BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Police Regional Office 7 has recalled all police escorts of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo as part of its ongoing realignment program of police personnel in line with COVID-19 response to affected areas in Central Visayas.
This is our prudent way of addressing the vacuum caused by the recent recall of augmented personnel from the Special Action Force, Police Regional Offices 6 and 8, by their respective units, Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, Central Visayas police director, said in a statement issued by PRO 7 on Monday.
NORPPO was among the police units from Visayas who also sent augmentation forces to Cebu to help implement the quarantine control operations.
Lt. Col. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 6, said yesterday that a police contingent from Western Visayas is tentatively scheduled to return to Iloilo by Aug. 31.
About 30 police security escorts detailed to elected and appointed government officials in Negros Oriental have already been recalled by the Provincial Police Office, in compliance with the order of PRO 7.
All of them are accounted for, according to a statement issued by Col. Arnel Banzon, officer-in-charge of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office.
Ironically, the recall of police escorts of elected and appointed officials in Negros Oriental came in the wake of reports from the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) that Police Executive Master Sergeant Reuel Pinero, a member of NORPPO who reportedly holds the key to solving the killing of radio broadcaster Rex Cornelio Pepino in Dumaguete City, is allegedly missing.
Reports reaching the Task Force suggest that Pinero was about to shed light on the murder and probably turn state witness before he was allegedly “picked-up” against his will by “high-ranking officials” of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PNP chief Archie Gamboa, however, refuted claims that Pinero was missing, saying that the concerned police officer is now assigned at the National Capital Region Police Office.*