|Police Colonel Marlou Chan|
After Senior Superintendent Marlou Chan was charged with an injunction by Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino at the Regional Trial Court in Lingayen, Pangasinan last May 27 to revoke his appointment as permanent police provincial director of Pangasinan, the governor and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan call him to step down from his post . Despite all the ruckus, Chan maintains his post. He spoke to correspondent Mortz C. Ortigoza of the Northern Watch Newspaper the reasons why he did not acquiesce to the call for him to leave Pangasinan. Excerpts:
MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA (MCO) : Board Member Alfie Bince delivered recently a privileged speech, eventually adopted as Resolution No. 1856-2013 by the provincial board, exhorting you as a friend to step down for the sake of delicadeza. How you felt when everybody at the provincial government of Pangasinan despised you?
S/SUPT. MARLOU CHAN (CHAN): On a personal note ako po ay nagpapasalamat kay Board Member Alfie Bince ng Sixth District - fortunately my district also. His appeal was a food for thought. But I would like to stress out again as I welcome itong petition that was filled in court that the most prudent for all of us to do ay hintayin na natin iyong resulta ng proceso (court). I joined the governor and all of those concerned by urging a speedy decision of the status of my appointment which was not of my own making. Concerning my appointment as police director, I am bound by the order of the chain of command. I have to obey the order of my superior and commander-in-chief which is primarily to enforce the law and maintain the peace and order dito sa probinsiya ng Pangasinan. To reiterate, let us wait until the Regional Trial Court decides the petition.
MCO: The governor and his allies in the Nationalist Peoples Coalition accused you of partisanship in favor of their rival Liberal Party where you according to them zealously sided with the LP in the just concluded May 13 election.
CHAN: I have never been partial in the May 13 poll. I even consistently guided the Pangasinan police to remain apolitical in the recent political contest. Incase they have evidence that the PNP have been partisan we are very willing to submit for an investigation. Fortunately iyong ating liderato including iyong tinatawag nating Regional Special Operation Task Group sa Pangasinan ay umani ng papuri sa Camp Crame. As a matter of fact this is one of the most peaceful elections so far in Pangasinan as validated by the national police headquarters.
MCO: One reasons your enemies at the Capitol are after your scalp because they said the majority of the mayors and the members of the board signed a manifesto that says that there were 23 documented shooting incidents in Pangasinan since March 2013 notwithstanding the 80 unsolved shooting incidents under your watch.
CHAN: What kind of argument was that? They should bear in mind that the doctrine of command responsibility does not automatically make me liable because there were still Chiefs of Police in the ground. Nevertheless for the sake of rebutting their allegation hindi naman nag a-averaged in 21 killings last year. We are now on the fifth month (from the time he was appointed as OIC provincial director in December 12, 2012 - MCO) so practically 105 if you compared last year. Meron lang tayong 97 shooting incidents. If you follow ang ating crime solution efficiency, hindi totoo iyong sinasabi nila na 80 unsolved . Hindi naman totoong data iyan!
MCO: The governor, who was supported by the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the League of Mayors in the Philippines – Pangasinan Chapter, wants the court to revoke your permanent appointment because he suspected that PNP Director for Personnel and Record Management Catalino Cuy and Region 1 police director Ricardo Marquez conspired to circumvent your appointment last May 10. He said it violated Section 51 of Republic Act 6975 (Department of the Interior & Local Government Act) that says that he should appoint one of the three nominees presented to him by the regional director, does it mean incase the court upholds the injunction the PNP can just revert you back to your previous designation as provincial director in an OIC’s capacity ?
CHAN: I did not seek such a position or designation. It is up to the court to declare kung tama o mali iyong ginagawa ng PNP in my appointment. But for the time being there is an official order for me to assume initially as an OIC provincial director of Pangasinan then acting provincial director until it was elevated to the status of full provincial director.
(Ortigoza is a former professor of Political Science. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration and Political Science (C)).