Cop probed for rescuing, freeing suspect
A Manila policeman is in trouble after he forcibly took custody of a woman arrested by mall guards for shoplifting on Wednesday and then released her without pressing charges.
SPO1 James Pozo of the Manila Police District (MPD) General Assignments Section identified the law enforcer as PO3 Arnel Olguerra, also a member of the MPD.
Olguerra was immediately placed under investigation on Thursday by MPD chief Senior Supt. Robert Po, after he was positively identified in a police lineup by SM Carriedo security guards.
Pozo said the guards accused Olguera of taking by force shoplifting suspect Richelle Nisola, 31, in front of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Sta. Cruz, Manila, and then releasing her without filing a case against her.
Nisola was taken to the hospital for a mandatory checkup following her arrest on Wednesday for stealing P5,000 worth of merchandise from the department store.
Mall security guard Cris Paulo Igma said that he and other guards were in a vehicle in front of the hospital when their path was blocked by a black sport utility vehicle (SUV) followed by a man on a motorcycle. Olguerra then alighted from the SUV and forcibly took Nisola from him and his companions.
Po said that should Olguerra be found guilty of obstruction of justice, he would also face an administrative case that could lead to his dismissal from the service.
He added that when Nisola was arrested by the mall guards, she identified herself as the wife of a policeman and presented a student identification card from the Philippine College of Criminology. Her claims were still being verified.
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