Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza objected to the relief of fire marshals Anderson Comar and Victor Vibares.
Radaza said she will ask the BFP hierarchy to explain.
The Lapu-Lapu City mayor said she was surprised to learn of Vibares’s relief from Fire Supt. Oscar Mayol, who paid a courtesy call on her office yesterday.
Vibares was relieved from his post effective last March 17.
Senior Fire Supt. Ma. Luisa Hadjula, regional BFP-7 director, said the relief of Vibares and Comar was done to pave the way for an impartial investigation on two fires that struck barangay Pardo in Cebu City and barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City.
Three people died in the Pardo fire last March 10 while two people died in the fire that hit barangay Pajac two days later.
Hadjula said the two cases are pending in the Ombudsman-Visayas.
She said the two officials are being investigated by the Department of Interior and Local Governments in Central Visayas (DILG-7).
Mayol is supposed to take over from Vibares.
But Radaza said she wasn’t notified by the BFP central office about the change and she finds no reason to relieve Vibares.
She said she went to the fire victims, who voiced appreciation over the quick response of the Lapu-Lapu City fire district.
“I still have to ask from the BFP-7 why the relief was so sudden and without even informing me,” Radaza said.
Hadjula said Comar and Vibares will still be allowed to return to their posts if the investigation exonerates them of blame.
In Cebu City, Rama said the BFP should prioritize the acquisition of fire fighting equipment and the repair of substations instead of working on Comar’s relief.
Like Radaza, Rama said he should have been consulted by the BFP-7 on this. “Comar isn’t perfect but nobody is. What’s the priority, removing people or representing the city before the BPF headquarters in order to repair fire trucks and fire substations?” Rama said.
Rama said he wanted funding for the repair of fire equipment included in the next supplemental budget.
He said he proposed a P70-million appropriation to buy new fire trucks in his 2012 budget but this was shot down by the Cebu City Council.
The mayor said he wanted the BFP to come up with a comparative study on the city’s fire stations and firefighting capability.
“I want to show that while the city’s population grew, the number of fire trucks remained small,” Rama said. /Chief of Re porters Doris C. Bongcac and Correspondents Fe Marie Dumaboc and Norman V. Mendoza