LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – Just a week after a “troubleshooter” was named to head the provincial police, a new officer-in-charge (OIC) assumed the post yesterday.
Chief Superintendent Franklin Jesus Bucayu, Region 1 police director, told The STAR that Senior Superintendent Marlou Chan was designated effective Dec. 26 as the new OIC police director of Pangasinan.
Prior to his new assignment, Chan, who hails from San Quintin town, served as police director of Ilocos Norte for more than two years.
He replaced Senior Superintendent Manolito Labador, deputy regional police director for operations, who was assigned as OIC and caretaker of the Pangasinan police following the untimely relief of Senior Superintendent Mariano Luis Verzosa Jr. also as OIC provincial police director.
Labador is now the OIC police director of Ilocos Norte vice Chan.
Verzosa also served as OIC provincial police director for about five months until he was removed from his post a week after Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas ordered the relief of police chiefs in Pangasinan following an exposé of Bugallon Mayor Rodrigo Orduña. The revamp though has yet to happen.
Orduña alleged that Gov. Amado Espino Jr. received as much as P900 million in jueteng payola. He later filed a plunder case against the governor before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Espino has denied the allegation, saying it was politically motivated and an old issue.
Bucayu said he hopes Chan would serve longer as Pangasinan’s top cop, as Labador was only designated to avoid a vacuum in the provincial police leadership.
In January, another shakeup among provincial directors in Region 1 is likely to happen, Bucayu said.
Espino, meanwhile, thanked his supporters, especially those who rallied behind him and his family amid what he described as attempts by his political foes to undermine his political career.
In his message during a Mass at the capitol plaza on Christmas Eve, Espino said Christmas time was supposed to be celebrated with joy, but with the present crisis confronting him, he said he regretted that he could not experience pure joy in his heart.
“We are supposed to celebrate Christmas with utmost happiness but for the past 10 days so many things happened which are caused by dirty politics,” he said, adding that quality service remains the top priority of his administration.
“The entire provincial government is not shaken by the turn of events,” he said.
“We will continue what we have been doing for the progress of Pangasinan not only for our children, but also for our children’s children,” he added in the dialect.