PNP dismisses 3 cops in drug buy-bust operation
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police has fired three of 13 officers involved in the sale of confiscated drugs in Pampanga six years ago and will bring fresh charges against a fourth officer who has gotten away on a light penalty.
Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, the PNP officer in charge, has signed a dismissal order for Master Sergeants Rommel Vital and Donald Roque, and Cpl. Romeo Guerrero, all of whom were also involved in an irregular sting operation in Antipolo City on May 4.
To be charged again is Lt. Joven de Guzman, who, according to Gamboa, was “mistakenly” accused of a lesser offense for which he was suspended for 59 days.
“He will be charged again but this time for a graver offense and I saw in the records there is enough and substantial evidence. I think he will also be dismissed from the service,” Gamboa said on Monday.
The dismissed officers could appeal their punishment.
“We will abide [by] whatever will be the final outcome of the review by the Department of Justice regarding the Nov. 29, 2013, drug bust in Pampanga. Nonetheless, we have already dismissed four of the 13 cops involved in the Pampanga raid for another grave offense in Antipolo,” Gamboa said.
Involved in the Antipolo
operation were seven policemen, including the four from the Pampanga group who allegedly took P66,300 in cash from the house of a drug suspect.
The PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) had recommended the dismissal of six of the seven for grave misconduct, but recommended suspension for De Guzman, whom it had found liable only for less grave misconduct.
Gamboa said he had returned the IAS decision on De Guzman, ordering the service to bring heavier charges against the officer that would merit dismissal.
The other three officers dismissed over the Antipolo operation were Staff Sergeant Stephen Domingo and Patrolmen Eduardo Soriano II and Lester Velasco. —Jeannette I. Andrade
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