La Trinidad, Benguet – A region-wide shake-up at the Philippine National Police in the Cordillera looms at the heels of Wednesday night killing of an administrative officer of the Abra provincial prosecutor’s office.
Cordillera police director Chief Superintendent Isagani Nerez has already notified Thursday all field commanders in the highland region that their tenure in their positions will depend on their performance, especially in the area of peace and order and security operations.
“I would like to inform all field commanders in the region, from (provincial police office) down to the (town police) that your performance, especially in the area of anti-crime operations will be evaluated by a Committee to determine if you are to stay in your positions or be replaced,” Nerez told police field commanders.
Nerez has already created the Regional Performance Evaluation Committee, which will assess the performance of all police commanders from the provincial level down to the municipal police stations. It will be headed by Senior Superintendent Robert Quenery, Cordillera police’s Deputy Regional Director for Administration.
Nerez warned that commanders who fall short of the PNP-set benchmark for police operations particularly against private armed groups, organized crime groups and guns-for-hire will be replaced by more effective officers. These officers, he added, will then be sent for relevant schooling and training.
Such came in the wake of a series of shooting incidents in Abra, including the murder of Jacinto “Jack” Turqueza on Wednesday in Bangued, Abra’s capital town.
Nerez also showed alarm over an incident where several members of a private armed group disarmed two policemen of their service firearms at a checkpoint in Lagayan town last week.
“Task Force Turqueza” was immediately instituted after the killing tasked to bring the killers to justice.
Aside from instituting an Anti-Crime Task Group to nail down the work of its precursor “Abra Task Force” which became effective in fighting PAGs in the province, additional troops is arriving in the province Friday to augment peace and order and security operations in the still peace-challenged province.***Artemio A. Dumlao***