La Trinidad, Benguet: Police Regional Office-Cordillera director Chief Supt. Isagani Nerez on Tuesday activated operation plan Abra Shield to stem the tide of lawlessness in the province.
Abra Shield is composed of various police units in the province and is tasked to conduct intensified and sustained anti-criminality operations to prevent and control the occurrence of crimes, recover loose firearms and neutralize organized criminal groups.
The launch of Abra Shield coincided with his call on all the mayors to support the police in their initiatives to maintain peace in the province, warning that their lack of support could result in the breakdown of law and order.
He particularly cited the case of two policemen who were disarmed and shot last week by alleged henchmen of Lagayan town Mayor Jendricks Luna, while providing legitimate security protection to a government project in the area.
Luna and seven other Lagayan officials were subsequently slapped with five criminal complaints and four administrative cases before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Nerez said they would exhaust all judicial remedies to counter the action or inaction of abusive and uncooperative local executives.
He vowed to stop the return of lawlessness in the province, which was rocked by violent crimes in the past few weeks, including the murder of Jacinto Turqueza, an administrative officer of the Abra Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.
“In the last few years, Abra has experienced relative peace, but in recent weeks, lawlessness has once again reared its ugly head on the people of Abra, which was marked by the spate of killings and other violent crimes,” Nerez lamented during a command conference over the weekend at the Abra Police Provincial Office.
“The recent violent incidents in the province of Abra had once again brought the specter of lawlessness, which has tarnished the improving image of the province,” he stressed.
As a result, Nerez initiated a revamp as he replaced Abra police director Sr. Supt. Virgi-lio Laya with Sr. Supt. Alber- lito Garcia.
Nerez also relieved Supt. Mario Mayames as commander of the Abra Provincial Public Safety Company, “after he failed to take actions against a group of men who accosted and disarmed two policemen who were providing security in a government project in Lagayan town.