PNP back in drug war? See what 18 NPD cops did
More policemen in the Camanava area may have their careers cut short due to questionable antidrug operations—just when President Duterte is planning to put the Philippine National Police (PNP) back as the lead agency in the war on narcotics.
The PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) has recommended the dismissal of 18 members of the Northern Police District (NPD) for grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of an officer.
IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said the recommendation covers 11 Malabon City policemen linked to the May 20 kidnapping of a woman from whom they extorted P2 million; and seven officers under the Navotas City police who seized and tortured a male drug suspect.
The Malabon policemen were identified as SPO2 Jerry de la Torre, SPO2 Ricky Pelicano, PO3 Bernardino Pacoma, PO3 Michael Angelo Solomon, PO3 Luis Hizon Jr., PO2 Michael Huerto, PO2 Wilson Sanchez, PO1 Frances Camua, PO1 Joselito Ereno, PO1 Ricky Lamsen and PO1 Jovito Roque Jr.
Complaint vs Malabon cops
In a resolution dated Nov. 20, the IAS gave no credence to the policemen’s defense that they arrested Norma Adrales in a legitimate antidrug operation in Barangay Potrero on May 22.
According to her complaint, however, they abducted her two days earlier in Veterans Village, Quezon City, after she visited her boyfriend, a car theft convict, at New Bilibid Prison. She was then brought to the Malabon police station, where the policemen took her van and other belongings and made it appear that she was arrested in a drug bust in that city.
She said the officers demanded that she produce a kilo of “shabu” in exchange for her release. They allegedly forced her to transact with a drug dealer in a hotel in Novaliches to get the drugs.
However, after getting the shabu, she was still asked to cough up P2 million, which she managed to reduce to P1 million after some haggling.
Four of the 11 policemen involved were later caught in an entrapment operation by the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF).
The IAS pointed out that the policemen were not even part of the city’s drug enforcement unit, yet they had falsified documents, including medical certificates, to plant evidence against drug suspects like Adrales.
A separate IAS resolution on the same date ruled against a group of Navotas policemen, namely PO3 Kenneth Loria, PO2 Jonnel Barocaboc, PO2 Jessrald Pacinio, PO1 Mark Ryan Mones, PO1 Christian Paul Bondoc, PO1 Emmanuel Benedict Alojacin and PO1 Jack Rennert Etcubanas.
They were marked for dismissal over the Aug. 11 arrest of drug suspect Mark Echapare in Barangay Longos.
The IAS said they seized Echapare and, using his own cell phone, called his mother to demand P100,000 so that the drug charges against her son would be dropped. Echapare was illegally detained and even tortured to give a confession, acts that were considered “a serious constitutional breach,” it added.
The officers also prepared a spot report on Echapare’s arrest but did not put it in the blotter.
They surrendered to their chief, Senior Supt. Allen Ocden, after Echapare’s parents lodged a complaint in the PNP-CITF.
The IAS resolutions have been submitted to PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa for his approval, Triambulo said.
Once their dismissal is approved by the PNP chief, the concerned officers can still make an appeal before the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management within 10 days after receiving the order. They can also elevate their case to the National Police Commission.
Earlier this week, the PNP-IAS also pushed for the removal of 13 Caloocan policemen over the killing of teenage robbery suspect Carl Angelo Arnaiz and the complaint of a woman who cried robbery after a group of officers searched her house for drugs without a warrant.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.