15 Pasig City antidrug cops axed for yielding to temptation
Citing the team leader’s poor leadership and his members’ inability to resist temptation, the Pasig police chief, Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra Jr., relieved 15 of the 24 members of the city’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU).
The overhaul happened six months after Yebra also sacked the previous DEU team for conducting an illegal search and robbing the house owners.
In an interview on Monday, Yebra said he recently relieved Pasig police DEU chief Senior Insp. Joerell Calipusan for lack of good leadership, along with two investigators and 12 team members, mostly with the rank of police officer 1. Most of those retained were administrative staffers.
According to Yebra, Calipusan failed to manage his people and the budget given to the unit, specifically in terms of maximizing the funding for antidrug operations.
The team also did not preserve and collect evidence, including cell phones which were not listed as confiscated evidence. Instead, these were kept inside the DEU office as the “officers [claimed] they were waiting for evidence coming from the kept cell phones.”
“The devil is really influential. These are filtered police officers already. But there are still temptations,” Yebra added.
He also pointed to internal conflicts within the team with some members getting into verbal and physical fights with each other.
The relieved DEU members have been placed on floating status and ordered to report to the Eastern Police District headquarters. The current Pasig police assistant for operations, Senior Supt. Hendrix Mangaldan, will oversee the DEU in the meantime.
Yebra said he had picked policemen from the intelligence unit and different police community precincts to replace the relieved members.
According to him, the group had accomplishments in terms of arrests but he needed to replace some team members to prevent possible problems in the future.
Based on Pasig police records from March to July 7, the DEU team arrested 367 individuals. Of these, three were killed during police operations, in addition to the 19 who were killed and 521 who were arrested from July 2016 to Jan 2017.
Calipusan, meanwhile, refused to comment when the Inquirer called him up on Monday afternoon. But he said he accepted the decision as Yebra “might know a better way to handle” things.
Calipusan pointed out that being reassigned was normal for policemen and that his team had made over 200 arrests in buy-bust operations.