Police officer tags Gwen’s son in direct assault complaint
A police officer who was hit in the back of the head during a commotion with supporters of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia named her son Paolo as one of two attackers.
The scene, caught on TV cameras and replayed on GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak, took place at the entrance of the Capitol compound in the evening of Dec. 19, the first tense evening after the six-month suspension was served on Garcia.
The other alleged assailant was identified as Joey Cal, said to be a confidential agent of the National Bureau of Investigation 7.
Insp. Alvino Enguito of the Regional Public Safety Battalion, with two police officers as witnesses in the incident, went to the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday to file the complain for direct assault against a person in authority.
However, they were told to come back on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Assistant Prosecutor Dixon Fuentes told them that the filing of charges against suspects “at large” should be done between Monday to Friday only.
Fuentes said filing cases on Saturday only applies to arrested suspects.
Enguito, a police team leader, was supervising his men in dismantling three tents put up in front of the Capitol building. The police also secured the entrance gate near the governor’s office, letting visitors through only if they showed ID cards.
The video showed Paolo Codilla confronting policemen at the gate, demanding to know on whose authority they were acting. Several supporters crowded around the police officer. Another man wearing a cap reached out and hit Enguita in the nape, knocking off his police cap while berating the officer.
Cebu Daily News asked Codilla for his comment later, but he declined, saying he would let his sister, lawyer Christina Frasco respond.
Enguito, brought with him two witnesses, P01 Jessie Yap and P01 Paulino Borja, to the fiscal’s office.
Enguito, in an interview, said he was able to later identify Codilla and Cal based on TV news footage taken at the Capitol.
Enguito was supervising his men as they were pulling out from the Capitol when the governor’s supporters confronted them and demanded to know who ordered them to dismantle the tents.
The policemen – on orders to observe maximum tolerance – did not retaliate and left the Capitol compound.
Enguito said he decided to pursue the case after getting support from his superiors. The PNP, he added, will provide him with a lawyer.
Since Wednesday, security has been tightened at the Capitol compound with police trucks blocking the lone entrance gate.
Steel barriers were initially put up by the Capitol security force as supporters of Garcia arrived by bus to assemble at the open quadrangle.
By evening, the PNP acting on a directive from Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, removed the tents and chairs, and assigned policemen to keep watch overnight at the Capitol gates.
The presence of uniformed policemen and visitor checks prompted Rep. Pablo Garcia Jr. to complain that the Capitol compound looked like a “garrison” under a state of “Martial Law.” /with a report from Ador Vincent Mayol
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