DOJ chides PNP for alleged lack of coordination in Las Piñas Pogo raid
MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Crime Group of Philippine National Police (PNP-ACG) raided a compound in Las Piñas last June against a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) without coordinating with Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) of Department of Justice (DOJ).
This remark came from DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla in a press conference on Monday.
He was referring to the operation staged by law enforcers following reports the POGO was involved in human trafficking and other illegal activities.
Remulla likened the police operation to a “fishing expedition.”
“Hindi po ito nasunod… Walang specific acts. Walang specific grounds para hulihin ang tao. Walang specific complainants. Basta raid lang. Pumasok lang sila. Parang nangingisda,” he observed.
[This [agreement] was not followed… No specific acts. No specific grounds to arrest the persons. No specific complaints. Just a raid. They just entered as if they were fishing.)
As a result, five Chinese suspects nabbed in Las Piñas have been released for further preliminary investigation, the secretary disclosed.
He said, this development would not have happened if PNP only followed the agreement that DOJ and PNP would coordinate and follow a case build-up before carrying out a raid.
“Para pag tayo ay nag-raid at tayo ay manghuli, ang lahat ng ating huhulihin ay pihadong may ebidensya laban sa kanila,” Remulla told reporters.
(So that when we conduct a raid and effect arrests, all those we will apprehend, we will most likely already have evidence against them.)
More than 2,000 individuals were purportedly rescued by police in the operation.
Remulla said Filipinos seen in the compound were allowed to go home, while foreigners went through immigration procedures.
“Ang ugali kasi ng kapulisan natin, huli ng huli kahit walang kaso. ‘Pag walang mailagay na kaso, maglalagay ng ebidensya. Kaya ngayon, hindi na nila magawa.
(The attitude of our police force is that they keep on arresting even in the absence of charges. When they can’t establish a case, they just resort to planting evidence.)
“Hindi kami papayag dito. Hindi pwede sa DOJ. Hindi kami papayag diyan. Kaya ngayon, nagkaka-problema sila.”
(We will not allow this. This is not allowed by DOJ. We won’t allow that. So this time, they are having problems.)
Remulla said DOJ officials will be talking with PNP Chief to remedy the situation.
When asked for their reaction, PNP-ACG spokesperson Lt. Michelle Sabino, in a text message to INQUIRER.net, said: “Chief PIO and PNP Spokesperson will answer all questions pertaining to operations in Las Piñas.” with a report from Faith Argosino