City Hall security under a cloud

QUESTIONING the security measures implemented at the Iloilo City Hall is beyond Senior Superintendent Martin Defensor Jr., the director of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).

Instead, Defensor wants ICPO personnel deployed to the Iloilo City Hall to tighten their security.

The security protocol at the City Hall came into light after two civilian bodyguards of Iloilo City Plaridel Nava allegedly yielded three caliber .45 pistols and a hand grenade inside the latter’s office.

The unlicensed firearms and grenade were taken from bothers Julius and Roy delos Reyes, who were tagged in a Jan. 4 ambush in Mandurriao that killed two persons, including the cousin of Councilor Nava.

“It’s familiarity. For several years, they’ve been going in and out of the City Hall. Maybe, security personnel just let them pass through because they were known (as the councilor’s personal security personnel),” Defensor said.

But Defensor said he would not formally question the security measures at the City Hall since he doesn’t want to put the blame on the guards stationed in the entry areas.

“I wouldn’t complain. Our focus now is on the case. I just want our own personnel to do their part in tightening the security measures in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, Felix Muchada, a retired police officer who now serves as Iloilo City Hall’s security officer, clarified that they implement tight security measures on all persons entering the building.

But he claimed that during the delos Reyes brothers’ arrest on Jan. 7, a lot of individuals entered the premises and the security team could not have checked all of them.

But following what happened, Muchada said he is open to any investigation on the City Hall’s security personnel. He assured that sanctions would be imposed if there are lapses.

Julius and Roy delos Reyes were tagged in the ambush that led to death of Mercedes “Ging-Ging” Nava and her companion, Erwin Fontillas.

Mercedes, a cousin of Councilor Nava, had been vocal in going against the latter.

But Nava said that his rift would Mercedes is too petty for him to order her death.

He also maintained the innocence of his close-in security personnel.

Nava accused police personnel of planting the guns and grenade on the delos Reyes brothers, who are now incarcerated at the Mandurriao Police Station lock-up cell.