PNP clarifies relief of ‘overstaying’ Cebu cop chief


The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said the relief of Col. Engelbert Soriano as director of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) is part of the police force’s career advancement policy.

“His relief is pursuant to the provisions of PNP Memorandum Circular 2022-002, which states that Provincial Director, City Director, or COP (chief of police) shall be held by a PCOL for a continuous period of one year, extendible to a maximum of three months upon approval by the CPNP. This is for career advancement and to give greater opportunity to other qualified Third Level PCOs (Police Commissioned Officers). PCOL Soriano served as PD, CCPO for more than one year,” PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a message sent to reporters.

Fajardo said Col. Elmer Lim was designated as officer-in-charge of the Cebu PPO, replacing Soriano who was relieved from the post effective June 12.

Earlier reports said Soriano sided with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s Executive Order (EO) 16 which made the wearing of face masks in open and well-ventilated spaces in the province optional.

However, his superior, Police Regional Office-7 chief Brig. Gen. Roque Eduardo Vega sided with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ rule on the mandatory wearing of face masks.

On Monday, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. ordered all police officers to follow the national government’s rule enforcing mask mandates across the country.

He also advised police officers who will refuse to follow the national government’s directive to just resign from their posts.

Source: Philippines News Agency