Comelec official mulls complaint vs cops-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) 7 Director Temie Lambino plans to file a complaint against three policemen assigned to the Mabolo Elementary School in Cebu City during the barangay elections last Monday.
Lambino said the policemen allegedly ignored calls for help when two barangay tanods locked themselves and poll officers in one of the classrooms.
Lambino said he also gestured to the policemen to help control the commotion that resulted from the tanods’ actions, but the law enforcers merely waved to him and made no move to interfere in the situation.
“Namumutla na sa takot yung mga poll officers at hindi makapag start ng counting (the poll officers were terrified and could not start the counting of votes),” he said.
Sun.Star Cebu is withholding the names of the three policemen pending their comments.
Mabolo Police Station Chief Ryan Devaras said the three policemen are being investigated.
“The policemen said they did not recognize who called them. They could not just go in because they are not allowed to enter the police place,” Devaras told Sun.Star Cebu in a phone interview.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Noli Romana said he had ordered an investigation on the incident.
He said he has yet to receive the investigation report but initially, the station commander said there was no commotion. He added that the school principal confirmed this.
Lambino said the poll officers finally got out of the room when the tanods unlocked the door. He said the tanods did not comply with his earlier order to leave.
Lambino said he asked the terrified poll officers why they did not ask for police assistance and they told him that the law enforcers ignored their call.
Lambino ordered the poll officers to call the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, which sent Regional Mobile Group personnel to the school. But by the time the police arrived, the tanods had left.
“There was a commotion and it was incumbent upon them (policemen) to see what's going on,” said Lambino.
He said Romana should discipline the three policemen for being incompetent.
He added that if the policemen are proven to have violated the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, they can be imprisoned from one year to six years.
He said he will file a complaint against the three policemen before PRO 7 Director Danilo Constantino.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2013.