Quezon City cops face charges in wrongful arrest case-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
MANILA -- A group of policemen assigned in Quezon City are now in hot water after they allegedly took P170,000 from a barangay chairman who was also accused of false charges.
In a meeting with authorities inside the mayor's office at the Manila City Hall, Eduardo Torcelino, 56, a barangay chairman in Malate, said he and his companion, Hermenigildo Patdu, were "arrested" for unclear reasons by the erring policemen on October 5.
He said they were in a food outlet along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City when the group of cops led by Police Officer (PO) 2 William Blanco and PO3 Wilbert Blanco took their money and brought them to the Galas police station 11.
The erring policemen, who were from the station's anti-illegal drugs special operations task force, allegedly charged Torcelino and Patud with possession of 15 grams of shabu.
The charges, which the two had denied, were allegedly prepared by Superintendent Norberto Babagay.
Torcelino even showed a copy of a resolution issued by the Quezon City assistant city prosecutor, which proved their innocence and released them for further investigation.
The resolution said the two are not known subjects or targets of drug operations, which the arresting officers failed to show. The arrest also had no operation report and coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
"Hence, doubt exists in the legality of their arrest," the resolution said.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who presided the meeting, lauded the barangay chairman for lodging a complaint, which exposed the said alleged wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila Police chief Leonardo Espina, who was also present in the meeting, said he will personally handle the case and that the cops involved will be under preventive suspension to ensure that they do not influence the case or intimidate the complainants.
"I expected this to be a very serious allegation, considering that someone like Mayor Lim is the one who set this meeting," said Espina.
He added that he will deliberate on the complaint and within 30 days, a resolution will be issued if the erring cops will be dismissed from service.
Espina said an investigation is also underway to determine if the other accused are also policemen, which are reportedly at least 10 in number.
The Metro Manila police chief also assured that such police misconduct will not be tolerated and there is no need for the victims to be afraid.
Last month, several policemen were dismissed from service due to various offenses such as extortion. Among those axed from their position was a senior police officer who tried to get money from Espina's son. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)