Nerez explains Cambay pullout

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE removal of Senior Superintendent Jesus Cambay as Baguio City Police Office director is purely a management decision.

This was stressed by Police Regional Office-Cordillera regional director Isagani Nerez when he appeared before the City Council on Monday together with BCPO OIC-Director Senior Superintendent Rolando Miranda.

Nerez said the relief of Cambay in his post is a management prerogative and an administrative decision which is an integral part of the organization particularly in the placement and promotion of personnel.


The regional director also cited before the august body a Supreme Court decision which gives the regional director the authority through powers vested into him by the PNP Chief through the chain of command to assign and reassign personnel in accordance with rules of the National Police Commission.

The regional director also said they also have the option to assign and reassign personnel for professional and career development, which is why he has given Cambay the post as Regional Operations and Planning Division of the PRO-Cordillera.

Nerez explained that despite Mayor Mauricio Domogan's pleading of postponement of Cambay’s tour of duty as he reiterated his decision to remove the police chief.

In his subsequent meeting with the city mayor, the police chief said he is only amenable to a few days extension of the police chief from his March 1 deadline and never told the mayor this will be extended for a few months or until September.

"In fairness to Jess Cambay, he texted me on March 2 that he will leave his post until their Performance Government System presentation in Camp Crame on March 4. With his expressed decision to leave the post, I was left with no recourse but to direct the regional chief of the administrative division to the work on the corresponding orders and relief to take effect," Nerez said while being backed by his regional staff and the PRO-Cordillera chaplain.

Effective March 5, he said Cambay was relieved of his command of the BCPO designating what he called “a far better and very hardworking” police officer as officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Miranda.

The PRO-Cordillera director also said the tour of duty of a police chief is not a minimum of two years but the two years is already the maximum that a police could remain as director of a police station.

He added Cambay has already served one year and four months at BCPO and the tour of duty is never absolute.

“His relief was made to give harmony and discipline into PRO-Cordillera as the father of the officers, men and women in the Cordillera,” he said.

The relief of Cambay he also added is for the good of Baguio as the city is a "show window" of the police in the Cordillera. The city director should "always show the full trust and confidence of his superior which Jess Cambay does not have," he added.

As his thrust goes into the promotion of Baguio as a more peaceful and orderly and secure place to live and do business, the regional director said crime statistics in January and February alone prove that Cambay is not capable of addressing the crimes in the city.

In the past two months, he said in January, the city has 22 crime incidents a day and in February there are at least 29 crimes per day.

He also stressed as PRO-Cordillera chief, he wants Baguio to remain as a model for peace and order not only for Luzon but the entire Philippines.

"We promise you that we will make Baguio city the best place in the Philippines in terms of Peace and Order. Please give the PNP the opportunity to manage its men," he added.

The police director also said the former city police director also gave his consent and voluntarily vacated his post in the BCPO. He also offered Cambay the position of Regional Operations and Planning Division position at PRO-Cordillera.

In the subsequent questioning of Councilors, Committee on Peace and Order Chair Councilor Roberto Ortega said there’s a notion that Nerez has not been appointing Cordillerans in the post which the regional police director denied.

Meantime, Councilor Edison Bilog asked assurance from the police regional director that crimes indeed will be lowered once Miranda takes into office but the police regional director stressed he has full rust in the police director.

He added the ideal crime rate in the city remains zero crimes per day which is a goal which he wants to be achieved in the next few months.
Senior Supt. Miranda, meantime, also assured the City Council and the city mayor he will do his best to improve crime solution in the BCPO if only he is given the chance to prove his competence.

Miranda, meantime, stressed he is willing to give his full time24 hours a day and seven days a week to the city adding his family now lives in Canada.

Both Nerez and Miranda went to the city mayor’s office after the City Council Session to continue the dialogue on the controversy behind the relief of Cambay and his replacement of Miranda.

The City Council, meanwhile, deferred any move to act on the issue until they heard of developments in the dialogue between Nerez and the City Mayor.

Meantime, Mayor Mauricio Domogan Monday morning said he is maintaining his stand for the police director undergo the proper selection process if Cambay is not reinstated by the PRO-Cordillera through the submission of at least five names of recommendees to Camp Crame who will also present its list of qualified policemen for the post for the city mayor’s decision.

He said the PRO-Cordillera director could also be part of the selection committee the city government has been forming every time there is a vacancy in the BCPO police director position.

He added an OIC-director could only stay in his position for only 30 days and this uncertainty of an acting director is not good for the long term in maintaining peace and order in the city.

The mayor also did not fail to make side comments during the Monday’s flag raising program questioning the recent pullout of Cambay by the regional office.

He also stressed and believes Cambay did not offer to vacate his position but there was internal politics involved in the pullout and the option to select the city police chief rests in the city mayor and not the police regional director.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 12, 2014.

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