Editorial: New PRO 7 chief’s vow

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

IS law enforcement in Central Visayas headed for interesting times? It seems like it, that is, if you would listen to the vow of Chief Supt. Prudencio Bañas when he took the post of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 chief Wednesday. He said he would make the fight against illegal drugs his top priority during his PRO 7 stint.

“It will be an all-out war against illegal drugs. There will be no compromise,” he said during his arrival honors.

Now that’s a refreshing change as far as the statements of newly assumed PRO 7 chiefs are concerned. The usual line during turnover ceremonies is about the new chief praising the officer he is replacing and talking about continuing what his predecessor has started.


Perhaps, reports that occupied the front pages of local newspapers and television and radio newscasts played a part in that vow. Stories about big shabu hauls and arrests of drug couriers and big-time pushers by law enforcers in the region the past days must have inspired Bañas.

Or the killing of Senior Insp. George Caña, chief of the Ubay police station in Bohol, must have reached him and affected him. Caña was shot dead allegedly by the group of dismissed police officer Owen Rosales, who was killed in a raid together with four of his companions.

But making a vow is one thing and delivering on it is another. Bañas, in a way, set the bar high when he talked about an all-out war against illegal drugs considering the lack of consistency of the police in the conduct of campaigns against illegal drug traders.

The inconsistency can be attributed to many factors, including incompetence, lack of aggressiveness and even corruption. The killing of Caña, who was active in the campaign against illegal drugs, shows that the illegal drugs problem has, indeed, gotten worse. It in turn proves that law enforcers have failed in their drive against illegal drugs.

But we should give Bañas the benefit of the doubt. We will know if he delivers only when he winds down his PRO 7 stint. In the meantime, let us monitor how he will realize his vow. If he shows that he is honest in his intention, then we can even help him achieve his goal.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 13, 2014.


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