|Police Senior Superintendent (Colonel) Marlou Chan, PMA 1985|
By GATE, Jr.
The province of Pangasinan led by Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. today (May 24) filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the appointment of Police Sr. Supt. Marlou Chan as the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial director of Pangasinan.
In the motion filed at the Regional Trial Court in Lingayen, the petitioners asked that the TRO and preliminary injunction be eventually made permanent, saying Chan’s appointment should be declared unlawful, and that he should be ousted from the position.
Chan’s designation as officer-in-charge of the Pangasinan police office last December should have expired last May 10. The petitioners noted that Chan was secretly appointed in full capacity as police provincial director “in gross violation” of the PNP laws and Commission on Elections (Comelec) rules.
The complaint filed under civil case 19270 states that several complaints were raised by local leaders regarding Chan’s inefficiency and alleged obvious bias towards specific candidates shown during the recent elections.
A manifesto for a change in the PNP leadership was signed earlier by majority of the Pangasinan mayors and provincial board members, citing 23 documented shooting incidents in the province as of last March. The petitioners claimed that most of shooting incidents remained unsolved. Records also showed that at present, there were already 80 shooting incidents that remain unsolved. The complaint also alleged that majority of the municipal police chiefs in the province were relieved for no justifiable reasons, and without prior notices or advisories to the affected mayors.
During the May 13 elections, Chan, like Espino, who is an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy, was criticized apparent bias in handling election-related issues owing to his alleged kinship with a mayoralty candidate in Eastern Pangasinan, and alliances with some other candidates in the province.
Espino filed his petition for TRO pursuant to Section 51 of Republic Act 6975, otherwise known as the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, the incumbent governor is granted the right to choose among three eligible officers recommended, to the position of PNP police provincial director.