NCRPO relieves all Caloocan cops

MANILA (Updated) -- National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde ordered Friday the relief of all police personnel assigned at the Caloocan City Police Office (CCPO).

Albayalde made the announcement following the series of police-involved shootings and robbery incidents in Caloocan City.

The official said 62 police officers from the Caloocan police stations 2, 4 and 7 were the first to be replaced and they will undergo retraining for 45 days at the NCRPO headquarters.

"And in the coming days, we will be looking forward (to) the relief of all the personnel from the other substations," Albayalde said.

The order covers over a thousand policemen, said Albayalde.

He said the Caloocan cops who underwent retraining will be reassigned in other Metro Manila cities.

Albayalde said the NCRPO's Regional Public Safety Battalion and Civil Disturbance Management personnel will replace the sacked police personnel in CCPO.

Several CCPO personnel was criticized for their involvement in several police-involved shootings and other crimes last month.

On August 16, police officers shoot and killed 17-year–old Kian Loyd Delos Santos during a raid in Barangay 160, Caloocan City.

Police Officer (PO) 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Perez and PO1 Jerwin Cruz claimed an encounter ensued between them and the victim who was armed with a gun before Delos Santos was shot and killed.

However, CCTV footage showed Delos Santos was being dragged by two policemen in a dark alley where his body was found later. The three policemen said the person they were dragging was an informant, not Delos Santos.

A witness said police intentionally killed Delos Santos at a close range while he was pleading for his life. Autopsy reports show the victim was tortured before being killed.

Two days after Delos Santos' death, another police shooting was reported in C3 Road in Caloocan City.

The victim, 19-year-old Karl Angelo Arnaiz who allegedly attempted to rob a taxi driver, was shot and killed by PO1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita, both assigned at the Caloocan Police Security Precinct 7.

The two policemen claimed Arnaiz, a former University of the Philippines student, shot at them but the teenager's alleged victim, taxi driver Tomas Bagcal, denied that what happened was an encounter.

Bagcal said Arnaiz was alive when he turned him over to police after a failed robbery on August 17.

Arnaiz sustained five gunshot wounds, contusions, and bruises, which indicate that he was dragged before he was killed. He also tested positive for gun powder nitrates, an indication that he fired a gun.

A medico-legal officer said Arnaiz had a hard time fighting back while a forensic expert from Public Attorney's Office said the teener was tortured before he was killed.

Several Caloocan cops are facing criminal complaints for murder and torture after the deaths of Arnaiz Delos Santos.

Police consider Arnaiz's companion, 14-year-old Reynaldo De Guzman, "still missing" after results of the DNA testing on the body found in a creek in Gapan Nueva Ecija on September 5 did not match the samples taken from the boy's supposed parents.

Despite doubts about the identity of the cadaver, De Guzman's parents proceeded with the burial last Wednesday as they claim that it was their son who was found in Gapan, but the police believed otherwise.

Separate cases were filed against Caloocan police officers over the supposed death of De Guzman who was last seen in Cainta, Rizal.

In a television report aired Thursday night, a group of cops from Caloocan's police station 4 along with a minor and a person with disability was caught on CCTV footage supposedly robbing a house that belongs to a suspected drug personality last September 7.

The police officers and their companions allegedly took valuables and cash amounting to P30,000.

The owner of the house a 51-year-old woman who refused to be identified for security reasons expressed the belief that he was implicated in illegal drug trade by an arrested drug suspect who was seen in the CCTV footage pointing her house to the police.

Caloocan City police chief Jemar Modequillo the police officers were immediately relieved and disarmed after they watched the news on television. (SunStar Philippines)
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