THE Philippine National Police Commission, in a bid to contain lawlessness in Mindanao, announced Monday that it stripped of their police powers seven governors and 132 mayors from the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi.
The NAPOLCOM said that on June 8, it issued Resolution Nos. 2017-334 and 2017-335-A approving the withdrawal of the local executives’ deputation or power over the police based on the following grounds: (1) engaging in acts inimical to national security or which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign of the government; and (2) providing material support to criminal elements.
Among those who were stripped of their powers were Governor Esmael G. Mangudadatu and 28 Mayors in Maguindanao, Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and 37 Mayors in Lanao del Sur, Governor Imelda D.C. Quibranza-Dimaporo and 22 Mayors in Lanao del Norte, Governor Datu Pax S. Pakung Mangudadatu and 12 Mayors in Sultan Kudarat, Governor Abdusakar A. Tan II and 13 Mayors in Sulu, Governor Hadjiman Salliman and 10 Mayors in Basilan, Governor Nurbert Sahali and 9 Mayors in Tawi-tawi, and Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi of Cotabato City.
NAPOLCOM Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Rogelio T. Casurao said the deputation of the said local executives as NAPOLCOM representatives was suspended for their failure to impose measures to suppress terrorist acts and prevent lawless violence in their territories which is inimical to national security and poses serious threat to the lives and security of their constituents.
Casurao added that there were also reports that some local chief executives in Mindanao are involved in the illegal drug trade which is tantamount to providing support, in one way or another, to the Maute terrorist group or other criminal elements in their jurisdiction, an act which negates the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign in the country.
On May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of martial law in Mindanao as the recent attacks showed the capability and audacity of the terrorist group to sow terror and cause death and damage to property not only in Lanao del Sur but also in other parts of Mindanao.
“Under martial law, police power is exercised by the executive and in order to help streamline the efforts of the President in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, and premised on the existence of the aforementioned grounds, the NAPOLCOM ordered the removal and revocation of the duties, obligations, powers and prerogatives vested upon the seven governors and 132 Mayors in Mindanao,” Casurao explained.
Under Section 51 of Republic Act 6975, as amended by Section 64 of R.A. 8551, governors and mayors are automatically deputized as representatives of the NAPOLCOM in their respective jurisdiction.
As deputized agents of the Commission, local government executives can inspect police forces and units, conduct audit, and exercise other functions as may be authorized by the Commission.