Marikina mayor ‘disappoints’ PNP officials

THE cat is now out of the bag. Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro is the local government official criticized by Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde for his purported ‘childish acts’ when he withdrew his support to the Marikina City Police Station after its chief was replaced last March 21.

Many of my sources said that Teodoro, who previously served as a Representative of the 1st District of Marikina City until he became the 12th mayor othe city apparently resented the relief of erstwhile city police chief, Colonel Roger Quezada and the installation of Col. Redrico Maranan as the new Marikina City police commander last March 21.

It turned out that Quezada, a member of PNP Academy Class 1993 was promoted as Chief of Directorial Staff of the Police Regional Office 4-B in Mimaropa region after serving as Marikina City police chief for nearly two years or since June 30, 2017. His new position will also qualify him for promotion to the next higher rank, in short, a career advancement. On the other hand, Maranan, a bemedalled member of PNPA Class 1995 was tasked by the PNP leadership to take over Quezada’s post.

I learned that shortly after Quezada was transferred to the PRO4-B, Mayor Teodoro who is believed to be on his way to reelection in the coming May 13 local election, showed his resentment to the PNP move by withdrawing support to the local police and even barring the city police from attending the Monday flag-raising rites at the city hall. Sources told me that the mayor also totally withdrew the city government’s gasoline and other financial support to the Marikina City police.

However, reports said that after being told he could earn the ire of DILG Secretary Ed  Año, the mayor decided to return gasoline and other monthly financial assistance to the city police—although not in their entirety—to the disappointment of the police force. In short, the city police is now depending entirely on their measly PNP budget to patrol the streets of Marikina 24/7 in order to keep its residents safe.

Last Monday, Gen. Albayalde did not hide his displeasure over Teodoro’s behavior, which he described as “childish.” The PNP chief who marked his 1st year as the country’s top cop last April 19 said that it appears that the mayor withdrew his support to the Marikina City police force after Quezada was relieved and replaced by Maranan.

“Parang bata na hindi mapagbigyan, tatanggalin yung supporta sa pulis natin,” the PNP chief said without identifying the mayor who has refused to talk to Maranan. According to the PNP chief, it appears that the mayor could not understand that Quezada was removed so that he can occupy a higher post.

Gen. Albayalde defended their decision to designate Maranan as the new Marikina City police chief since there is a need to immediately assign a commander even in an acting capacity to prevent a vacuum in leadership and not disrupt the operations of a police station.

He likewise reminded local chief executives not to abuse their power when it comes to choosing their own police commander. I hope that the conflict between Mayor Teodoro—a 48-year old member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition who initiated compulsory computer education for elementary and high school students and the free Public Pre-School Education Act when he was in Congress-and his new police chief would be settled the soonest for the benefit of the general public. There’s nothing wrong in displaying humility too.

The Marikina City controversy is not the 1st in the PNP’s long fabled history. I have come across some city mayors who also threw tantrums after Camp Crame rejected their choice for their police chiefs. In retaliation, they ordered the recall of patrol vehicles and even firearms they donated to their police force and worse, stopped providing rice, gasoline and other monthly operational funds to the police.

One former PNP chief told me that during his time, a city mayor recalled all police patrol cars donated by the city government to its police force after a commander which is not of his liking was designated as the city police chief. The now retired PNP chief said that what he did was very simple.

He borrowed patrol vehicles from different nearby city and municipal police forces and had them patrol the city of the angry mayor. For weeks, residents were amazed to see strange police vehicles with different colors, markings and body numbers patrolling their streets night and day.  The residents later discovered that their mayor had pulled out their police cars which were donated to the city police after being brought out of taxpayers’ money.

When the mayor sensed that his constituents were already angered by his move and may cost him his reelection, he decided to return the patrol cars complete with gasoline and other monthly support being given by the city hall to the local police.

As I always say, the full support of every mayor and his council is badly needed by the police force in effectively fighting crime and terror in the streets. This is the reason why police forces like the Quezon City Police District now boast of top-of-the-line equipment and other facilities. Just ask NCRPO chief, Major General Gilor Eleazar who was a former QCPD director and his predecessor, Brigadier General Joyet Esquivel.