The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) ordered the withdrawal of the deputation of seven (7) Governors and 132 Mayors in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and in the city of Cotabato.
The NAPOLCOM issued on June 8, 2017 Resolution Nos. 2017-334 and 2017-335-A approving the withdrawal of their deputation based on the following grounds: (1) engaging in acts inimical to national security or which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign of the government; and (2) providing material support to criminal elements. The other two grounds for the suspension or withdrawal of the deputation of a local government executive under Section 65 of Republic Act No. 8551 are frequent unauthorized absences and abuse of authority.
The Local Government Executives whose deputation powers were removed are as follows: Governor Esmael G. Mangudadatu and 28 Mayors in Maguindanao; Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr. and 37 Mayors in Lanao del Sur; Governor Imelda D.C. Quibranza-Dimaporo and 22 Mayors in Lanao del Norte; Governor Datu Pax S. Pakung Mangudadatu and 12 Mayors in Sultan Kudarat; Governor Abdusakar A. Tan II and 13 Mayors in Sulu; Governor Hadjiman Salliman and 10 Mayors in Basilan; Governor Nurbert Sahali and 9 Mayors in Tawi-tawi; and Mayor Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi of Cotabato City.
NAPOLCOM Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Atty. Rogelio T. Casurao said that their deputation as NAPOLCOM representatives in their respective areas of jurisdiction was suspended for their failure to impose measures to suppress terroristic acts and prevent lawless violence in their territories which is inimical to national security and poses serious threat to the lives and security of their constituents.
There were also reports of local chief executives in Mindanao being involved in the illegal drug trade which is tantamount to providing support, in one way or another, to the Maute terrorist group or other criminal elements in their jurisdiction, an act which negates the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign in the country.
On May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of martial law in Mindanao as the recent attacks showed the capability and audacity of the terrorist group to sow terror and cause death and damage to property not only in Lanao del Sur but also in other parts of Mindanao.
“Under martial law, police power is exercised by the executive and in order to help streamline the efforts of the President in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, and premised on the existence of the aforementioned grounds, the NAPOLCOM ordered the removal and revocation of the duties, obligations, powers and prerogatives vested upon the seven (7) Governors and 132 Mayors in Mindanao,” Atty. Casurao said.
Under Section 51 of R.A. 6975, as amended by Section 64 of R.A. 8551, governors and mayors are automatically deputized as representatives of the NAPOLCOM in their respective jurisdiction. As deputized agents of the Commission, local government executives can inspect police forces and units, conduct audit, and exercise other functions as may be authorized by the Commission.