NAPOLCOM strips 139 local officials of police control for terror, drug links

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2017 04:30 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2017 02:27 AM

MANILA (UPDATE)- The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) on Tuesday revoked the deputation of at least seven governors and 132 mayors from several parts of Mindanao for allegedly supporting terrorist activities or failing to suppress lawlessness in their jurisdictions.

The commission said the officials were stripped of their power to exercise supervisory powers over local police force for "engaging in acts inimical to national security or which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign of the government; and (2) providing material support to criminal elements."

The NAPOLCOM order came as clashes between government troops and Islamic State-linked terror groups continued in Marawi City nearly two months since the conflict began.

Some local officials have been tagged in abetting terrorists and involvement in the narcotics trade, with illegal drugs amounting to millions of pesos recovered from the houses of former and current city officials.

The following Mindanao officials are no longer deputized by the Napolcom:

MAGUINDANAO
Governor Esmael G. Mangudadatu and 28 Mayors

LANAO DEL SUR
Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr. and 37 Mayors

LANAO DEL NORTE
Governor Imelda D.C. Quibranza-Dimaporo and 22 Mayors

SULTAN KUDARAT
Governor Datu Pax S. Pakung Mangudadatu and 12 Mayors

SULU
Governor Abdusakar A. Tan II and 13 Mayors

BASILAN
Governor Hadjiman Salliman and 10 Mayors

TAWI-TAWI
Governor Nurbert Sahali and 9 Mayors in Tawi-tawi

COTABATO CITY
Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi

"Their deputation as NAPOLCOM representatives in their respective areas of jurisdiction was suspended for their failure to impose measures to suppress terroristic acts and prevent lawless violence in their territories," Rogelio Casurao, NAPOLCOM Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer, said in a statement.

"There were also reports of local chief executives in Mindanao being involved in the illegal drug trade, which is tantamount to providing support, in one way or another, to the Maute terrorist group or other criminal elements in their jurisdiction," he said.

The NAPOLCOM said provincial and local executives who may have links to terrorists or drug syndicates should have no control over police operations.

Under the law, governors and mayors are automatically deputized as representatives of the NAPOLCOM in their respective jurisdiction, and are allowed to "inspect police forces and units, conduct audit, and exercise other functions as may be authorized by the Commission."

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Assemblyman and Marawi Crisis Committee spokesperson Zia Alonto Adiong said Mindanaoan leaders "will not oppose" the withdrawal of their power over police units, but would seek clarification about the statement.

"We want to be clarified on the two grounds in the resolution. The language is very sweeping. It may paint a bad image," Adiong said during a press conference in Marawi City.

"Some people might say local government units were indeed coddling terrorists and drug lords... Coddling terrorists and supporting criminals will never apply to the local governments of Lanao del Sur," he added.

Local officials meanwhile pointed out errors on the list.

For one, the NAPOLCOM list still names Mamintal Adiong Jr. as the Lanao del Sur Governor, when he is now Vice Governor. His mother, Bedjoria Soraya Adiong, currently helms the provincial capitol.

The list also erroneously named Nurbert Sahali as the Tawi-Tawi Governor when he lost his reelection bid to Rashidin Matba in the 2016 elections. The list also included mayors who have already passed away.

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa meanwhile said he would ask NAPOLCOM what needs to be done once the withdrawal of the deputation takes effect.

"Pag-usapan pa namin sa NAPOLCOM paano iko-comply 'yung provision dun sa pagtanggal ng deputation. Mag-usap pa kami," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23 after fighting erupted between government forces and terrorists who laid siege on Marawi City.

At least 465 have died since the clashes began, among them 343 terrorists, 85 government forces, and 39 civilians. -- with reports from Ron Gagalac and Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News