PNP declares Bukidnon police director post vacant

MALAYBALAY CITY –The Philippine National Police has declared the post of the Bukidnon provincial police director as vacant following his “administrative relief” for the attack of the New People’s Army earlier in May of the Malitbog police station.

Supt. Canilo A. Fuentes, deputy director for operations, told the Bukidnon Press Club Wednesday that Camp Crame has initiated the process to search for the replacement of suspended Bukidnon police director P/Supt. Cristito Rey Gonzalodo.

So far, Fuentes said, four officials based in the PNP Regional Office in Cagayan de Oro, has applied for the position. He noted a standard operating procedure at the PNP to appoint directors from within the region.

Police Director General Raul Bacalzo has ordered the suspension of Gonzalodo and Malitbog police chief Inspector Alexander Eugenio earlier last month for their failure to thwart the attack on the town’s [police] station by suspected New People’s Army rebels.

Senior Supt. Lyndel Desqitado, deputy regional director for operations, told Bukidnon News earlier the order would be effective for the entire duration of the investigation on the attack.

Desqitado said the investigation could last from one to three weeks. He added then that Gonzalodo, who assumed as provincial director on March 8, may continue serving the post if found to be not remiss in his duty.

But Fuentes said the declaration of vacancy means Gonzalodo could no longer reclaim the post. He is now in the PNP Regional Office “waiting for the position fit for his qualifications.”

Chief Supt. Conrado Laza, Northern Mindanao regional police chief, ordered Desqitado to serve as officer in charge of the Bukidnon Provincial Police Office pending the investigation.

Desqitado said Gonzalodo was included in the suspension order by virtue of command responsibility.

Reports said the Malitbog police were unable to put up resistance against the raiders.

Bukidnon News sought Gonzalodo for comment but he refused, saying it was improper for him to speak as he was already relieved and an investigation was being conducted.

Desqitado said all members of the Malitbog police station were ordered to undergo retraining at the Regional Special Training Unit.

Fuentes said the the town’s police chief and 20 other officers are facing charges of “serious neglect of duties.”

He added that if proven, the consequence could be dismissal.

Gonzalodo, whose previous assignment was in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao and Western Mindanao, was the first provincial police director under Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan. (Walter I. Balane)

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