• 4 more Calabarzon mayors stripped of police powers


    The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has released a new list of local chief executives in Calabarzon who will be stripped of their powers over the local police.

    Calabarzon is composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

    Ronald Banzuela, acting provincial officer of Napolcom Batangas, said Resolution 2017-611 containing the list was approved on November 29.

    Among those on the list are Lucena City (Quezon) Mayor Roderick Alcala, Los Baños (Laguna) Mayor Caesar Perez, Bay (also Laguna) Mayor Bruno Ramos and Ibaan (Batangas) Mayor Juan Toreja.

    Toreja is one of three local chief executives in Batangas who have lost their powers over policemen, the first two being Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili and Lemery Mayor Eulalio Alilio, who were stripped of such powers last month.

    He said there is no ounce of truth to allegations that he is involved in the illegal drug trade.

    “It is quite lamentable and unfortunate that the Napolcom indicted me as engaged in an illegal activity without valid and credible proof. More important, it was done in violation of my rights to due process. I have been unjustly accused and judgment was passed against me without having been informed that a complaint of such nature ever existed. And more so, my powers, duties and obligations as a Napolcom deputy have been suspended in violation of its own Rules of Procedure,” Toreja added.

    The local chief executive said since he began serving the people of Ibaan as their mayor from 2011, he has relentlessly pursued and supported programs and activities against the illegal drug trade.

    “I have been fully supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which war has been embraced by our people under my administration and leadership.”

    Earlier on Friday, a manifesto was signed by over a hundred leaders of various civil society organizations, non-government organizations and other local government workers of the municipality of Ibaan declaring their trust and confidence in the integrity, character, person and leadership of Toreja.

    “We therefore strongly urge the board of Napolcom and its leadership to reconsider and set aside the same resolution and restore Mayor Toreja to his previous status,” the manifesto read.


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