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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A POLICE officer slapped a P5-million civil suit against Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. for allegedly humiliating and oppressing him.

SPO1 Rex delos Reyes of Igbaras police station said he wants Gonzalez to pay moral damages for accusing him coddling goons and engaging in illegal activities.

Delos Reyes had also filed an administrative case against Gonzalez before the Ombudsman-Visayas for libel, grave misconduct and oppression.

The cop said he sued Gonzalez for harassing him since last year. Delos Reyes said his agony began when the justice department chief saw him talking to former Iloilo City Prosecutor Efrain Baldago at the new Iloilo airport.

Gonzalez ordered Baldago’s relief as city prosecutor early this year for alleged graft and corruption which the latter denied.

Delos Reyes also blamed Gonzalez for his transfer from the Regional Mobile Group to Igbaras for alleged links to criminal syndicates. He also rapped Gonzalez for having him transferred to Mindanao also for purported criminal activities.

The libel suit was based on Gonzalez’s pronouncement over a radio interview accusing delos Reyes of maintaining armed goons. Gonzalez also said in the same interview that delos Reyes was not reporting to Igbaras but was always seen in Iloilo City.

Gonzalez had also accused delos Reyes of lobbing grenades at the cars of Chief Insp. Musa Amiyong, Iloilo City Police Office intelligence chief, and former punong barangay Ramonito Gratis.

The cop said the numerous citations he received – Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Medalya ng Paglilingkod sa Visayas and Medalya ng Mabuting Asal – prove that he is no scalawag in uniform.

Delos Reyes is one of the 81 cops who were ordered to undergo retraining at the Regional Mobile Group headquarters in Victorias City, Negros Occidental. But he did not show up at the training center because he is sick.

Atty. Plaridel Nava, delos Reyes’ counsel, said they might also sue Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director, for being Gonzalez’s “stooge.”

Nava, who is also Baldago’s lawyer, said they will sue Cuevas for grave abuse of authority if they find enough proof that the region’s top cop allowed himself to carry out Gonzalez’s wishes.

Nava said his client did not proceed to Victorias City because he did not receive any order from the regional command or his station.

The lawyer said delos Reyes does not need to undergo retraining.

Cuevas denied Nava’s accusation saying it was the PNP national command that ordered the retraining, not Gonzalez.

Cuevas said the retraining aims to improve the performance of police officers in Western Visayas.

“If they don’t want to serve as police officers, they can always resign because we have many replacements waiting for vacancy,” Cuevas said.

November 2019
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