Two key police officials in NCR, cops relieved due to alleged extortion: PNP
Forty-two police personnel, including their commanders, were relieved from post after their colleagues were allegedly involved extortion, according to National Capital Region Police head Major General Guillermo Eleazar.
Two key officials ordered relieved by Police General Oscar Albayalde, the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, were Eastern Police District (EPD) director Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba and Pasay City police chief Col. Noel Flores.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame, Eleazar said operatives from Regional Special Operations Unit conducted a separate entrapment operation in Pasig City and Pasay City after receiving complaints of police officers extorting money from their victims.
In his anger over these incidents, Eleazar could not hide emotions and lashed out at a policeman.
Eleazar apologized after a video caught the NCRPO chief confronting an arrested cop in Marikina. But, he denied slapping and pulling his hair.
“I apologize if I have not controlled my temper and I showed my emotion,” said Eleazar.
“I did not slap him or hit his chest nor pull his hair. I just pulled his collar and raised his head and pointed at him. He deserved that,” he added.
Eleazar said he is ready to face the Commission on Human Rights if a case of abuse of authority will be filed against him.
On Tuesday Corporal Marlo Quibete of the District Drug Enforcement Unit of the Eastern Police District was arrested in an entrapment operation in Pasig City for allegedly extorting almost P100,000 from a woman in exchange for dropping cases filed against her live-in partner, who was apprehended in an anti-drug operation.
Eleazar said they found out from Quibete’s phone exchange of messages with his immediate commander and other police officers involved in the extortion.
“When we seized the cellphone of the corporal, we saw the text messages including his immediate commander who is involved too,” he said.
On Wednesday, the NCR Police Office and the PNP’s Counter-Intelligence Task Force arrested Police Corporal Anwar Encarnacion Nasser, assigned at the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of the Pasay City police.
Nasser was corralled for reported involvement in kidnap-for-ransom, while three fellow police officers, including the police unit’s chief, escaped.
“Early morning, the CITF coordinated with us in the entrapment operation we conducted after a walk-in complainant came,” said Eleazar.
According to the victim, the cops also demanded P100,000 for the release of his partner.
Operatives were able to rescue the victim’s partner they found out his arrest was not recorded in the police blotter and their supposed anti-drug operation was not documented.
Eleazar thanked the public for reporting these incidents.
“I would like to add that in EPD, all the 15 personnel including the chief of DDEU were relieved. In Pasay, all of the 27 personnel of the SDEU headed by OIC were relieved and as per instruction of PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde, instead in the region, they will be investigated here in Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit,” said Eleazar.
“Upon consultation and discussion with chief PNP, he has given an instruction to relieve the commanders who are directly accountable and responsible for the drug enforcement unit. In the case of DDEU, it’s the district director. In the case of SDEU, it’s the chief of police,” he added.
Eleazar said commanders in all levels must do everything they can to see to it that no drug enforcement unit personnel will abuse their job
The new EPD director is Police Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan, executive officer of the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations while Police Col. Bernard Yang, operations chief at NCRPO, will helm Pasay City.
“Gen. Balba and Col. Flores, they are good officers. I saw their dedication but this is a policy. One strike policy in the case of drug enforcement unit and no less than the PNP chief has given this instruction. Even though it’s hard for us but we have to do this,” said Eleazar.
He then warned those police officers who escaped to just go AWOL (absent without leave).
“I’m not saying that those who are assigned in these two units are all involved in these particular cases but... we have to see to it to show our people that we are really serious on this,” said Eleazar.
“This is a challenge, and we are not backing out. My only appeal to the public is don’t judge the whole organization regarding this,” he added.
Asked why these cops are doing these illegal activities, he said they are “greedy” for money.
Col. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesman, said a factor may be their “lack of personal values and weak character”.
“So part of the campaign on internal cleansing is the continuous training on values formation, counseling, Prayer and Bible studies, and leadership development of all cops,” Banac said in a text message to The Daily Manila Shimbun.
He assured the public these kind of personnel has no place in their ranks.
“We thank our people for their continued trust and support by reporting to us the misdeeds of erring personnel,” said Banac. Ella Dionisio/DMS