Cops caught sleeping blame it on the rainBy Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The “bed weather” apparently made them do it.
The four Pasay City police officers who were caught sleeping while on duty at their station in the wee hours of Thursday claimed that prior to dozing off, they had already spent hours patrolling the streets and were planning to get out again once the rains have stopped.
But the district command apparently didn’t buy this excuse as it relieved the officers of their post on Friday.
Supt. Samuel Turla, officer in charge of the Pasay City police, identified the officers as SPO1 Leoncio Munoz, PO3 El Heidi Bulaclac, PO2 Romy de la Cruz and PO2 Joshua Pili, all detailed at Barangay Merville substation.
Also relieved was their precinct commander, Chief Insp. Reynaldo Paculan, “for his failure to directly supervise and exercise control over the police station,” Southern Police District director Chief Supt. Benito Estipona said.
A TV news crew earlier caught the four officers on video while they were asleep inside the station around 2 a.m. Thursday. Their shift was supposed to be from 12 midnight to 8 a.m.
When asked to explain, the four officers said they had just patrolled the streets together and “decided to take a rest until 4 a.m., while it was raining,” according to Turla.
“The people in the barangay hall (near the station) also said the same thing. They said the policemen had just patrolled the streets and were back at the station when they decided to doze off,” Turla said.
“But the rains could not be cited as an excuse here,” he said, especially now that the National Capital Regional Police Office under Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina had ordered the working hours of policemen reduced from 12 to eight.
“(The new work schedule) was implemented so that all policemen would be out patrolling in the streets. If earlier they were allowed to have some downtime because they were working 12 hours a day, now they have no excuse,” Turla said.
Estipona added: “You don’t expect criminals to sleep and wait it out while there’s a downpour.” They actually take advantage of the heavy rains and the noise to break into homes and business establishments, he said.
The four policemen are facing administrative complaints. The maximum penalty for sleeping on the job, according to Estipona, is a 30-day suspension without pay.
“They could also lose their holiday bonuses,” he said. “This should serve as a lesson for all our policemen.”