|By Aie Balagtas See
MANILA, Philippines – Parañaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe dared yesterday police officers who allegedly sought the removal of his chief of police through an anonymous letter to come out and formalize their complaint.
He said he received the letter against Senior Superintendent Nestor Pastoral three months ago, but “he did not take any actions” for fear that it was “bogus and smacked of politics.”
“I just saw the letter on my table. It has no signature, no date of receipt, no author. I could not take it seriously,” Bernabe said over the phone. Instead, he called Pastoral’s attention and furnished the top cop a copy.
“They have to come out. I cannot take any actions because there was no name at all… Anybody can do that. How can you even say it really came from the police?” he added.
According to the mayor, Pastoral is “by and large cooperative and has been helpful” in maintaining the city’s peace and order.
The STAR earlier reported that demoralized Parañaque City police officers have written Bernabe. The letter has also reached the personnel division of the National Capital Region Police Office.
The police officers claimed that their chief does not have leadership skills and has not allocated material resources properly, resulting in the lack of finances to support their daily operation.
The police officers told Bernabe that unless he acts on the problem immediately, “the quality of police service will deteriorate.”
But Pastoral said “rogue” policemen want him out because he is “strict and a disciplinarian.” He said he offended some rank-and-file lawmen when he sanctioned them for reportedly being involved in extortion and other illegal money-making activities.
“They don’t like me because I’m strict with policemen who only want to make money, those who want to live like rich men,” he said.
Under Philippine National Police policy, the mayor has the sole right to appoint his chief of police from the list of five candidates forwarded by the PNP.