Cop who picks up rehab patient identified, may face charges

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


THE Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has already identified the police officer who was part of a group that allegedly escorted a man from Balamban, Cebu to a drug rehabilitation center in Cebu City but ended up dead at a hospital.

Senior Supt. Armando Radoc, head of Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD), yesterday revealed the name of the policeman who is holding a rank of senior police officer 2.

Sun.Star Cebu is withholding the policeman’s name who is currently undergoing a public safety senior leadership course at Regional Training School 7 in Consolacion town pending the filing of charges against him.

The break in the case came after two personnel of We Do Recover Inc. in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City and a desk officer of the Balamban Police Station identified the policeman as one of the four people who accompanied Jerome Bendebel, 42, on New Year’s Eve.

A private hospital in Cebu City called the homicide investigators on Jan. 1 after Bendebel was brought there where he was declared dead on arrival.

The hospital management made the call after noticing suspicious bruises on Bendebel’s body, who also suffered a blood clot in his brain.

Radoc, when interviewed by reporters, said they will call the policeman to explain after they pieced the story together and got hold of the affidavits of the witnesses.

“As of this time, we can’t pinpoint on whose responsible for Bendebel’s death,” he
said.

It was the policeman who coordinated with the Balamban Police Station to pick up Bendebel from his house after the latter’s family requested their help.

Radoc said the policeman left without showing any identification card, but only said he was from PRO 7.

The RIDMD will look into the possible administrative liability of the policeman for conducting the escort without a court order. He may also face criminal charges if he is found to be involved in Bendebel’s death.

Atty. Grace Larona, legal counsel of We Do Recover Inc., clarified it was the man’s family who requested the assistance of the group to pick up Bendebel.

Bendebel reportedly went wild while armed that prompted his family to ask for help and brought him into the facility.

“Because it was during the holidays and there was no way of getting signed papers, the center recommended the family to the group,” she said.

Bendebel’s family was given the number of a man, who had been working for the center since 2010 when they need help in picking up of patients.

It would be up to this man in choosing the members of his group, which will reportedly composed of three men, including the policeman and a woman.

“It’s only them who pick up the patients, and endorse to the center. The center has no hand as to what transpires in picking up the patient,” she said.

The center is contemplating on filing complaints against the group for what happened, which is the first time since the center started operating.

“It’s human life. Iro man gane mawagtang pangitaon, tawo pa kaha (We even look for a missing dog, what’s more with a person). We also want to clear our name as other patients might be alarmed,” Larona said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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