednesday at the PNP provincial headquarters here.

          Castillejos served for only six months, way short of the routine two-year tour of duty of a provincial director. No reason was given for Castillejos’ sudden relief which order reportedly emanated from Camp Crame.

          “It’s beyond me, really,” said Castillejos’ immediate superior, PNP Regional Office 3 director Chief Superintendent Edgar Ladao by phone when asked why Castillejos was suddenly relieved. 

          There have been speculations that Castillejos was relieved for his failure to eradicate jueteng operations and for his dismal performance in containing crimes in the province. Reports said Umali was disappointed with his performance.

          Castillejos has not been returning calls.

          Nieves, 47, is a member of the 1989 batch of the PNP Academy. He is a former regional comptroller of the PNP in the Bicol Region and in the Caraga Region and held various positions as provincial public safety commander in Quezon province and station commander in the Bataan municipalities of Dinalupihan and Morong and the Quezon towns of Catanauan and Mauban.

          It will be Nieves’ first provincial posting, considered an acid test since Nueva Ecija is listed as an election “hot spot.” He is the second Novo Ecijano to be assigned as director in the province in six years, following Senior Superintendent Agripino Javier – of San Antonio town - who served briefly in 2007 following the assumption into office of Gov. Aurelio Umali.  

          Nieves said his marching order from PNP Chief, Director General Alan Purisima and Ladao is to continue the campaign against all forms of criminality through preventive police action.

          He said the Nueva Ecija police will also run after loose firearms and private armed groups which, he said, will pose serious threats to the conduct of peaceful and orderly elections in the province. (Manny Galvez)       


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