By Argyll Cyrus Geducos and Martin Sadongdong
President Duterte has fired Bacolod City Chief of Police Francis Ebreo and four others for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
In a statement, Malacañang said the President made the announcement during a private event in a hotel in Bacolod City Saturday.
“I’d like to know if the chief of police is here. If you are here kindly stand up because you are fired as of this moment,” Duterte said.
“In your involvement in drugs and making the people of Bacolod miserable, I am relieving and dismissing you from the service as of now, Senior Superintendent Francis Ebreo,” he added.
According to Malacañang, Duterte also announced the dismissal of four other police officials.
“Then you have Superintendent Tayuan… And Superintendent Yatar… And there is Victor Paulino, police SI… Macapagal, you are out,” Duterte said.
According to Malacañang, the President said the sacked policemen are protecting the drug syndicate in the city.
“But these persons that I have mentioned have something to do with the interest of the city… you are protecting, or you are in cahoots with the drug syndicate in the city,” Duterte said.
Malacañang said that Duterte had ordered the dismissed police officers to report to his office Monday afternoon.
Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, regional director of the Western Visayas Police Regional Office (PRO-6), admitted Sunday that he was ‘shocked’ by the firing of Ebreo due to his alleged involvement in illegal drug activities.
“Nagulat din ako dahil hindi ko inaasahan na ito palang Bacolod City Police ay mayroong mga reports na siya daw ay allegedly enabling the proliferation of illegal drugs (I was shocked too because I did not expect that the Bacolod City Police would be accused of allegedly enabling the proliferation of illegal drugs),” Bulalacao said.
According to information reaching Bulalacao, Ebreo was allegedly “protecting” the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of Bacolod City Police who were also said to be involved in the illegal drug trade.
Bulalacao said the information came from the President himself.
However, the Western Visayas regional police chief said Ebreo showed satisfactory performance as the city’s police commander.
“Ako ay nanghihinayang dahil magaling siyang officer at naayos niya ‘yung disiplina ng pulis dito sa Bacolod City. Marami naman siyang mga naging accomplishments kaya lang dahil sa report na ito kaya nagkaroon ng problema (I am full of regret because he is a good officer and he was able to bring back the discipline among the police officers in Bacolod City. He has many accomplishments but the problem is this report [of alleged illegal drug activities]),” Bulalacao explained.
Aside from Ebreo, four other policemen were sacked by the President. They were identified as Supt. Allan Macapagal, Supt. Richie Yatar, Supt. Naruddin Tayuan and Senior Inspector Victor Paulino.
Ebreo was replaced by Senior Superintendent Henry Binas, the acting chief of PRO-6’s Regional Personnel and Human Resource Development Division, as the officer-in-charge of Bacolod City Police.