Mayor not replacing Oro cop chief

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Monday, August 4, 2014

PUTTING the blame on and replacing the city police chief for the robbery that took place in a jewelry shop inside a mall and other criminal activities happening in the city may not be a good idea and may even be “counterproductive,” said Mayor Oscar Moreno recently.

Some quarters in the city including councilors called for the replacement of city police chief senior superintendent Graciano Mijares for allegedly failing to curb the crime rate in the city which contributed to 55 percent of the total crime rate in the region.

Moreno’s statement came in response to the move of some councilors to change the leadership of the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) under Mijares due to the surge of criminalities that put the police in a bad light.


He said if replacing or removing Mijares from his office could ever happen it will set a bad precedent for the next Cocpo leader.

“Dili ko gusto pulihan dayon tungod kay naay nahitabo (I don’t want him replaced immediately because of what happened). In fact, that is counterproductive because [it might become the trend], and the next chief of police might think that he too might get booted out if something happens,” Moreno said.

“If that (replacement) is the case, no chief of police will last in his job,” he said.

“You do not remove the chief of police simply because of that incident. He’s doing his job. We’ll have to find ways to prevent the same criminality from happening,” he said.

“Of course, we are not happy with what happened (jewelry shop heist). We will solve it. But we can’t solve it by changing the city police chief. What’s important is that we measured up, [despite the] many limitations,” he said.
Although under the principle of command responsibility, Mijares is answerable for the incident, Moreno said he still trusts the Cocpo leadership.

“I have confidence in Mijares. You have to respect the system,” Moreno said.

In previous interviews, Mijares has promised to step up his efforts in going after groups and individuals who commit criminal activities in the city.

No to ‘salvaging’

Moreno has also reiterated his stand on the series of “summary executions” in the city that has already claimed the lives of more than a dozen persons in the past few weeks.

Most of the victims were killed either through shooting, strangulation, or stabbing and dumped in isolated areas. A few of them were even burned beyond recognition.

Some of the victims were identified as members of the Batang Mindanao 29 (BM 29) based on the tattoos on their body.

“I do not tolerate, I do not condone, I do not approve of summary [executions]. Those are activities not allowed [here],” he said.
Moreno said these incidents should be carefully looked into to find out the identity of the perpetrators.

“[These] should be investigated. Others tend to have the propensity to point fingers to some individuals, which should not be the case, to be fair,” he said.

“Are you sure that it’s salvaging? Summary killings? We also have to be very careful. I would wish that reporting of incidents should take into account the elements of fair play,” Moreno said.

In a May 7, 2013 interview with this paper, Mijares denied the existence of death squads as the ones responsible for the spate of killings in the city.

“There are no death squads in Cagayan de Oro City,” he said in the interview.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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