2 CDO cops in warrantless search of NGO office sacked
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Two police officers who conducted an illegal search at the office of non-government organization Balay Mindanaw last Wednesday were relieved from their posts.
Maj. Alexy Sonido, commander of the City Mobile Force Company, said he has ordered the relief of Master Sgt. Faith Michael Cajelo and Corporal Boyet Alupit.
They were ordered to submit a written explanation about the incident.
Alupit is the handler of a K9 dog, while Cajelo is the team leader who also drove the SWAT vehicle that day.
Immediately after being informed of the incident, Sonido said he summoned the two officers to his office.
“They have apologized for it and are ready to face any complaint,” Sonido disclosed.
“I cannot blame them (BMFI) for complaining. There is no excuse for such action,” he added.
On Wednesday, Cajelo and Alupit barged into the Balay Mindanaw Peace Center in Bulua village, where training sessions are conducted, and searched its premises, mainly focusing on the bags of young volunteers from Marawi City.
Both officers did not communicate with BMFI staff and trainees as they entered and left the premises.
BMFI staff told the Inquirer that two police officers were spotted outside the facility a day before and took photos.
Due to the incident, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez reminded law enforcement agents to observe protocol when entering civilian establishments.
“No private premises shall be entered without a search warrant duly issued by a competent Court,” the lawmaker said.
“The right against unreasonable search and seizure is guaranteed by the bill of rights under our Constitution. These PNP personnel will be criminally liable. This should not be repeated,” Rodriguez added.
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