By Jess Malabanan
On his last visit to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Central Luzon, an emotional Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento burst into tears during an exit call ceremony held at the Multi-Purpose Hall in Camp Olivas on Friday.
“Tears rolled down Sarmiento’s cheeks while speaking before DILG family,” said a police officer who declined to be named as she is not allowed to speak to the media.
Sarmiento, who motored to Pampanga province for his last and final visit, praised the Central Luzon police in their campaign against criminals, while citing the peaceful and orderly recent political exercises.
Sarmiento also expressed thanks to the men and women of the DILG in Region 3 for supporting his plans and programs.
Sarmiento was appointed officer-in-charge of the DILG vice Mar Roxas, who ran in the presidential polls but lost to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. He will step down on July 1, the inauguration of Duterte.
Sarmiento, who said he is leaving the DILG family with a heavy heart, was welcomed by Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, director of the Central Luzon PNP, who led the arrival honors and a brief intermission.
Police reporters however were not allowed to interview Sarmiento for unknown reasons.
“We were advised by Sarmiento’s security aide not to allow reporters during the occasion,” said PO3 Jewelle Rivera of the Public Information Office (PIO).
Rivera earlier invited reporters to cover the event, but waited for more than three hours only to be disappointed as Sarmiento reportedly declined an ambush interview.
Various news organizations including local televisions stations have vowed to boycott the activity of Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) in its future activities.