With the impending relief of Police Supt. Julius Ceasar Gornez as city chief of police becoming an explosive issue, City Mayor Dan Neri Lim, to whom the appointing authority emanates, upped the ante yesterday by making the offer as the COP's replacement to Provincial PNP director Constantino Paul Barot, Jr. This surfaced yesterday as the combative city mayor responded to criticisms against outgoing Tagbilaran chief Julius Cesar Gornez. Gornez and Lim came under fire from critics once again last week for the mugging of block timer Richard Bompat and the murder of a high school junior in separate incidents. Stung by the renewed assaults against him by the Bohol Chronicle and Station DyRD, Lim initially challenged the giant media outfit to pick the next city chief of police. When his challenge was met by silence, Lim raised the ante by challenging Barot to serve as city police chief on a concurrent capacity.
â€œIf Chief Gornez was able to serve both as city police chief and deputy in Camp Dagohoy, why can't Supt. Barot do the same?â€ the mayor asked. Lim said that this would be the best move since Barot is the personal choice of Gov. Edgar Chatto who was â€œhandpickedâ€ to replace Supt. Rodolfo Llorca who was considered â€œtoo independentâ€. The mayor dared Barot to accept the challenge â€œsince he is just acting like a glorified bodyguard of Gov. Chattoâ€. â€œSince he has the entire provincial command at his disposal, I dare him to go after all criminal elements and all illegal activities including illegal gambling,â€ he added. Lim said it is not his style to impose his own people, recalling that when he assumed office in 2004, he only had one councilor on his side.
The mayor also pointed out that he never replaced any department chief â€œto show you that I am not hiding anythingâ€. Lim said that if his critics think he is the one who is responsible for the spate of violent incidents, â€œthen I dare you to put your choice in placeâ€. Stepping up his attack on his critics, Lim said the â€œexaggeratedâ€ focus on the violence was obviously intended to divert attention away from the controversial entry of jai alai. He narrated several â€œlegitimateâ€ issues which the media should inform the public but these were all â€œswept under the rugâ€ because they want to protect themselves. The mayor said that since DYRD continues to project itself as the Catholic media, it does not want to come out openly as pro jai alai so it resorts to mind conditioning by turning out reports in favor of the legal numbers game. On the other hand, Lim said the media outfit also wants to shield Chatto from negative feedback since most Boholanos are actually opposed to the entry of jai alai.
â€œIf they want it to operate, they should come out in the open instead of deceiving the people into complacency so it can operate before they know it,â€ he added. Lim said that if his critics think he has been distracted, â€œthey're wrongâ€. â€œOut of respect for the Christmas season, we will not hit hard on jai alai. But you can be sure that we will go all out against it first thing next year,â€ he warned. The mayor added that if there is a need for him to go to the towns to campaign against it, he will do so. â€œI challenge all righteous people who are oppose to jai alai to come out into the open and declare their intentions to fight against it,â€ he added. Lim said that unlike others who â€œpretend to oppose it but actually are part of the actionâ€, he will do what he can to prevent the entry of jai alai in the province.
BAROT REFUSES TO TAKE CALLS
In a bid to get his reaction to Lim's challenge, Supt. Barot refused to take calls from the Post yesterday. This came about after the provincial director furnished Lim the list of three names for the city mayor to choose from as Gornez' replacement. The list contained the names of Supt. Arcadio Jamora, Jr., now stationed at the PNP regional headquarters after a stint in a UN Peacekeeping Mission; Supt. Antonietto Cuyos, head of the community civil relations at Camp Dagohoy; and Chief Inspector Nicomedes Olaivar, former SWAT commander and now chief of the Camp Dagohoy intelligence branch. Mayor Lim's critics were asking for the city police chief's head after he was known to be media- shy, a trait that media practitioners not comfortable with. When Gornez is finally relieved, he shall have completed a 30-month assignment as city police chief. He was said to be assigned as a member of a UN Peacekeeping Force. It was not known where his assignment will be pending receipt of the relief order. - Sunday PostLinkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=35126.0