Alleged police inaction on DOH facility in Iloilo probed

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ILOILO CITY – The Iloilo Police Provincial Office is investigating the alleged inaction of the San Joaquin, Iloilo Municipal Police Station over the land dispute where a health facility of the Department of Health (DOH) is located.

NO ENTRY.jpeg

A “NO Entry. Private Property” sign is seen at the original site of the San Joaquin Hospital in San Joaquin town, Iloilo province.  The land donor wants to revoke her donation and physically take over the government health facility.  (Tara Yap)

“We are looking into it,” said Police Col. Bayani Razalan, IPPO chief.

Razalan said that he has ordered the IPPO Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Unit to investigate the  San Joaquin MPS led by Police Capt. Felix Perez.

Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a former DOH Secretary, alleged that the San Joaquin MPS did not act on securing what was deemed as a takeover of a government health facility by Vilma Santacruz-Getuya, one of the land owners who wanted to revoke the deed of donation.

The Getuya family put up a “No Entry. Private Property” sign at the San Joaquin Hospital (SJH) last May. The SJH is an extension facility of the DOH Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) based in Iloilo City.

Getuya, mother of San Joaquin Vice Mayor Marvigrace Getuya-Lago, claimed that she is retaking the land due to  violations in the deed of donation when she declared the SJH as abandoned as it is no longer being used.

But the WVMC maintained it was not abandoned. Instead, the facility was temporarily vacated to pave way for redevelopment projects.

Last June 10, tension escalated when Getuya tried to block Garin from entering the facility as the congresswoman wanted to check if the X-ray machines and other medical equipment were still indeed inside. But no single uniformed police officer assigned at San Joaquin MPS was there during the incident.

Getuya told reporters that she was giving gifts, food, and alcoholic beverages to the San Joaquin MPS. 

Garin said these circumstances manifest that the San Joaquin MPS may be siding with Getuya.

Razalan maintained that the police are not siding with anyone and lawmen should remain neutral at all times.

Police Major Rolando Araño, IPPO spokesperson, said that the police cannot act on land disputes without any court order.