City cop's involvement in hostage-taking stuns Duterte

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Saturday, June 14, 2014


DAVAO CITY Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was surprised when he learned that a city-based police officer was behind the hostage-taking incident in Barangay Magugpo, Tagum City on Thursday.

Police Regional Office (PRO) Davao Region spokesperson Chief Inspector Jed Clamor identified the suspect as Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) Ricky Romandas Juanir of the San Pedro Police Station under the command of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

Juanir was neutralized by members of the Tagum City Police Office, Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat), and Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office (DNPPO) around 2:30 a.m. Friday, after several negotiations for his surrender since 8:20 p.m. on Thursday failed.

A source from the San Pedro Police Station, who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak, said the suspect left a suicide note and two sealed letters for San Pedro police office-in-charge Hamlet Lerios and DCPO director Vicente Danao Jr..

"Pangutan-on usa nato ang San Pedro police [on what happened]. Malay ko ba unsa kanunay ginabuhat anang mga pulisa na, (Let's ask the San Pedro police first on what happened. I don't know what these cops do every day,)" Duterte said after he was asked to comment on it.

The police said the suspect was assigned to a school when he left without taking a leave and only texted his superiors, apologizing, adding that he is going home to Mati to rest. Juanir was warned about his job performance considering that he's supposed to retire next year. He still left despite the warning.

"He seemed agitated saying he has to attend to something very important. We're not close but we work together. Maybe he has a big problem that he was not able to manage resulting to his breakdown," the police said.

Duterte, on the other hand, said Juanir should not have a nervous breakdown if his only problem was his job, adding that the police director has every right to discipline his police personnel.

"Kung police ka unya makasab-an or makulatahan lang gani mag nervous breakdown, ayaw nalang pag police. Disiplina na, ana jud ng police ug military. Mabulyawan mo kundili mo mag tinarong dira. Kung sakali kana ra man diay hinungdan sa gubot, pangita lain trabaho, (If you're in the police and a simple scolding or beating cause a nervous breakdown, better not be a policeman. That's discipline, military and police are like that. You will be scolded if you don't do your job right. If that's the only reason for you getting into trouble, look for another job)," said Duterte.

Duterte said any police or military personnel would only be reprimanded if he or she did not do his/her job well. He added that there is no reason for a superior to get angry with his personnel if they do their jobs properly.

Davao del Norte Provincial Office Director Samuel Gadingan, in a phone interview, said it was the first time during his term that a policeman was behind a hostage crisis in Tagum City.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 14, 2014.

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