MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) of more transparency and accountability in all police operations as it vowed that the “excessive use of force” in the case of Calbayog City, Samar Mayor Ronaldo Aquino will not happen again.
“The PNP assures that it will do everything in order for the Calbayog incident not to happen again. It will not affect the good working relationship of the police with our local executives. There will be regular updates on the developments of the investigation by SITG (Special Investigation Task Group) ‘Aquino’,” PNP Officer in Charge, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement Thursday.
This is in response to observations made by the LCP members who noted the number of gunshot wounds that killed Aquino and other people aboard the van in the alleged encounter last March 8.
Eleazar’s virtual dialogue with the LCP held on Wednesday was initiated by its president, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, to primarily express its condemnation over the death of Aquino, and to press for assurance from the PNP that measures will be put in place to prevent similar situations.
Eleazar also welcomed the dialogue to restore the confidence of the local government executives in their police force amid the public reaction surrounding the Calbayog shooting incident.
“This dialogue reinforces our long-standing cooperative relationship in the pursuit of our shared vision of genuine peace and security in the country,” Eleazar said.
Meanwhile, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, a former PNP deputy chief for administration and an LCP official, personally came to the national headquarters to represent their association face-to-face in the dialogue.
He expressed gratitude and appreciation to the PNP for accommodating their request, and also manifested the LCP’s full trust and confidence in the PNP.
“The PNP has no policy of using violence or employing unnecessary force against any people, more so our fellow public servants Like the city mayors, we in the PNP are also determined to find out what really happened because we also lost three of our men in that incident,” Eleazar said. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)