Consolacion mayor cuts off power, phone lines of police

CONSOLACION Mayor Avelino Gungob allegedly cut off the power supply and telephone connection of the Consolacion Police Station, leaving the police in the dark since Tuesday night.
Radio communication was also unavailable as it depended on the power supply paid for by the local government.

Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Jesus Gaquing said he is now working on the immediate installation of phone lines and restoration of the power supply using funds from his office.
The Police Regional Office (PRO) is studying the possibility of filing a complaint of abuse of authority against the mayor.
Gungob told Sun.Star Cebu he decided to cut off electricity to send a strong message to the police that he is serious about his threat.
He, however, denied disconnecting the telephone lines. He said it was only the power supply for the lights and the radio communications that he ordered cut off. Electricity for the computer set is still on, he added.
“Dili pa na mao. Naa pa koy himuon lain to satisfy my needs...aron ilang iuli akong bodyguards (I will do something else…so they will return my bodyguards). I want to tell them that the issue is still alive. Gitandog nila ang akong garbo,” he said.
He said he will only restore the power supply once the police give in to his demand.

When sought for comment, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she will file a complaint before the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) against Gungob, if the legal department will find a basis to do so.
Garcia said she can raise the issue before the PB ethics committee, headed by PB Member Alfredo Ouano, a councilor from Consolacion.
“Kung kailangan ako, ako (If I have to be the one to file the complaint, I’ll do it),” said the governor. She also said the Capitol is willing to extend financial aide to the Cebu Provincial Police Office.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Atty. Pedro Noval said the agency issued a written warning yesterday to the northern town’s mayor.

In the meantime, Police Deputy Regional Director for Operations Marcelo Garbo suggested for the Consolacion police to use other means, like mobile phones, in submitting reports to higher headquarters.
PB Member Ouano commented that Gungob should have consulted the municipal council before he decided to cut the power lines.
Late last month, Gungob no longer signed the voucher for the monthly allowances of police personnel.

He reiterated his frustration with the police, particularly Gaquing, for pulling out his detailed security personnel—PO3 Sherwin Leyson and PO3 Joramie Espinosa—without consulting him.
PRO 7 Director Lani-o Nerez earlier said the decision had his clearance.
Gaquing, in a separate interview, said it was sad the situation had to worsen this way, but that it will not stop the police from doing their job.
“We should give primacy to public service. We have a duty to perform,” he said.

Director Noval said that should Gungob remain stubborn, the DILG will be forced to assist the PNP in filing a case against the town mayor.
He said what Gungob did amounted to abuse of discretion and, as a consequence, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) could revoke his deputation. The Napolcom allows town mayors to recommend applicants for police training from their town.
(Sun.Star News)

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