CCPO chief faces raps for ‘failing’ to probe illegal gambling-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
CEBU City Police Office (CCPO) Director Noli Romana is facing a complaint before the People’s Law Enforcement Board (Pleb) for his alleged failure to charge a businessman who initiated illegal gambling activities in Barangay Guadalupe.
Dr. Warfe Engracia accused Romana and his police investigators, identified as “John Does” in the complaint, of failing or refusing “to properly investigate” his concern. Engracia was assisted by his lawyer Ramon Ceniza.
Romana, though, wondered why he was charged, saying the incidents happened last year.
“It should have been acted upon by my predecessor, who was in office for the past seven months,” he said in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu. “Why charge me now when I’m only two months in office?”
Romana formally assumed as CCPO chief last Aug. 2, replacing Senior Supt. Mariano Natu-el Jr.
In his complaint, Engracia said his neighbor hosted a bingo game on the nights of Dec. 20, 2011 and Dec. 30, 2012.
(Sun.Star Cebu is withholding the name of the neighbor pending his side).
Engracia filed a complaint against his neighbor before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office. But upon the advice of City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon, Engracia wrote a letter to Romana last Sept. 4, requesting an investigation.
In his reply to Engracia, Romana said the businessman denied hosting bingo games in his house.
“Investigation disclosed that there is no existence of an illegal gambling in the area as mentioned in the letter-complaint after field detective personnel conducted validation as to the veracity of the report. It was further confirmed after a discreet investigation was conducted,” Romana said in his letter.
He said members of the Mobile Patrol Group (MPG) responded to the calls of Engracia, who complained against a noisy neighbor on Dec. 18, 2011, Dec. 30, 2012 and Jan. 1, 2013. MPG’s logbook also did not say Engracia was complaining against illegal gambling.
“These incidents were responded by elements of Police Station 9 and the MPG. They found out that there were people playing bingo just for parlor games with no money involved as bet,” Romana said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2013.