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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) will begin the pre-charge investigation on a police officer who brought a detainee to a drinking spree last week.

 

S/Supt. Melvin Mongcal, ICPO director, said the pre-charge investigation will determine if PO1 Rodel Misada of Jaro police station will be subjected to summary dismissal proceedings.

 

Misada is under investigation for giving liquor to Jaro PNP detainees and bringing another detainee to Andok’s Restaurant outside the station to drink beer last May 12.

 

Misada was later found dead drunk in one of the restaurant’s tables with the detainee, who is facing a child abuse case, watching over him.

 

Misada’s superior officer, Insp. Julie Gabinera, has submitted a report on the incident which will become the basis of the pre-charge investigation.

 

If the pre-charge investigator finds probable cause, Misada could be charged with grave misconduct before the summary hearing officer of Police Regional Office (PRO-6).

 

Mongcal said they will also get Misada’s explanation on the incident during the pre-charge investigation.

 

Misada was investigated for allegedly mauling a police trainee more than a month ago.

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

IF you can’t follow orders, quit.

 

This is one advice that Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director, conveyed to Senior Insp. Virgilio Buena after the latter decried his relief from the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) because of sexual harassment charges.

 

A fuming Cuevas said Buena’s relief from the ICPO and transfer to the Iloilo Provincial Police Office is part of due process the PRO-6 is observing relative to the charges against him.

 

Buena is accused of fondling and inducing a female casual employee of the City government detailed at the LaPaz police station, charges which he denied.

 

Buena had earlier said that he was relieved abruptly based on unfounded accusations spreading via text messages. He also hit the culture of harassment within the ICPO and the PNP which demoralizes lower ranking cops.

 

The former ICPO operations officer even urged non-commissioned police officers to unite against this culture of harassment in the disorganized ICPO.

 

Cuevas shot back at Buena calling the latter an abusive officer for his involvement in numerous controversies.

 

The PRO-6 chief said the decision to remove Buena from ICPO is not his alone but a policy imposed by the PNP organization if one of its officers in facing charges or involved in controversies.

 

Cuevas said Buena should have been relieved by his superior officer, ICPO officer-in-charge, Supt. Eugenio Espejo.

 

“Everybody is covered by this policy and Buena knows that. It’s part of due process because his superior did not act immediately. If he wants due process, he should attend the hearings if a case is filed against him. If he cannot stand the policies of the PRO-6, he can leave the PNP,” Cuevas said.

 

Cuevas said it is normal to relieve police officers who are facing charges so they cannot influence the outcome of the investigation and also to protect the complainant.

 

“It would be hard for the complainant to pursue the case if the accused is keeping a watchful eye on the investigation,” he added.

 

TREÑAS: SHUT UP

 

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas told Buena to shut up and stop criticizing the ICPO and the PNP where he belongs.

 

“Whatever he is saying will not help his case. Ang maayo pa maghipos na lang siya (It would be better for him to shut up),” Treñas said.

 

Treñas said he is reviewing the program of assigning casual employees at police stations to do clerical works.

 

The mayor said he wanted policemen to concentrate on their law enforcement duties by patrolling the streets instead of staying in their stations to do office ordinary work.

 

S/Insp. Buena decries relief

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

A RANKING officer of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) urged his fellow cops to unite and resist harassments directed against them. 

 

This was the reaction of Senior Insp. Virgilio Buena after he was relieved as ICPO operations officer Tuesday and transferred to the Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO)

 

Buena is facing sexual harassment charges from Mika, an Iloilo City Hall casual employee detailed at the LaPaz police station. He had denied the charges saying he was just “joking” with the complainant.

 

Buena’s relief order was issued by the Police Regional Office (PRO-6) headed by Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas.

 

Buena said he felt bad over his relief because he was not afforded due process by his superior officers.

 

He added the charges against him were circulated via text messages but no formal complaint has been filed against him.

 

Buena even urged non-commissioned police officers (those with ranks Police Officer 1 to Senior Police Officer 4) to unite against harassments of police officers while discharging their duties.

 

Cuevas said transfer of police officers is a normal procedure in the PNP and should not be misinterpreted as a form of harassment.

 

Cuevas added Buena’s transfer to the IPPO is necessary since he is under investigation by the ICPO.

 

Supt. Eugenio Espejo, ICPO officer-in-charge, has tasked Chief Insp. Graciano Zapanta to probe the allegations against Buena.

 

Also under investigation is PO1 Joan Cepeda for allegedly dissuading Mika from suing Buena.

 

PULLOUT

 

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said he is contemplating the withdrawal of casual employees assigned to do clerical work and non-police duties at seven police stations.

 

Treñas also expressed disappointment with what happened at the La Paz police station involving Buena and a lady casual employee.

 

The city mayor said he will not tolerate unruly behavior by police officers as this will tarnish the PNP image.

 

Treñas said he is considering the recall of 12 casual employees detailed at district police stations to prevent similar incidents.

 

He said he approved the posting of casual employees at the police stations last month so that police officers can concentrate on peace and order operations.

 

“The idea was to have the policemen patrol the streets and add strong police visibility while the clerical work including driving of patrol vehicles will be done by civilian employees,” Treñas said.

 

PRO-6 orders probe on ranking cop

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Police Regional Office (PRO-6) has ordered the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) to conduct a full-blown investigation on the alleged sexual harassment charges leveled at Senior Insp. Virgilio Buena.

