By NORA SORIñO
Iligan City Bureau Chief
and Sita Asequia
ILIGAN City — The city government is taking back all the patrol cars it has “donated” to the police force here to dramatize its indignation over the “sudden” replacement of the city’s police director.
On Monday, Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz confirmed to reporters here that they have decided to take back all the donated patrol cars.
It was learned that City Police Director Senior Supt. Manuel Sukarno Alvarez has been replaced by Senior Insp. Rene Solidarios without the knowledge of the city government.
Vera Cruz said Mayor Celso Regencia led city hall in deciding to take back the donated patrol cars. It can be recalled that the city government here donated six patrol cars in September to the city police office here.
The donated patrol cars are color red and for which the city received flak because of the color as Regencia and most of the city officials are identified with the color. Vera Cruz countered then that there was no other color available from the supplier at the time and the city was in immediate need of those cars.
For his part, City Information Officer Jose Pantoja explained that the patrol cars were not technically “donated” but “were given for use of the police.”
“It was not donated. The fund used to procure the patrol cars was taken for the mayor’s peace and order fund,” Pantoja explained.
He pointed to “politics” to be behind the replacement.
“Nakamenos sila,” Pantoja said and implicated the name of Congressman Frederick Siao to be behind the “sudden” replacement.
National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde said Solidarios’ assignment in this city was “only temporary” and that the PNP has not violated any law in doing so even as he has expressed his dismay by the action that the city government, led by the mayor, have taken.