‘Kotong’ cop clears junior partner, says QC chiefBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The recently dismissed Senior Police Officer 4 Jose de la Peña has cleared his junior patrol partner, PO2 Resty del Rosario, in the alleged extortion attempt on the son of Metro Manila’s top cop.
Quezon City Police District director Chief Superintendent Mario de la Vega said the older policeman had absolved his partner of any wrongdoing in the September 4 encounter with the 22-year-old son of National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina.
“He cleared Del Rosario before me,” the QCPD chief told reporters on Friday. “He said, ‘Sir, he had nothing to do with it. He was just following my instructions.’”
“He said Del Rosario only drove their patrol car and that Del Rosario had nothing to do with it. Del Rosario supposedly had no physical contact with the younger Espina,” added the official, who met De la Peña on Thursday.
De la Vega said the QCPD was still waiting for the younger Espina to file a formal complaint. Should the complaint also exonerate Del Rosario, the younger policeman would be allowed to return to his normal duties, he said.
De la Peña and Del Rosario of the QCPD Mobile Patrol Unit have been in hot water on allegations that they tried to extort money from Espina’s son for engaging in “phone sex” in his parked car in Quezon City on the night of September 4. The incident was disclosed to the press by the older Espina two days later, a day after his appointment as NCRPO chair.
Del Rosario was the first to surface afterwards, on September 6, while De la Peña showed up at his mother unit on Monday flanked by two lawyers and refused to answer media questions.
On Wednesday, Espina dismissed De la Peña and four other officers for a 2009 extortion case, this time involving the son of retired Army General Celso Castro.
Recounting his meeting with De la Peña on Thursday, the QCPD chief said the former policeman denied both allegations involving the sons of Espina and Castro and claimed that he was conducting “a legitimate operation, a legitimate patrol” on both occasions.