EPD director, Pasay police chief relieved for cops’ extortion racket
MANILA, Philippines — The director of the Eastern Police District (EPD) and the chief of the Pasay City Police Station were relieved from their posts on Wednesday after some of their anti-drug officers were arrested for cases of robbery-extortion and kidnap-for-ransom.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major General Guillermo Eleazar said that EPD director Brigadier General Bernabe Balba and Pasay City Police Station commander Colonel Noel Flores were removed from their posts out of command responsibility.
On Tuesday night, Corporal Marlo Siblao Quibete stationed at the District Drug Enforcement Unit of the EPD was arrested in an entrapment operation in Pasig City for allegedly extorting cash from a woman, whose name was withheld due to security reasons, in exchange for dropping the cases filed against her live-in partner, who was arrested in an anti-drug operation.
On Wednesday, Corporal Anwar Encarnacion Nasser was also arrested in an entrapment operation at the Station Drug Enforcement Unit of the Pasay City Police Station for allegedly demanding P100,000 from another woman in exchange for the release of her live-in partner, who was also arrested over drugs.
Police said there were no records found in the police blotter or documentation for the supposed operation against the live-in partner who was arrested on Tuesday. No illegal drugs were also recovered from him.
Despite their relief ordered by Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Oscar Albayalde, Eleazar said that both Balba and Flores are good policemen.
“Gusto kong sabihin na [si] General Balba [at] Colonel Flores, they are good officers. Nakita ko ang kanilang dedication pero this is a policy. No less than the Chief PNP has given this instruction na kahit medyo sabihin nating mabigat sa atin ito pero we have to do this,” he said.
(I just want to say that General Balba ang Colonel Flores are good officers. I saw their dedication but this is a policy. No less than the Chief PNP has given this instruction that even if this is hard for us, we have to do this.)
He also stressed that the PNP is “dead serious” in its internal cleansing program and campaign against illegal drugs, as it is willing to relieve even high-ranking officials from their posts.
Brigadier General Christopher Tambungan, executive officer at PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations, will replace Balba as director of EPD, while Colonel Bernard Yang, operations chief at NCRPO, will replace Flores as commander of Pasay City Police, according to Eleazar.
Eleazar has earlier ordered the relief of all 15 personnel of the EPD-DDEU and the 27 officers of SDEU of the Pasay City Police Station, including both chiefs of the two units. /jpv
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