Leyte Samar Daily Express
NAVAL, Biliran – No less than the provincial governor of this province confirmed the rampant operation of the illegal numbers game locally known as “pik-3 or suwertres” proliferating in this province.
Governor Rogelio Espina expressed disappointment over the delay in the designation of a police provincial director who would directly supervise and operate against this illegal gambling game.
Espina said that this delay has been attributed to the widespread and alarming illegal number game in Biliran.
He narrated that after the controversial ambush incident against the group of Charlie Chong, the father of Rep. Glen Chong, which happened in June 7, 2008 in Naval town, Chief Supt. Abner Cabalquinto, PNP regional director, ordered the relief of then Biliran PNP provincial director Sr. Supt. Alfredo Sabornido and temporarily assigned PRO-8 Deputy Regional Director for Operations, Sr. Supt. Arcadio Lelis as Officer-in-Charge who was also tasked to head the investigation of the ambush incident.
Until now, according to Espina, despite his request before the office of Cabalquinto and the new PNP Chief Jesus Versoza seeking the immediate replacement of Lelis no action has been taken.
Espina also said that Lelis cannot function very well his duties and responsibilites as head of the PNP in the province considering that he is also holding a key position at the police regional office.
“This is really a great disappointment on my part as local chief executive in the province, papano naman natin matitigil ito na wala man lagi ang atin OIC, walang coordination sa akin di ko alam kung ano na ang nangyayari, walang update na binibigay sa akin ang PNP, wala akong control dito kasi this is a police matter, but I am hoping that General Cabalquinto will immediately act on my request,” Espina said.
Lelis, however, disagree with the statement of Gov. Espina, saying that his presence in Biliran has been very visible. In fact, the other day he said he just conducted an inspection to the different police stations as one of his regular routines.
“I am doing my Job ever since I was designated as OIC PNP provincial director in Biliran, frankly dili lang ko gusto maipit sa away sa politika… ang importante trabaho ang ato,” Lelis stressed.
The PNP regional headquarters has already recommended three names of senior police officers to the office of Gov. Espina for him to choose from namely, Sr. Supt. Pio Manito, chief of the PRO-8 operations division and Sr. Supt. Leonardo Cesneros, the current head of the Human Resource and Personnel Division, and he have already made his choice.
On his part, Cabalquinto explained that his office has been waiting for the result of the Senior Officer’s Placement and Promotion Board (SOPPB), which is being conducted at the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame.
The SOPPB is being tasked to undergo screening of recommended senior officers if they are qualified of such position.
Cabalquinto refused to give comment to the statement of Gov. Espina, but reassured that his request will be granted soonest.
A high-ranking PNP official, who refused to be named, said in a phone interview that Gov. Espina must be aware that the financier of the illegal gambling in the province happened to be his brother, but this accusation was immediately dismissed by Gov. Espina. (MIRIAM GARCIA DESACADA)