By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. (PNA photo by Robert Alfiler)

MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Monday said he has ordered the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) to initiate proceedings to revoke Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo’s control over the local police within her jurisdiction.

“Local officials have supervision over the police so ang gagawin namain ngayon (so what we are doing now), I have instructed the NAPOLCOM to initiate proceedings for the withdrawal of the mayor’s deputization, ibig sabihin nito pagkatapos ng imbestigasyon na ito (this means after this investigation), with sufficient grounds, we would withdraw the deputization of Mayor Guo as the consequences of the privileges attached dito are revoked immediately including its control and supervision of its local police,” Abalos said in a press briefing in Quezon City.

Under the NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 99-010, elected governors and mayors “are automatically deputized as representatives of the Commission” in their areas.

As NAPOLCOM deputies, mayors are given the power to supervise and control police units in cities or provinces they handle and directly employ and deploy units or PNP elements, among others.

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said they are awaiting the formal approval of the order, which would take effect immediately.

Abalos said they also recommended to the Office of the Ombudsman the suspension of Guo over grave misconduct and negligence of duty over her alleged links to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

He said their recommendation aims to prevent Guo from influencing the continuing investigations of the DILG and other government agencies.

Guo is in hot water due to her alleged links to a POGO hub, Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated (ZYTI), which is near the Bamban Municipal Hall.

Law enforcers raided the POGO hub in March this year, which resulted in the rescue of 875 Filipino and foreign workers.

The Senate is also conducting its investigation on Guo over allegations that she may be a Chinese asset. (PNA)