Aurora top cop relieved over rash of crimes

By Jason de Asis


CAMP RAVINA, BALER, Aurora April 2, 2011-A turned over ceremony of the Aurora’s top cop of the Philippine National Police will be held on Monday at Camp Victor Ravina in the midst of the rash in crimes and alleged lapses in law enforcement of the police.


Chief Supt. Alan La Madrid Purisima, regional director of the Camp Olivas-based PNP Regional Office 3, told newsmen that he has relieved Senior Supt. Rosvi Manulid and replaced Senior Supt. Jojo Gumban as the choice of Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo among the list of three recommendees of the National Police Commission.


Purisima said that Gumban who is the chief of the regional headquarters support service will be designated as the officer-in-charge who will take over the police force in the province.


Manulid served as provincial director for only seven months. Last September, he replaced Senior Supt. Romulo Esteban, his “mistah” in the 1984 batch of the PNP Academy, who also served for only a year.


Earlier, it was reported that Angara-Castillo has expressed preference for the designation of Senior Supt. Benjamin Hulipas but Purisima said Hulipas was not included in the list of recommendees.


Manulid’s relief was considered a foregone conclusion since a month ago after Angara-Castillo expressed dismay over the recent rash in crimes in the province and the failure of police to stop illegal logging.


Angara-Castillo said she was particularly disappointed that when Manulid took over as provincial director, there was a surge in crimes, including a P1-million broad daylight heist. “Even during day-time, there were crime incidents,” she said, adding that before the latter came in, the province had the lowest crime rate among the seven provinces in Central Luzon.


“When he came, we were the most peaceful. I wanted to maintain that distinction so he had to go,” she said, adding the surge in crimes would adversely affect Aurora’s aggressive tourism campaign.


Angara-Castillo said that she herself was not spared from the outbreak in crimes. She cited that recently, she lost her generator to thieves who broke into her house.


She recalled confronting Manulid about the incident, even warning him that if her generator would not be produced in 24 hours, Manulid would suffer the consequences. The generator was recovered by police within the 24-hour period.


Angara-Castillo said the fact that the stolen generator was recovered by police indicated that if they wanted to, they can do their job efficiently. She said she has long been complaining to Manulid and his men the lack of police visibility in the province.


Commenting on his relief, Manulid said insofar as he is concerned, he has done his best although this has failed to satisfy the governor. “I have no regrets,” he said.


Before a new set of recommendees was laid down, Manulid has been scolded a number of times by Angara-Castillo over alleged lapses of the police. Once, she chided him in front of local officials and newsmen during a meeting of the provincial government-led task force against illegal logging for the inability of lawmen to prevent the passage of trucks in police-manned checkpoints.


But what broke the camel’s back, sources said, was the occurrence of five consecutive robbery-holdup and theft incidents in the province.         


At least twice, Manulid was adjudged police officer of the year in Central Luzon in the late 80s. To his credit were 28 medals and 31 letters of commendations. (Jason de Asis)

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