Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña offers P50,000 for every criminal killed by PNP

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña offers P50,000 for every criminal killed by PNP

And for this administration we thought President Rodrigo Duterte is the only controversial person in government…. we were wrong…that’s if were gonna ask Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

The Mayor is again being in the limelight for one of his controversial program- he told the Cebu city policemen that for every criminal killed WHILE performing their law enforcement duty.

Sounds very familiar right? Along those lines the President Duterte also made a somewhat similar statement with respect to the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).  *
Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña (photo grabbed from Youtube)

“Do your duty, and if in the process you kill one thousand persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you. And if they try to impeach me, I will hurry the process and we will go out of the service together,” Duterte said during the ceremonies for Director General Roland de la Rosa’s assumption of command of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Some quarters are saying that this move by Osmeña is but a diluted copycat of what the President is doing in a grander scale.

In response to that insinuation, the Cebu Mayor said that : providing cash assistance to policemen who neutralized a criminal was his original idea, which he implemented even before President Duterte assumed office.

In a news conference last Monday, Osmeña said, “No, Mr. Duterte is following me. I gave P50,000 even before Mr. Duterte was sworn into office. Well, I can claim that he was following me. I really don’t like to put it that way but just to make it clear, ako ang nag-una (I did it first),” he said.

He further clarifies that the intent of the program  is for the  policemen to receive for every slain criminal, was not a reward but financial assistance to law enforcers who might face a string of cases. *

The cash assistance, Osmeña said, would provide “peace of mind” to the police.

Osmeña maintained that his program would not promote violence. “Promote violence? What kind of twisted logic is that? Why don’t we disarm all the policemen? When policemen carry firearms, you might be promoting violence, right?” he said.

The money will be taken from the city’s discretionary fund which amounts to P7.4 million this year and P7.8 million next year.

And if there is problem with spending the public funds? Osmeña said he could also use his own money to grant financial assistance to the police.

This pronouncement made the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Central Visayas cautioned the Mayor that his plan might lead to human rights abuses in the long run.

“CHR assures everybody of its continuous monitoring of the government’s compliance with human rights norms and standards pursuant to its treaty commitments,”  CHR regional director lawyer Arvin Odron said.

Cebu’s version of DDS?

In 2004, a group of elite policemen was chosen by the Mayor to comprise this so-called Hunters Team, which is tasked to go after known criminals.

From 2004 to August 2006, at least 168 suspected or convicted criminals were reported to have been shot dead by motorcycle-riding men in vigilante-style killings linked to what was widely believed as a death squad operating in Cebu City. *

The vigilante killings stopped in the late 2006 when the City was very busy preparing to be a host for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.

After being elected mayor again in May 2016, Mayor Osmeña announced that he would give financial assistance to policemen who could kill criminals while in the performance of their duty, particularly those involved in illegal drugs.

Osmeña had released a total of P625,000 in assistance to members of the PNP.

It was reported that among those who received the money were police officers who killed Cebu’s top drug lord, Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, and his bodyguard in Las Piñas City on June 17 last year; and Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria, the third most wanted drug lord in Central Visayas.

But Osmeña withdrew his offer of cash assistance in July 2016 after the Philippine National Police decided to reshuffle its police officers, including former Cebu City police director Benjamin Santos.

Talk about similarities with the incumbent President and then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a politician with political will.

All the controversial policies and programs done by the President made him what he is today- the President of the Republic of the Philippines that is backed and loved by majority of Filipinos wherever they may be. *

With this controversial program of Mayor Osmeña, are the Cebuanos backing him up?, can this just be a prelude to something bigger in the near future with respect to his political career?, the making of another Bisaya President perhaps? L
Let’s wait and see.
Report from Phil Daily Inquirer

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