Lieutenant Col. Elisio Betinol, Jr. who is now facing administrative charges for alleged harassment has been relieved of his post as commanding officer of the 702nd Bohol Community Defense Center of the Army Ready Reserve Command which is based in Camp Esteban Bernido in Tagbilaran City.
He was replaced by Major Frederick Marquez who said that he will set out to mend “damaged relationships” in the wake of a confrontation between the Tagbilaran City Police Station and Army soldiers which was allegedly instigated by Betinol.
“Kung naay mga damaged relationship tungod sa mga pangahitabo hinay-hinayon nato og repair na mabalik ang normal coordinations anto with other agencies dinhi sa atong lalawigan,” said Marquez.
According to Marquez, Betinol has been “pulled out” from the province for investigation.
“This is part of the due process, SOP na sa amo na once naa kay reklamo or kaso na ipasang-at against you, e-relieve ka sa imong katungdanan aron matubag nimo, ma clear nimo imong pangan og unsa g’yud ang tinuod na nahitabo,” he said.
Marquez who officially took over the 702nd Bohol Community Defense Center’s top post on April 1 arrived in Bohol from Cebu at dawn on the same day.
He was the operations officer of the 7th Regional Community Defense Group in Camp Rajah Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City prior to his reassignment in Bohol.
Marquez said that he also intends to lead his men in assisting other agencies in efforts against the spread of the coronavirus disease.
However, the Army officer is still on a mandatory 14-day quarantine after his arrival in the province which is placed under an enhanced community quarantine.
Betinol found himself in hot water after an alleged confrontation with the Tagbilaran City police on March 22.
The Army officer, accompanied by several soldiers, trooped to the Tagbilaran City Police Station and “furiously asked the whereabouts of the city chief of police,” as stated by Tagbilaran chief of police Lt. Col. Jimmy Aguisanda in the incident report he submitted to Bohol Provincial Police Office director Jonathan Cabal.
The confrontation reportedly stemmed from an earlier incident in which elements of the Tagbilaran Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit went to the Army’s office in Camp Bernido to respond to complaints of loud karaoke singing.
A four-man SWAT team reportedly approached and rendered a salute to Betinol as they requested to have the volume lowered.
In response to the request, Betinol was quoted as saying “Aw abi kog dakpon ko nimu dong kay akoa jud rapiduhon ng inyong patrol.”
Betinol later prepared a joint media statement saying there was a misinterpretation of what transpired, but the police refused to sign it. (A. Doydora)