Labella wants Banzon as CCPO top cop

CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants P/Col. Arnel Banzon to lead the city police force.

The local chief executive sent a letter—dated Nov. 4, 2019—to Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Valeriano de Leon, suggesting to the latter to appoint Banzon as the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) chief.

P/Col. Giovanie Maines was appointed as the CCPO officer-in-charge (OIC) following the relief of then CCPO director P/Col. Gemma Vinluan, who was transferred to the regional headquarters in the wake of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro’s murder last Oct. 25.

Navarro was ambushed while he was in the custody of Abellana Police Station, which is under the CCPO. The Abellana police officers were transporting Navarro to the prosecutor’s office for the filing of charges against him for hurting a masseur when unidentified gunmen blocked the convoy and murdered the mayor.

Labella asked de Leon to name Banzon as OIC “pending the appointment of a city director.”

“I am positive that with his qualifications and experience, he will be of great service to the City of Cebu,” read a portion of Labella’s letter.

Banzon became a full-fledged colonel three months ago. He is the current chief of the PRO 7-Regional Operation and Plans Division.

Before his stint at the PRO 7, Banzon had served the CCPO. Among the units he led was the Special Weapons and Tactics.

He was later named as the CCPO’S deputy director for operations under then CCPO director Melvin Ramon Buenafe, who is now an assistant secretary assigned at the Bureau of Corrections. Vice Mayor Michael Rama was the mayor at the time.

Promotion

While Labella has yet to receive de Leon’s reply, 553 police officers took oath on Monday, Nov. 25, for their promotion at the regional headquarters in Cebu City.

CCPO information officer P/Lt. Col. Clark Arriola, as one of the promotees, promised before de Leon to fulfill his duties.

Six commissioned officers became lieutenant colonels; nine, majors; 10, captains; and seven, lieutenants. The rest were non-commissioned officers.

Of the nearly a thousand promoted personnel nationwide, 70 percent came from Central Visayas. (PAC, AYB, KAL)