Is relieving Mijares wise?

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By Susan Palmes-Dennis

Straight from Carolinas

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I DON'T agree with the clamor to oust Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares, Cagayan de Oro City police chief.

I've been reading online news stories about city officials calling for Mijares's relief in the wake of the daring evening jewelry store heist inside SM City Cagayan de Oro last week.

If this move prospers, Mijares could not be the first city police chief to be transferred out of the city in quite sometime. When I learned about the news story I told myself “here we go again.”


In the Philippines, it had become the norm for every police chief to be shipped out in case of failure and that's certainly the case in Camp Alagar, in Cagayan de Oro.

I do understand the principle of command responsibility. It's one principle that needs to be etched in granite, carved in stone and seared in the minds and hearts of every leader of the Philippines, to hold them accountable and responsible for every action and decision they make.

But these are changing times and command responsibility allows for some flexibility. What I mean is, yes, the police chief or any leader assumes responsibility for any mistake committed but he or she must be supported and given enough room to rectify that mistake.

It's not good for the city to replace Mijares especially with this month's celebration of the feast of St. Augustine. I don't know about Mijares because I left the country to live in the US a few years back but I do know that he must have arrived to clean up the cobwebs and dust accumulated through years of inaction by the previous police chiefs who were beholden to the previous, unlamented administration.

I've also read that he had achieved some gains in curbing criminality in Cagayan de Oro. Mijares should be allowed to continue spearheading that campaign and the public and the city government should be behind him all the way.

Besides, why go through the trouble of having a new city police chief familiarizing himself with Cagayan de Oro only a few days ahead of the annual city fiesta, that time of year when thousands would descend on Cagayan de Oro including the criminal elements out to victimize hapless city residents and visitors alike?

Hard times call for the public to become citizen cops and report crime to the police. I don't want to label cops as inept, lousy and having no business to become one. But incompetent cops can be found anywhere, not just in Cagayan de Oro.

I'm only talking about the cops here in the city.The reasons behind their incompetence are plenty and sometimes we couldn't fault them for that. I can only commiserate with some of them for dealing with factors beyond their control, like inadequate facilities and support.

I originally proposed for the hiring of local applicants for the city police or at least applicants who have families and ties here in Cagayan de Oro. That way, they won't have to orient themselves long with how the city runs and operates.

Or since the recruitment is done by region, then a majority of those to be assigned to Cagayan de Oro or any locality should be from that place or whose parents or majority of the relatives are from that place.

That way these police chiefs and officers can patrol their beat confident that they would know and spot criminals and their activities long before they carry out their vile deeds.

City residents also won't have to familiarize with these officials because they already know them. Sadly, there are also cops who prefer to stay in the comfort of their air-conditioned offices rather than go on field, ordering recruits from other areas to patrol the beat.

Criminals nowadays are smart, so the police and the public should be smarter than them. By the way, if there's anyone who deserves a dressing down or reprimand, it should be the intelligence section of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office.

How did they fail to detect the presence of these criminals who eventually looted a jewelry store in a major mall, no less? I presume that under the administration of Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, the city police had been given support unless it's practically the same as the previous administration.

Just a word of caution to Mijares; don’t take everything given to you by the cops hook, line and sinker. Delouse and filter it and then use your best judgment on how to deal with it.

Deliver the goods, Chief Mijares or else you’re out of the city for good.

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


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