A Capitol official on Thursday revealed that Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero issued the letter of acceptance for the return trip to Bohol of embattled former Dauis police chief Lt. Bonifacio Tañola who has been accused of violating health protocols and traced to be patient zero in a COVID-19 outbreak in a police station.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDDRMO) chief Anthony Damalerio on Thursday said Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo approved the departure of Tañola but it was Montero who issued the letter of acceptance for his return trip.
Montero allegedly breached protocol in issuing the letter as Sumaylo should have been the one to approve Tañola’s entry into the province.
“Kung kinsa ang nag-issue sa imong pag-larga dapat maoy mo issue sa imong pagbalik sa Bohol, dapat Dauis g’yud unta,” he said.
Montero who herself is facing charges for violating health protocols issued letters of acceptance for Tañola and four police officers of Panglao including the town’s station commander.
According to Damalerio, Tañola’s name was not found in the manifesto of a Lite Ferry vessel which departed Ouano Port in Mandaue City for Tubigon on January 27.
The former police chief was supposed to be on that trip based on authorities’ initial probe.
“Atong gi check na pud ang tanang boat trips sa January 27 to 28 sa Lite Ferry kung naapil ba g’yud siya sa passengers’ list ani,” said Damalerio.
Based on the letter of acceptance issued by the local government unit of Panglao, Tañola was supposed to be picked up at the Tubigon port by a private vehicle and taken to a private quarantine facility named “Sanlec” in Panglao.
However, Damalerio said that Tañola was fetched by two policemen and taken to the Dauis Police Station.
“Mao pa ni ang atong gi trace kung private vehicle ba ni or patrol car ba ug kanus-a siya gisud didto sa ilang police station,” Damalerio said.
Criminal and administrative complaints are already being prepared against Tañola for allegedly skipping mandatory quarantine when he returned to Bohol from Cebu for a training.
The police official was traced to have been patient zero in a virus outbreak at the Dauis Police Station which was locked down starting last week after at least 20 of its personnel tested positive for COVID-19.
All of the COVID-stricken individuals were traced to have been close contacts of Tañola.
Previously, Montero was also at the center of a health protocol scandal which ended up in the filing of charges against the mayor.
Montero was accused of failing to secure authorization from the Office of the Governor and the Bohol Inter-Agency TF for her travel to Cebu and back to Bohol in September. She also allegedly failed to undergo quarantine upon her return to the province.
Her alleged failure to isolate herself prompted Governor Art Yap and First District Rep. Edgar Chatto to undergo self quarantine after she met them in a public gathering three days after her arrival in the province.
If found guilty of the charges, Montero could face imprisonment of up to one year, be slapped with a P5,000 fine or both. (R. Tutas)