Central Visayas police station chiefs' job at stake-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
CEBU -- Almost every station chiefs from 151 police stations in Central Visayas region runs the risk of getting suspended.
Central Visayas Police Regional Office director Danilo Constantino on Tuesday said he recommended to investigate the police chiefs for allegedly failing to curb illegal gambling.
“Baka wala nang matira sa mga hepe natin (We might run out of police station chiefs)?” he told reporters in a press conference.
Constantino said the police chiefs were required to set their targets and arrest those involved in illegal gambling, but they failed to comply.
“This doesn’t mean they are involved in it,” he also said.
Constantino directed the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) to place the police chiefs under a pre-charge evaluation.
A pre-charge evaluation is a process to determine if there’s probable cause based on the allegations against the complainant and supporting evidence.
Constantino said this could lower the morale of the police chiefs, but they have to be investigated as part of efforts to stop illegal numbers games and the use of gambling machines.
Senior Superintendent Armando Radoc, acting chief of RIDMD, said at least 41 police chiefs in the Bohol Provincial Police Office have been recommended to face summary hearings.
They will be slapped with an administrative case for simple neglect of duty.
Radoc said they will submit the cases to the Discipline Law and Order Section, which is authorized to conduct the proceedings.
The summary hearing officer, upon receipt of the case folder, shall have 60 days, at most, to resolve the case.
Radoc said the cases against the police chiefs in Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor are still waiting to be signed by Constantino.
There are 11 police chiefs in Cebu City Police Office; six police chiefs in Mandaue City Police Office; five police chiefs in Lapu-Lapu City Police Office; 50 police chiefs in Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO); 25 police chiefs in Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office; and six police chiefs in Siquijor Provincial Police Office.
Radoc said that most police chiefs have violated the one-strike policy of the Philippine National Police after their areas of responsibility were found out to be still affected by illegal gambling.
Intelligence operatives of the provincial police offices are supposed to conduct anti-gambling operations.
“They will be given due process and they can hire their own lawyers,” Radoc said. If found out guilty, the police chiefs will face suspension.
For less grave offenses, the police chiefs will have their privileges withheld. They may also be restricted, face the suspension or forfeiture of their salary, or any combination of sanctions for 31 to 40 days, minimum. The maximum range for the penalties to be in effect is 51 to 59 days.
Senior Inspector Chuck Barandog, chief of the San Nicolas Police Station in Cebu City, said he respects the action taken against them because it is the prerogative of their superior.
“But rest assured we are doing our best to stop this,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Barandog said they were directed to arrest at least one gambling personality a week and to give reports to the regional police headquarters.
Meanwhile, some 262 illegal gambling machines were destroyed by police on the grounds of the CPPO. These had been confiscated in separate police operations this year.
Constantino led the destruction of the 133 video karrera machines, 107 moli-moli machines, and 22 bingo slot machines.
During the ceremony, the police official said the destruction is meant to show that the police mean business.
“No one is a sacred cow,” he said.
Constantino saw the need to intensify gambling operations as he likened it to a chronic illness, such as cancer.
“Babalik pa rin yan pagkatapos mag-lie low (They tend to resurface after they lie low),” he said, but added that illegal gambling is declining in Central Visayas.
Last Sunday, police arrested a suspected big-time masiao financier in Cebu and collared 10 others who allegedly worked for him.
Constantino said gambling operations are not organized, and most financiers operate separately. He also assured the public they are acting on reports that some uniformed personnel are protecting gambling personalities.
“We are doing something about this. We will not hesitate in filing charges against them once they are found out,” he said. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2013.