Compostela Valley police chief, 3 other cops sackedPhilippine Daily Inquirer
TAGUM CITY—The police chief of Compostela Valley and three other officers were relieved of their duties on Monday following the seizure by the National Bureau of Investigation of a cache of explosives and blasting materials in a house near the provincial police headquarters in Nabunturan town last week.
Senior Supt. Timoteo Pacleb, provincial police chief, is also being investigated by the Southern Mindanao police office for possible lapses in the wake of Friday’s raid on the house of a certain Bonifacio Cepe, according to Supt. Marcial Magistrado, the regional police spokesperson.
Pacleb was transferred to the Southern Mindanao police’s Holding and Administrative Unit (HAU) and has been replaced by his deputy, Supt. Rollen Dodoso Arino.
Magistrado said a team from the NBI, led by Deputy Director Virgilio Mendez, and the police, under Director Samuel Diciano, raided Cepe’s house in Purok 16 in Barangay Poblacion last Friday and seized “explosive ingredients” that included 221 boxes of blasting caps, six boxes of fuses, 50 25-kg sacks of ammonium nitrate, six boxes of dynamite sticks and other bomb-making materials.
The operation was covered by a search warrant issued by a Regional Trial Court in Quezon City. Cepe was arrested and is now in NBI custody in Davao City.
Officials who witnessed the raid said the haul was so massive that it couldn’t fit in one vehicle.
Magistrado, in a text message, said the house was just several meters from the provincial office and “apparently served as a warehouse for explosives.”
Pacleb, the provincial police chief, is being investigated for possible “lapses in command responsibility.”
The NBI said Cepe’s house was only 15 meters from the provincial police office and it was alarming that the explosives cache was undetected even by the provincial police office.
Aside from police chief Pacleb, also sacked were Supt. Roderico Roy Jr. and Senior Insp. Noel Sobretodo, of the Compostela Valley police’s intelligence section, and SPO1 Arnel Felicilda, of the provincial police’s firearms and explosives division.
Like Pacleb, they are being investigated at the HAU office in Davao City.
Magistrado said the seized explosive ingredients could be meant for “mining purposes.”
Small-scale miners in Compostela Valley are known to use dynamites in their operations. Frinston Lim, Inquirer Mindanao