PNP chief orders probe of Bulacan-Metro cops’ turf war
The country’s top cop has ordered an investigation into the ongoing rift between Bulacan and Metro Manila policemen over a planned drug buy-bust operation early this week.
Philippine National Police chief Director Gen. Ricardo Marquez said he instructed the Internal Affairs Service’s Inspector General to probe the incident in Baliuag, Bulacan.
“I’ve asked the Inspector General to investigate what really happened in that operation. Police should be open to probes to strengthen the idea that our operations are legitimate,” said the outgoing PNP chief.
Last Wednesday, a terse standoff took place between Metro Manila and Bulacan policemen.
Two alleged drug assets of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) who were carrying 10 kilos of “shabu” were accosted at a Bulacan police checkpoint.
But operatives from the NCRPO’s Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs (RAID) unit were taken into custody after claiming that the suspects were their tipsters, showing coordination documents as proof of the operation’s legitimacy.
The Central Luzon police regional office formed a special investigation committee right after the incident, meeting with their NCRPO counterparts last Wednesday.
It was decided that charges of illegal drug possession and obstruction of justice will be filed against the drug assets and 12 NCRPO policemen.
“I heard they were able to resolve the incident, their differences. The NCRPO was able to prove that their presence was legitimate. But last night, I was shocked to hear that the Central Luzon police regional office will be filing cases,” said Marquez.
He said the Inspector General’s investigation will determine the identity of the policemen who stepped beyond the line of regularity and the sanctions to be meted out to them.
Marquez said administrative charges may be filed against those found to be at fault. The probe will also look into preventing misunderstandings between police units in the future.
“I will also wait for the initial recommendation if they (policemen) need to be suspended and we will ground them to erase any shadow of doubt on the legitimacy of the operations,” he said.
He pointed out that the NCRPO’s RAID unit was next to the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group in terms of the volume of the illegal drugs seized in recent months.
Marquez said it was possible that a misunderstanding happened between the two police units due to the law enforcers’ zealousness in performing their jobs.
“Maybe because of the policemen’s zealousness, even in past incidents there are misunderstandings like this. But the investigation will clear this up for everybody’s benefit,” he explained.
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