 

The order of Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, PRO-6 director, is in contrast to the plan of Supt. Eugenio Espejo, ICPO officer-in-charge, to ask the regional headquarters to conduct the probe on Buena to avoid perceptions of a “white wash.”

 

Cuevas said the ICPO should take the cudgels of investigating the case because it involves one of its officers.

 

The PRO-6 chief said the allegations against Buena are grave offenses which must be investigated.

 

Cuevas said Buena could be dismissed from service and lose his benefits if the charges against him are proven.

 

Buena, the ICPO operations division chief, is facing sexual harassment charges filed by a certain Mika, a City Hall casual employee detailed at the LaPaz police station.

 

Mika claimed Buena fondled her hair, chest and waist 9am of December 4 inside the office of Insp. Alexander Rosales, LaPaz police officer-in-charge.

 

Buena, in his conversation with Espejo over the weekend, admitted touching Mika’s hair and chest but denied squeezing her waist.

 

Buena also told Espejo that it was meant for a joke.

 

Cuevas also ordered the ICPO to investigate PO1 Joan Cepeda of the Women and Children’s Desk for allegedly trying to convince Mika not to sue Buena.

 

The Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS) is also conducting a parallel investigation on Cepeda, according to Senior Supt. Robert Page.

 

Page said Cepeda’s action is considered a serious offense.

 

“They should investigate the case and gather evidences for the filing of cases if there are complaints filed with their office,” Page said.

 

Buena was also involved in the alleged tampering of evidence following the drug-bust and shootout by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency against suspected drug peddler Noel “White” Dineros more than a year ago.

 

Buena allegedly retrieved Dineros’ cellphone and deleted text messages which might have proved vital to his case. The allegations against Buena, however, remain unresolved.   

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

A JOKE may turn out to be a serious problem for a ranking Iloilo City police official who is facing sexual harassment charges lodged by a non-uniformed personnel assigned at the LaPaz police station.

 

Alias Mika (not her real name) claimed that Senior Insp. Virgilio Buena, operations chief of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), touched her hair, chest and waist inside the office of Senior Insp. Alexander Rosales, LaPaz police officer-in-charge last week.

 

Mika, who is a casual employee hired by City Hall and assigned to do clerical jobs at the LaPaz PNP station, said Buena even asked her personal questions and offered to send her to school.

 

The complainant said she ran out of the office for fear that things will go out of hand.

 

Mika filed her complaint with the Women and Children’s Concern Desk even as her family prepares to lodge formal charges with the prosecutor.

 

Over the weekend, Supt. Eugenio Espejo, ICPO officer-in-charge, said Buena admitted touching Mika’s hair and mole in her chest but denied squeezing or fondling her waist.

 

“Buena also said that what he did was just a joke, lahug-lahug lang,” Espejo said.

 

The Daily Guardian tried to get Buena’s side but he cannot be reached.

 

In an interview over Aksyon Radyo, Mika said Buena did not mention that he was only joking when he made the alleged advances to her.

 

The complainant said they will pursue her case against Buena despite reported efforts by some quarters to amicably settle the incident.

 

Espejo said he will recommend that the Police Regional Office-6 will investigate Buena instead of the ICPO taking the cudgels “to avoid perceptions of a white wash.”

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

MORE than 20 members of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) are under investigation for absenteeism.

Senior Supt. Bartolome Tobias, ICPO director, said 26 police officers will be made to explain why they are absent from their patrol assignments and the Monday flag raising ceremonies.

Tobias said they discovered the absentee cops during their surprise inspection and accounting of police personnel deployed to community police assistance centers (Compact) and patrol assignments.

“Some of them are not in their posts. They go missing and leave their assignments behind, creating an impression that there are no cops manning the streets and public places,” Tobias said.

Tobias said Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, PNP regional director, ordered the strict accounting of police personnel following complaints of the lack of cops on the streets.

The ICPO chief they will make the 26 cops explain why they were absent from their assigned posts.

“Maybe some of them were sent on errands or encountered emergency situations. If they can justify their absence, they are safe. But if they cannot explain it substantially, then they will be suspended for neglect of duty,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tobias said Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. pledged to help the ICPO in maintaining peace and order in the city.

“There was no concrete commitment but Secretary Gonzalez said they will find solutions to our problems and needs,” Tobias said.

Gonzalez earlier said he has submitted a list of cops alleged involved in illegal drugs and other crimes to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The justice department chief said he will push for the transfer of erring cops to Mindanao which is torn by renewed conflict between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

WHO among the police officers in Iloilo City will be banished to war-torn Mindanao for alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade?

 

Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr. said he has a list of policemen allegedly protecting drug lords in the city. The names included in the list are likely candidates for a tour of duty in Mindanao, he said over Bombo Radyo-Iloilo yesterday.

 

Gonzalez said he will submit the list to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ronaldo Puno for possible reassignment of the purported drug lord coddlers.

 

Most of the police officers included in the list are Senior Police Officers 3, Gonzalez added.

 

The DOJ chief earlier said he will recommend to Puno and PNP Director General Avelino Razon the transfer of cops suspected to be in cahoots with illegal drug traders and other criminal syndicates.

 

Gonzalez said the prospect of facing Muslim rebels in Mindanao might convince erring cops to reform.

 

Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director, said Gonzalez has yet to coordinate the latter’s proposal to transfer some Iloilo City cops to Mindanao.

Cuevas said it is up to the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame to order the reassignment provided it is necessary. 

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