Slammed on Facebook, cop chief told to do job

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08:59 PM November 18th, 2012

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By: Joey A. Gabieta, November 18th, 2012 08:59 PM

TACLOBAN CITY—Do your work and don’t be sensitive.

This was the advice of Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria, of the police regional office in Eastern Visayas (PRO-8), to Supt. Rico Tome, Maasin City police chief, who invited seven Maasinhons to appear at the city police station after posting harsh comments on a Facebook page, criticizing the police for failing to stop four robberies that occurred in a span of 24 hours.

“He (Tome) should not be sensitive. Instead, he should work and confront the problem,” Soria told the Inquirer in a phone interview.

Instead of inviting the residents to explain why they criticized the police on their Facebook page, Soria said Tome should address their concerns immediately.

He added Tome could improve police visibility in the streets to deter the commission of crimes in Maasin.

Soria said that based on the article that came out in the Inquirer, he didn’t find the comments of the netizens a personal attack on Tome since these were complaints against the perceived inaction of the police.

Although he issued a slight admonition to Tome for what he had done, Soria said he would leave it to Senior Supt. Allan Cuevillas, police provincial director, to decide the action to take against Tome.

“I have issued a directive addressed to the provincial director to take action,” Soria said.

In an earlier interview, Tome said he didn’t mean to scare the seven Maasinhons when he asked them to appear at the city police station on Nov. 7 after posting harsh comments on Facebook.

“We would just like to remind them that what they did was not right. We will just give them a warning,” he said.

“It’s true that we have freedom of expression. Now that there’s Facebook, unlike before that it’s only radio and newspaper, they could just say defamatory remarks against us. You know the law could run after them,” he said.

But not one of those invited showed up at the Maasin City police station on Nov. 7. The Maasin police didn’t issue a second invite.

The invitation stemmed from the comments posted on the Facebook page called “You are from Southern Leyte if…” about the four break-ins on Nov. 2 and 3.

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