PNP, Robredo downplay CIDG woes
Its members may have figured in disputes with other units of the Philippine National Police (PNP), but the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has not gone rogue.
Officials led by Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo made this assertion over the weekend in the wake of two incidents that saw the premier investigative arm of the PNP in a squabble with other units over allegations of misconduct and lapses in coordination.
Robredo said the CIDG’s dispute with the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) over the arrest of two female estafa convicts on May 18 had “nothing to do with the leadership issue” between the PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome and CIDG chief Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr.
This was the secretary’s reply to the Inquirer in a text message when asked if the issues hounding the CIDG could be considered symptomatic of the perceived rift between Bartolome and Pagdilao.
Pagdilao was earlier rumored to be Bartolome’s biggest rival for the top PNP post until the latter’s appointment in September last year.
Meanwhile, PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the CIDG remained part of the “PNP family” and that its clashes with other police units were isolated cases.
“The CIDG is a national support unit, and these misunderstandings have also happened with other national support units, like the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force and the Highway Patrol Group,” he said.
Cerbo also dismissed observations that the CIDG was becoming isolated from the rest of the PNP organization as a result of the Bartolome-Pagdilao rivalry.
“In the eyes of the public, any accomplishment of the CIDG reflects well on the entire PNP… I don’t think there’s any conflict at all,” Cerbo said.
The CIDG recently traded accusations with the Quezon City police in connection with the arrest of Marilyn Ong and Edna Alfuerto, two women convicted of estafa by a Manila court last year.
The Quezon City police accused the CIDG men of intervening in an operation to arrest the two women, while the latter alleged that
QCPD members had tried to extort P20 million from the women and that the CIDG entered the picture in response to a kidnapping complaint.
Last month, Robredo ordered the relief of the entire CIDG team based in Batangas over allegations of kidnapping and extortion activities.
Members of the PNP Intelligence Group and other police units were then deployed to disarm and demobilize the team accused of abducting a female drug suspect.
The CIDG subsequently issued statements denying the allegations and insisting that their operation against Maria Christina Rodriguez, 25, was legitimate. Its in-house lawyer also represented the accused CIDG operatives in the case.
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