IT’S ABOUT LAND-GRABBING
SPECULATIONS about the sudden transfer of assignment of Dagupan police chief P/Superintendent Neil Miro to Urdaneta City were rife initially until Miro himself stated the reasons behind his immediate relief.
In a radio interview by broadcaster Orly Navarro, last Saturday, Miro revealed his sudden and immediate relief order came from P/Chief Superintendent Charlo Collado, regional director of Police Regional Office 1, vice chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC).
The cause? He said Collado obviously acted on the report of Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez to the RPOC without confronting him about the alleged illegal fencing of a land area in Bonuan Binloc that was offered to him by Bonuan Binloc chairman Pedro Gonzales. He said he could have easily explained the issue to the mayor and was confident she would have understood.
When informed of Miro’s radio interview and his claims behind the reason why he was not given the chance by the mayor to explain and instead reported the issue to RPOC, i.e., a rift and a misunderstanding between him and the mayor, Fernandez, who was on leave and in Italy with her family reacted and denied Miro’s claims through her Facebook account last Monday.
Fernandez vehemently denied Miro’s allegation that a rift between them because she tried to seek the release of a suspect arrested by the police.
She pointed out that she was angry because the police did not observe the protocol in arresting a child suspect, which requires the presence of a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) personnel especially that the child was mentally-challenged. She said she tried to reach Miro in his mobile phone for an explanation but he didn’t pick up the call.
In contrast, she said, the raid on the Arizona Inn in Barangay Bonuan Boquig where a drug pot session was being held and where the drug pusher allegedly escaped, was not even recorded in the police blotter.
She said the real reason behind Miro’s relief was his attempt to occupy a government property illegally even after City Engr. Virginia Rosario had already called his attention and directed the removal of the concrete posts used to fence off an area on the government property without proper government authorization. Miro, she said, ignored Rosario.
Fernandez posted pictures of the land area fenced off by barangay officials accompanied by police personnel in her FB account, estimated to be more than 600 sq. meters, to show that Miro’s alibi for the fencing does not support his claim that the area is for a mere police detachment.
She credited the Masa Masid of Bonuan Binloc for reporting the illegal fencing of the beach area by the police and members of the barangay tanod on the direction of Gonzales and wondered why Barangay Kapitan Gonzales offered the area which does not belong to him, nor the Barangay but to the national government.
She recalled the proliferation of land grabbing in the area by prominent businessmen during Gonzales’ and Mayor Benjamin Lim’s terms. Cases had been filed against the alleged land grabbers who could not show land titles but mere tax declaration payments.
Initial investigation showed Gonzales was then liberally signing waivers permitting the illegal occupation of the government land.
Miro quoted Gonzales’s explanation during the interview for fencing the area: “Sabi ni Kap Gonzales, meron ako area diyan na bakante, Kung gusto mo papalagyan natin ng detachment, diyan tayo— pulis at barangay magtatambay. Magsasanib puersa tayo.”
To which the mayor reacted: May authority ba ang PNP at kapitan na magbigay ng sariling permit sa fencing na matagal nang ginagawa ni Kapitan Gonzales… kung bawal sa isang isang Dagupeño, bawal din sa kapulisan”
Fernandez also raised the suspicious motives behind the plan of Gonzales to allow Miro to occupy the government land in Barangay Bonuan Binloc, tagged then by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the most seriously affected barangay not only in Pangasinan but in the region.
Fernandez noted that Bonuan Binloc was one of the barangays cleared early on ahead of other barangays not included in the watch list of PDEA.
Miro, in another radio interview opined that he was merely caught in the middle of the political war between the mayor and Gonzales.
The mayor said she will convene the Peace and Order Council after the Holy Week to reassess the campaign against illegal drugs in the city.
Miro had declared all barangays in the city as drug-cleared except for three barangays, namely Barangay 2 & 3, Calmay and Pugaro. (Leonardo Micua)
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