2 police execs sacked over wrong reports on NPA attacks
LEGAZPI CITY — The police chiefs of two towns in Sorsogon province have been relieved of their duties for erroneous reports on attacks by communist rebels.
Chief Insp. Arnel Geronga, police director of Magallanes town, and Chief Insp. Ariel Blanco, Gubat town police director, were sacked over an erroneous report on the civilian victim of a New People’s Army (NPA) attack on police stations in the province, according to Senior Supt. Marlon Tejada, provincial police chief.
Tejada, in a phone interview on Thursday, said Geronga committed a blunder by issuing a report that a civilian had been killed in the attacks.
“The civilian, though hit by a stray bullet, has survived after he was treated at a hospital,” Tejada said.
The civilian was wounded along with three police officers, he added.
The wounded civilian, identified only as Luigi, was described as a “mentally ill person” by Tejada.
He said Geronga’s mistake “caused a confusion, putting the police command in a bad light.”
“My standing order is to always be accurate in reporting,” Tejada said.
He said the Gubat police chief was also sacked for inaccurate reporting by not validating a report on the rebel attack on a police detachment in his area.
Tejada said Blanco failed to follow police reporting standards by issuing an invalidated and unconfirmed report about the attack, which actually did not happen.
“Before issuing the report, he should have checked with other units if, indeed, there was an attack,” Tejada said.
He said Blanco submitted a sketchy report which said rebels also fired at a police detachment in Gubat town, also on Monday. —WITH A REPORT FROM STEPHANIE FLORIDA
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