PNP to provide lawyer to policewoman allegedly assaulted by EPD chief
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will provide a lawyer to the policewoman allegedly assaulted verbally and physically by the director of the Eastern Police District (EPD) if she wishes to file a criminal case, Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Thursday.
“Yes, as I have said bibigyan natin siya ng (we will give her) legal assistance in the form of a counsel,” Albayalde said in a chance interview, when asked if the PNP will support Cpl. April Santiago, who was allegedly assaulted by EPD chief Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan.
JUST IN: Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan, Eastern Police District director, temporarily sacked from his post for verbal and physical abuse against a policewoman.FEATURED STORIES
WATCH: CCTV footage of the incident. 📷NCRPO PIO pic.twitter.com/ClAuISjcxG
— Consuelo Marquez (@CMarquezINQ) June 19, 2019
Tambungan allegedly struck Santiago in the head from the inside of a vehicle through an open window. He also rapidly opened the door of the vehicle while the policewoman was standing in front of it, hitting her in the process.
The confrontation, which happened after Santiago supposedly failed to help Tambungan in a task, was recorded by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera on May 12.
Albayalde said he has not yet watched the CCTV video, but described the incident “unfortunate.”
“Kahit anong galit mo, lalo na babae, lalo na tayo we are gender sensitive lalo na sa PNP, babae iyan, we never hurt women on that matter,” he said on Tambungan, whom he described as a “very strict person” and is “number one” in instilling discipline to his subordinates.
But instead of physically assaulting police officers who fail to obey orders, Albayalde said they can be charged administratively. “We don’t have to manhandle them,” the PNP chief said.
He added that if there is enough evidence, the PNP will pursue an administrative case against Tambungan even if Santiago decides not to file a criminal case.
The punishment that will be implemented against Tambungan will depend on the result of the investigation, said Albayalde.
Tambungan, who has only been EPD chief since March, has been temporarily relieved from his post pending probe on the incident, but Albayalde said the relief does not mean that Tambungan is guilty in the alleged assault.
“Kung talagang merong ebidensya para i-charge siya, then ‘yung pagkarelieve niya will be permanent,” the PNP chief said.
(If there is evidence to charge him, then his relief from post will be permanent.)
He also said that the internal cleansing being waged by the PNP to rid its ranks of scalawags will not exclude high-ranking officials. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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