By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY— The city’s new police chief warned her officers that “I may look kind, but there are many dragons inside me. Don’t let me unleash them.”
Col. Gemma Vinluan also exhorted them to “do their best in everything that they do.”
Vinluan took over as police chief Thursday.
“I am focused and determined. I don’t settle for you to just do good. I demand excellence,” she said during the turnover ceremony at the Cebu City police headquarters.
Vinluan replaced Col. Royina Garma, who availed of early retirement after she was appointed by President Duterte as general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Garma served for more than a year as police chief. She shed tears as she looked back on her career.
“I am not a pleaser that’s why even my classmates don’t like me. I’ve done my best in my 24 years in the police service. I am ready to face a bigger challenge and I hope I will be able to make it,” she said.
Garma and Vinluan are classmates in the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class of 1997.
Garma touted her accomplishments, including the creation of “Itug-an ni CD (Report to City Director), a hotline where the public can report illegal activities as well as the good and bad deeds of policemen.
During her stint, she said city’s police force seized more than P600 million in illegal drugs, and most of the successful drug operations happened because of “Itug-an ni CD.”
Vinluan said she will deliver what President Duterte ordered her to do.
“The President wants someone here who is courageous, not corrupt and will not allow the policemen to become illegal drug protectors,” she said.
Vinluan said she will continue and even enhance the programs that Garma started.
“To all the station chiefs, do not relax. If someone approaches you, you must smile. Do not frown, let’s show to the public that we are ready to serve,” said Vinluan, whose father is a retired policeman and whose husband is also a police colonel.
Under her leadership, Vinluan wants “better police visibility and quicker police response.”
“We will soon have police simulations to test your response time,” she said.
Like Garma, she is a stickler for cleanliness. “When I visit your police station, I don’t want it to be smelly. There should be tissues and alcohol in your toilets. The toilets should be clean that you can even have your snacks there,” Vinluan said.
As the former chief of Camp Crame’s Women and Children Protection Desk, Vinluan said she will help guide male officers to become good husbands and fathers.
Vinluan also said that street children will be rounded up.
“We will consult with our legal partners if we could rehabilitate these children and give them a chance to live a decent life,” she said.