MANILA, Philippines–A tracker team has been deployed to find a police officer allegedly involved in the Atimonan shooting incident following his repeated failure to report to his assigned unit in Camp Crame where he was placed under restrictive custody.
Police Senior Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, PNP-Public Information Office chief, said Police Superintendent Ramon Balauag, former chief of the Police Intelligence Branch of Quezon Police Provincial Office, hasn’t been reporting at the Administrative Resource Management Division (ARMD) of the Headquarters Support Service (HSS) since July 8.
HSS director, Police Chief Superintendent Samuel Yordan, has ordered an investigation of Balauag’s continued absence as basis for subsequent Summary Dismissal Proceedings against the officer as provided under the PNP regulations.
Yordan cited Section 53 of RA8551 that provides, “Any member or officer of the PNP who shall go on absence without official leave (AWOL) for a continuous period of 30 days or more shall be dismissed immediately from the service. His activities and whereabouts during the period shall be investigated and if found to have committed a crime, he shall be prosecuted accordingly.”
Sindac said a follow-up team to “locate and arrest Balauag and bring him back to PNP control” has been dispatched, Sindac said.
When the Atimonan incident happened in January, all involved PNP personnel were then reassigned to HSS under restrictive custody to ensure their availability to face further investigation.
“Balauag has since been detailed with the ARMD until he failed to report for duty on July 8, 2013, prompting his superiors to declare him on AWOL,” Sindac said, noting that the follow-up team didn’t find Balauag despite two notices sent to his last known address in Quezon City.
On August 5, Balauag failed to report to the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) for the scheduled hearing of his administrative case for grave misconduct, Sindac said.
Balauag’s lawyer has been duly informed of his client’s current status, he added.