By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY—With the impending change of leadership at City Hall, the police are looking forward to a better relationship with the local government.
Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7), said they are willing to sit down with mayor-elect Edgardo Labella, who is the incumbent vice mayor, to discuss the programs of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
During his proclamation last Tuesday, Labella, who defeated incumbent mayor Tomas Osmeña, said he was willing to provide the local police the needed support to ensure a harmonious relationship.
“We need to support the police to keep our city safe,” Labella said.
Labella’s running mate, former mayor Michael Rama, also won but the council will still be dominated by allies of Osmeña.
Nine winning councilors are members of Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kausawagan (BOPK), while seven candidates are from Labella’s party. The presidents of the Association of Barangay Councils and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation who are sitting as ex-officio members in the council are allied with BOPK.
Osmeña didn’t get along with the local police and even blamed Sinas and Police Col. Royina Garma, chief of CCPO, for the series of killings that had happened in the city.
Osmeña also accused the police of harassing their supporters days before the election.
“I am happy that he (Labella) is willing to support us. The support of the local government is very important. That will boost the morale of our personnel,” said Sinas.
Once Labella assumes his post next month, the first thing that Sinas will try to lobby for will be the construction of a police station in Barangay Inayawan.
A budget of P5 million has already been allotted after the construction of the police station was approved by the national government.
But Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo, an ally of Osmeña, blocked the project, saying that there was an irregularity in the signing of the lot’s deed of donation.
“It’s a waste if the construction will not push through. We already have the budget. If we return the budget, it will take time again to get funds appropriation from the national government,” Sinas said.