MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) urged a man on Wednesday to file formal charges against a police escort of Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II who allegedly embarrassed his father in a mall in Cainta, Rizal.
Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP public information office chief, said Police Officer 2 Brian Geollegue of the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) had been ordered to report back to Camp Crame after a Facebook user accused him of castigating his father inside the Sta. Lucia East shopping center.
Superintendent Elizabeth Velasquez, HPG spokesperson, said Geollegue had been administratively relieved from his post pending investigation of the incident.
“He was also given 10 days to explain his side on the accusation against him,” Velasquez said.
The Facebook user, who identified himself only as Baste Santos, shared the harrowing experience of his father on the famous social networking site and posted Geollegue’s photograph.
“The PNP and the office of Secretary Roxas will not condone acts like this, which is unbecoming of a police officer (if it indeed happened),” Sindac told reporters.
He admitted that the PNP leadership was prompted to act on Santos’ post after it had gone viral on Facebook.
As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Santos’ story was shared by 29,713 Facebook users.
Sindac, however, said they could not pursue a case against Geollegue if Santos would not come forward and file formal complaint against the police officer.
“It’s only the father or his son could file charges against (Geollegue) because they are the ones who accused our personnel of wrongdoing,” he said.
In his post, Santos said his father was walking inside the mall last June 20 when he accidentally bumped Geollegue, who was then in his police uniform.
Santos claimed the policeman scolded his father and told him in a loud voice, “Wag kang tatanga-tanga!” (Don’t be stupid. Watch your step!)
“My father was embarrassed as the incident was witnessed by several people,” he said in Filipino.
He said the policeman was a member of the HPG who left the mall aboard motorcycle with plate number SL 6486 and body number C1605. He said the police officer also wore a helmet with number 127939.
Upon checking the information that Santos provided in his post, Sindac said the PNP was able to identify the policeman as Geollegue.
“As a law enforcer, he apparently forgot (his duty) to protect the people. He was braggart, disrespectful and arrogant!” Santos said.
Geollegue appeared at the HPG headquarters on Wednesday and vehemently denied that he insulted Santos’ father.
He said he briefly entered the mall to use the men’s room and take shelter as it was raining hard at the time.
While he admitted that a man had accidentally hit him, he said the man was “apologetic maybe because he saw me in uniform.”
“I beg for your forgiveness. Please don’t think that the whole police organization is bad,” Geollegue said.