NCRPO chief axes police official for vanishing during inspection
A Pasay police precinct commander’s weird vanishing act in the middle of an inspection being conducted by the top Metro Manila police chief on Monday morning led to the disappearance of his job, as well.
Chief Insp. Allan Estrada was immediately relieved as chief of the Pasay City Police Community Precinct (PCP) 1 after he locked the door to his office and escaped through a back door when Director Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, arrived at 3 a.m. for a surprise inspection.
In an interview with the Inquirer, Eleazar said he had to enter Estrada’s office through another entrance after his repeated knocks were met with silence.
Nowhere to be found
Inside, he found the missing police officer’s pair of shorts, bag, wallet and three guns — an M-16 rifle, a .45-caliber and 9mm pistol. Estrada, however, was nowhere to be found.
“The room was still cold,” said Eleazar, who added that he was left wondering what “compromising situation” may have prompted the PCP commander to escape.
“If he had just been asleep and woken up when I got there, there wouldn’t have been any problem” because he may not have been on duty, according to the NCRPO chief.
Persistent calls to Estrada, first from his deputy at the PCP, then from his superior, Pasay City police chief Senior Supt. Noel Flores, also went unanswered. At one point, Estrada even turned off his cell phone.
It was then that they knew “something [was] wrong,” according to Eleazar.
Estrada finally showed up around noon at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where he told Eleazar that he left because he was “scared of the media” who were covering the inspection.
“He was at the precinct at first, but he saw the media and became afraid,” Eleazar told the Inquirer after his meeting with the sacked precinct commander.
Eleazar explained that Estrada, who kept a bed in his office, was worried that he might be criticized for sleeping even though he was authorized to do so.
“Actually, it’s commendable that he was sleeping there; he doesn’t even go home,” Eleazar said.
He added that an initial background check of Estrada showed that he was a “good official” who was responsible and didn’t drink.
Still, Estrada would remain relieved pending an investigation because he abandoned his post, Eleazar said.
Senior Insp. Oscar Santos was designated by Flores as officer in charge of the police precinct located on the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex while Estrada undergoes an investigation.
Like his predecessor, Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde, Eleazar has been making unscheduled, post-midnight visits to various PCPs in Metro Manila to check on the alertness of duty policemen.
Eleazar noted that commanders typically rush to their PCPs whenever they learn that the regional police director was there for an inspection, making Estrada’s disappearance all the more dubious.
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