Police exec Jamias: VP mocked my being a cop; PNP to file charges
“I thought I was face to face with a Vice President who supported the police, but it was the opposite. He mocked my being a policeman,” said Senior Supt. Elmer Jamias, deputy chief for administration of the Southern Police District.
“I saluted him but he didn’t return it right away. He jabbed at my nameplate and told me that my only mission was to remove him and [his] supporters from City Hall,” Jamias said.
The Philippine National Police on Wednesday said it would press charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his bodyguards for roughing up officers during a brawl at Makati City Hall that left several people injured on Monday night.
The fracas broke out after police tried to serve an Ombudsman order suspending Binay’s son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay.
Supporters of the mayor attacked policemen deployed to City Hall to keep order while the suspension order was being served on him.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered Mayor Binay’s suspension while undergoing investigation for the alleged irregularities in the construction of the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building, a case also allegedly involving the Vice President.
The mayor barricaded himself inside City Hall and his supporters blocked all entrances to the building to prevent police from serving the suspension order.
Attack on police
Video of the brawl showed the mayor’s supporters throwing chairs at a phalanx of policemen holding their line behind their shields.
Jamias, leader of the peace force, told a news conference that the Vice President, accompanied by bodyguards, came and confronted him, accusing him of harassing ordinary citizens even during his time at the Manila Police District.
Brawl on video
Director Carmelo Valmoria of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said he had formed a task force to investigate the attack on the policemen and recommend charges against the Vice President and his bodyguards.
Valmoria said the investigators would gather evidence, including video of the brawl from the media.
A second officer, Chief Insp. Gideon Ines, accused Binay of grabbing him by the collar and the Vice President’s bodyguards of striking him on the chest.
Ines said the Vice President grabbed him by the collar and pushed him about “20 meters from the front line.”
“After that, a commotion broke out and some of the [Vice President’s] security personnel hit me on my chest. He also threatened to remove us from the service,” Ines said.
Jamias said he would bring charges of oral defamation and assault on a person in authority against Binay.
Support for officers
Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP officer in charge, said the police leadership would support the officers.
“We will provide anything that would be needed by our men in pursuit of their grievances, including the services of lawyers,” Espina said.
Espina maintained that the policemen from the Regional Public Safety Battalion observed maximum tolerance even under attack by Mayor Binay’s supporters.
Chief Supt. Wilber Mayor, spokesman for the PNP, showed pictures and videos showing Binay accosting Ines and grabbing the officer by the collar.
“Vice President Binay pushed the shields of the policewomen and collared Ines while [Binay’s] security escort punched him in the stomach and chest,” Mayor said.
Binay’s security denied the policemen’s accusations.
Col. Ferdinand Fraginal, head of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) Security, said Monday night’s brawl was an “unfortunate event” but initial investigation by his office showed there was “no truth that the security personnel of the Vice President hurt some police officers during the incident.”
“The OVP security personnel acted with restraint and focused their efforts to ensure the security and safety of the Vice President,” Fraginal said.
He promised that his office would cooperate in any investigation of the incident.
Fraginal, however, was silent on the police reports that the Vice President was involved in the brawl.–With reports from Christine O. Avendaño and AFP
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