Mayor, police chief clash over anti-drug campaign

By Gilbert Bayoran

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The mayor and police chief of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental are reportedly at loggerheads over the implementation of the anti-drug campaign.

Mayor Jose Nadie Arceo reportedly wanted Senior Inspector Lawrence Gerald Bathan replaced for allegedly not cooperating with him.

Arceo insinuated that some police officers in his turf are involved in illegal activities.

Since he lost confidence in Bathan, Arceo created the municipal anti-illegal drugs and criminality campaign (MAIDCC) to run after drug offenders.

The rift between Arceo and Bathan escalated after the police arrested a MAIDCC member for alleged illegal possession of firearms.

Arceo reportedly demanded the release of the MAIDCC member even as charges have been filed against him, provincial police director Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil said, citing information from Bathan.

Arceo accused Bathan of not coordinating with his office any police operation against drugs.

Bathan succeeded Senior Inspector Gerald Moya, who was relieved months earlier as officer-in-charge of the municipal police, on Arceo’s request.

Castil said he is satisfied with the anti-drug campaign of the Hinigaran police under Bathan’s leadership.

Should Arceo succeed in having Bathan replaced, he would be the third Hinigaran police chief to be removed in less than a year.

Earlier, Chief Inspector Gary Alan Resuma, whom Moya replaced, was also relieved as  town police chief.

Arceo sent Castil a letter asking to replace Bathan with Chief Inspector Jake Barila.

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