CEBU CITY – The new chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) commenced his work on Good Friday by helping Mayor Edgardo Labella disperse market-goers who defied the social distancing rule at the Carbon Public Market here.
Col. Josefino Ligan assumed his post as CCPO officer-in-charge (OIC) after Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 (Central Visayas) Chief, Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, ordered on Thursday the relief of Col. Hector Grijaldo Jr. as acting city police chief after video footage from a closed-circuit television camera caught him slapping a junior officer who was not wearing his uniform, went viral on social media.
Grijaldo took the helm as acting chief last March 20, a day before the enhanced community quarantine took effect in this city.
On Friday morning, Ligan personally supervised the deployment of city police personnel to the Carbon Public Market to disperse crowds who were openly defying the policy on social distancing to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Labella got irked with the social media post of a photo of a throng of people buying ingredients for a local dish during Holy Week called “Binignit” without observing physical distancing despite the executive order mandating social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Ferro designated Ligan to lead the CCPO in overseeing 13 police stations here.
Grijaldo was transferred to the PRO-7 headquarters in Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. while facing investigation for misconduct.
Ligan is the outgoing chief of the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) of PRO-7.
Col. Engelbert Soriano, former chief of CCPO who was supposedly the immediate predecessor of Grijaldo, will replace Ligan at the RIDMD-7.
In a statement released on Thursday, Ferro said: “no one should be above the law.”
“All police officers, especially police commissioned officers, should comply with the rules and regulations of the Philippine National Police (PNP),” he said.
The members of the PNP should “maintain their composure and avoid situations that would put the organization in a bad light,” Ferro added. (PNA)