Dela Rosa orders cop dismissed for ‘shabu’ use
The highest-ranking law enforcement officer arrested in the Philippine National Police campaign against illegal drugs under the Duterte administration has been ordered dismissed from the service.
In his Sept. 1 directive, PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa ordered the dismissal of Supt. Lito Cabamongan for conduct unbecoming of a police officer, seven months after his arrest while allegedly in the act of using “shabu” (crystal meth).
Fifteen other policemen from Caloocan City are also facing dismissal for allegedly ransacking an elderly woman’s home in the guise of searching for illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa directed the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management to enforce the removal from the service of Cabamongan, who was previously assigned with the PNP Crime Laboratory.
Cabamongan was arrested on March 30 while allegedly in a shabu session with a woman in a compound in Las Piñas City.
In the summary proceedings conducted by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS), Cabamongan claimed he was at the shanty in the Las Piñas compound “to conduct personal surveillance” on a subordinate whose alleged involvement in the drug trade had been tipped off to him.
Cabamongan tested positive for shabu but insisted he was not a user. To bolster his claim, he submitted the result of a different examination done on him by a private medical diagnostic center.
But the PNP-IAS hearing officer gave little credence to Cabamongan’s defense, saying he had no authority to conduct “personal surveillance” on a subordinate.
The officer added that the Las Piñas policemen who arrested Cabamongan “would not go to great lengths to make imaginary accusations against a high-ranking officer…if they are not motivated by noble intention and were diligently performing their sworn duties.”
Summary dismissal proceedings have also been initiated against the 15 Caloocan policemen, including their commander, assigned at a Tala detachment for allegedly ransacking the house of the elderly woman.
According to the PNP-IAS, Chief Insp. Timothy Aniway Jr. will undergo summary hearing for grave neglect of duty under the principle of command responsibility.
Aniway’s men faced administrative charges of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming police officers. They are Senior Insp. Warren Peralta, PO1 Ariel Furlo, PO1 Marvin Poblete, PO1 Sherwin Rivera, PO1 Jay Gabata, PO1 Sampang Sampurna II, PO1 Rene Llanto, PO1 Louie Serrano, PO1 Jaypee Talay, PO1 Ronelio Julaton, PO1 Jay-R Sabangan, PO1 Jaime Angelo Miguel, PO1 Jaime Natividad, and PO1 Joey Leaban.
The charges stemmed from a complaint by the 51-year-old woman who said that the policemen, accompanied by a still unidentified police asset and a boy, barged into her home on Sept. 7 looted her house of cash and valuables worth about P26,000.
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