CEBU CITY -- The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas wants four ranking police officials to explain in writing in the next five days why SPO1 Adonis Dumpit is still free despite a warrant for murder against him.

In a two-page motion, Graft Prosecutor Alfred Oguis wants show-cause orders against Chief Superintendent Lani-o Nerez, Chief Superintendent Patrocinio Comendador, Superintendent Rex Derilo, and the chief of the warrants and subpoena section of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

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Nerez, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas director, for his part, denied the police did not look hard enough for Dumpit and is asking the policeman to surrender.

Comendador, CCPO director, said Dumpit cannot keep on hiding and will eventually turn himself in. He said once Dumpit’s leave of absence expires, he will be forced to report back to his unit at the Regional Security Agencies and Guards Supervision Unit (RSAGSU)-Central Visayas to avoid going absent without official leave.

“We are doing everything to arrest him,” Nerez told reporters.

Nerez said he did not know about reports that Dumpit was seen attending campaign sorties. He said local officials understood the legal system and believes they will honor it.

Comendador urged whoever spread the report to coordinate with the police.

“If a person has an arrest warrant out against him, why would he want to be seen in public? Or is it just part of the political undertones? That, we do not want to get involved,” he said in Cebuano.

City officials denied the reports, saying they have not seen the policeman in a long time.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will follow up with CCPO any development to arrest Dumpit, former close-in security of Mayor-on-leave Tomas Osmeña.

“I think he (Dumpit) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) know better what has to be done... What is going on? Why am I now the one being questioned by the media?” the acting mayor said.

Rama heads the Cebu City Police Coordinating and Advisory Council and is the standard bearer of the Liberal Party in Cebu City, composed of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) allies.

There have been reports that Dumpit was seen with Osmeña in the BOPK sorties last week, which Councilor Jose Daluz III also denied.

Daluz said he was with the mayor on several occasions and did not see Dumpit.

Nerez said Comendador is not the only commander who was instructed to arrest Dumpit, and that they were not the first agency ordered to arrest Dumpit.

He said agent Arnel Pura of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) paid him a visit after they first got hold of the warrant of arrest. But he hopes Dumpit will just surrender.

“If he surrenders, we can also make arrangements for him to be detained in a safe area,” he said.

He said they also recognized Dumpit’s efforts against crimes and they would not want to see him harmed by criminals he had arrested.

“He is not yet convicted. We also want to see to it that he is safe,” Nerez said.

Once Dumpit is arrested, Rama said, he will not make special arrangements for Dumpit not to be jailed at the Cebu City jail to avoid controversies.

He said, though, he expects some colleagues and friends of Dumpit to lobby with the court that he be imprisoned in a safer facility.

Osmeña and some PNP officials expressed concern over Dumpit’s safety once arrested and sent to the city jail, considering that he is responsible for the arrest of some criminal elements.

“That’s the last thing I will do. We’ll just have to follow procedures because what difference is there between a policeman, a politician, a professional? If I request not to bring him to jail, more questions will be raised later on. But it’s natural that someone will lobby for it because friendship will come in,” Rama said.

“Considering that the accused remains in active service as a police officer and remains heavily armed and dangerous, there is cause for this honorable court to inquire as to the acts taken by the above officials relative to the arrest of the accused and to explain why the accused remains at large,” the motion, addressed to Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Esther Veloso, states.

Endorsed by the head prosecutor of the Ombudsman-Visayas, lawyer Gaudioso Melendez, Oguis’s motion noted the policeman’s absence during the January 22 hearing Judge Veloso called on the Ronron Go murder case.

He argued that this should not be the case because copies of Judge Veloso’s January 8 warrant against Dumpit were already sent to the officials named.

Nerez is head of PRO-Central Visayas, who has supervision over the CCPO, while Comendador is head of CCPO who has supervision over all policemen in Cebu City, including Dumpit.

Derilo is head of the RSAGSU-Central Visayas, to which Dumpit was assigned after his transfer out of this city.

The warrants and subpoena section of the CCPO, on the other hand, is the police unit tasked to implement warrants of arrest in its territorial jurisdiction.

Oguis, in his motion, said Judge Veloso has not been informed of the status of the arrest warrant.

The warrant against Dumpit came after Judge Veloso upheld the validity of the non-bailable murder case against him as filed by the Office of the Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices.

The warrant declares that the policeman can be taken into custody “on any day and anytime of the day or night.”

The policeman, who is accused of unnecessary use of deadly force in the past, has admitted to shooting Go but denied it constituted murder.

He has said he was only defending himself because he was shot at first and that what happened came as a result of a legitimate police operation against a suspected robber.

However, according to the victim’s mother, it was a case of mistaken identity and that Dumpit shot the wrong person. (KNR/MEA/LCR/JTG/Sun.Star Cebu)