Balungao mayor breaks silence

PERSONA NON GRATA DECLARATION

THE declaration of erstwhile chief of police of the town as persona non grata by the Sangguniang Bayan was withdrawn.

The withdrawal of the declaration against P/Sr. Inspector Raymund Nicolas was confirmed by Balungao Mayor Phillip Peralta in an interview with The PUNCH.

Peralta said he had the declaration withdrawn after a private meeting with Provincial Director Ronald Lee and Nicolas.

He refused, however, to elaborate details of the agreement or understanding reached for the withdrawal.

“Know more about our family background. Balungao is peaceful and all we want is to revert to being a peaceful town. We are happy this way and we can work with P/Sr. Inspector Dennis Cabigat. Being a peaceful community is important in order for us to promote our tourism project, our hot and cold spring,” Peralta said.

He added that he was having difficulty in meeting the requirements for Balungao to be declared a drug-free and to promote the town’s tourism because of what Nicolas was doing as chief of police.

“I don’t want to elaborate further because it was a private meeting… it’s done and the people of Balungao are happy that things have quieted down and peaceful in the town,” the mayor said as he confirmed his commitment to work with the new police chief.

Lee had announced the withdrawal of the declaration of persona non grata against Nicolas by Peralta during his press conference in Dagupan City in connection with the One-Time, Big-Time operation in the city.

Lee stressed that the transfer of Nicolas had nothing to do with the declaration of persona non grata against the latter and clarified that the former police chief is due for promotion as chief inspector, and the town only requires a police chief with the rank of a senior inspector.

A PUNCH source inside the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office, however, confirmed that Nicolas had become difficult having targeted all the political opponents of Mayor Peralta. (Nora Dominguez)