Three Metro Manila policemen were arrested by fellow cops on Saturday for drinking in the middle of a sidestreet in Sampaloc, Manila, wearing their uniform and sidearms.
The arrested cops were identified as PO1 Wilson Samonte, 29, assigned with the regional public safety battalion (RPSB) of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO); PO1 Jordan Alcova, 23, also of the RPSB; and PO1 Ryan Ricaplaza, 32, of the RPSB.
All three policemen are rookies.
Director Leonardo Espina, NCRPO chief, ordered the three arrested, disarmed and charged.
“I don’t need policemen like them who are a disgrace to the service,” Espina said.
Aside from facing administrative cases that may lead to their dismissal from the service, the three rookies are facing charges for violation of the Omnibus Election Code for illegal possession of firearms, which entails a long prison term.
They were in “type B” uniform—meaning a T-shirt and police trousers—when they were arrested; so the guns they were carrying were considered illegal even if they are service firearms.
A type B uniform is considered a civilian attire.
May their arrest serve as a lesson to all policemen not to abuse their authority.
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Espina, a two-star police general, ordered the arrest of the three abusive policemen after I called him from my farm in Puerto Princesa City.
A concerned citizen had sent me a text message about the three cops after he was informed by his friends who live in the neighborhood where the cops were drinking in full public view.
I forwarded the text message to General Espina, who immediately acted on the complaint.
This, despite the fact that Espina was grieving the death of his mother, Carmen, who was at that time lying at the Loyola Memorial Homes on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.
Espina could just have dismissed my message or referred me to a subordinate because of his emotional state; but he personally acted on the complaint.
Now, that’s professionalism at its best.
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Carmen Espina, 76, was a great woman for raising a son like Leonardo.
She probably was a complete professional herself if she was working, or a dutiful mother if she was a housewife.
A mango tree doesn’t bear a santol fruit, as a Filipino saying goes.
Carmen was buried Monday.
My condolences to General Espina and his siblings.
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Remember the Masbate provincial prosecutor who was featured in this space for running away with the P2 million settlement from his former employer so he would not be able to sign the quit-claim in front of a labor arbiter?
Prosecutor Richard C. Lee’s action is a disgrace to the government prosecution service.
He himself is a disgrace to his office.
Lee has filed trumped-up criminal charges against officials of Fortune Medicare Inc. (FortuneCare), his former employer, in his own turf, Masbate.
He apparently wants to get back at FortuneCare, a Metro Manila-based company, which dismissed him when he was still not yet a government official.
The firm said Lee, its company lawyer, was dismissed for allegedly moonlighting and violating company rules.
Lee is using his position to harass his enemies.
Prosecutor-General Claro Arellano, if you can’t discipline Lee, you have no business being in that lofty position.