Espina supports cops allegedly assaulted by Binay
Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina backed the policemen allegedly assaulted and threatened by Vice President Jejomar Binay during a two-day standoff at the Makati City Hall.
“Anything that would be needed by our men in (seeking redress) for their grievances, we will support,” Espina said during a press conference at Camp Crame on Wednesday with some of the police officers involved in the standoff.
The officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police, who is set to retire on July 16, will provide legal service for the aggrieved police officers.
“I would like to state further that we would do everything. You saw the policemen, they never advanced, they just covered themselves,” Espina said.
Police Director Carmelo Valmoria, National Capital Region Police Office chief, said a special investigating task group (SITG) has been formed to probe the violent encounter of the police with the Vice President last Monday.
The investigation team will be led by Senior Superintendent Tomas Apolinario, the chief directorial staff of the Southern Police District. All incidents that transpired from June 29 to June 30, according to Valmoria, will be studied by the SITG to identify those who would be held accountable.
In the media briefing, police officials presented a detailed chronology of events, from the time Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary Austere Panadero asked the NCRPO to deploy sufficient number of civil disturbance management up to the tense encounter between the police and Binay supporters.
A footage from GMA news where supporters were seen throwing monobloc chairs relentlessly at policemen covering themselves with shields. Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, however, said the police provoked the supporters.
“We respect the stand of the Binays but those videos cannot lie,” Valmoria said.
Asked by Valmoria to recall his experience during the scuffle, Chief Inspector Gideon Ines said the Vice President “collared and pushed him more or less 20 meters away” from where he was standing and threatened to dismiss him from service.
As if it weren’t enough, Ines said Binay’s security personnel also struck him on the chest.
“Even policewomen in the frontline were pushed away by his (Binay) security personnel. As a result, they sustained injuries as seen in their medical certificate,” Ines said.
PO2 Gian Paul Tubon of SPD’s special response unit also filed an obstruction of justice and direct assault report against Binay when he grabbed a male supporter, whom Tubon arrested when he was heard saying “kukuha ako ng granada,” away from the police.
“It is the (policemen’s) restraint and observation of maximum tolerance and a very, very professional attitude that didn’t exacerbate any of the stirred-up feelings in that situation. I really laud all our men for exercising such restraint,” Espina added.
Before identifying the charges they would file against Binay, Valmoria said they would collate the evidence first and thoroughly study it “so as not to jeopardize the case.”
“Masaklap rin sa akin ang nangyari bilang father ng 31,000-strong NCRPO. Nevertheless, we are public servants. We will continue ensuring the safety and security of the people,” Valmoria said.
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Binay temporarily left his post as he awaits the decision of the Court of Appeals in his plea for a temporary restraining order against his second suspension order over the allegedly overpriced construction of P1.3-billion Makati City Science High School building.