TWO operating units of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CCPO) face an investigation, following reports the video carrera machines they have confiscated were cannibalized.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Lani-o Nerez instructed acting CPPO Chief Erson Digal to place the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) and the Provincial Anti-illegal Drug Special Operation Task Group (Paidsotg) under investigation.

Digal, in an interview, said the information that reached Nerez was that the central processing units (CPU) were sold after these were taken from the coin-operated illegal gambling machines.

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Digal said he directed the Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Branch (PIDMB) to investigate.

He also scheduled the destruction of the gambling machines next week, after the PIDMB’s inventory.

SP04 Lamberto Hibaya of the PIDMB said he already made the initial inventory of the machines in question. So far, he has inspected at least 10 machines.

Hibaya said some of the machines no longer have CPUs, while the others’ padlocks were tampered.

He, however, said he cannot yet say if the machines were indeed cannibalized because he is still waiting for the PIB and Paidsotg to submit their accounting reports on the confiscated machines.

The reports will determine how many of the machines are operational or defective.

PIB Chief Rodolfo Albotra, when sought for comment, welcomed the investigation as a chance to clear his office and his personnel.

Albotra said he has been informed about the investigation. His office will submit the spot reports and blotter entry on the operations that led to the seizure of the video carrera machines.

The PIB, he said, had confiscated six machines, which are all functional.

Another probe

Meanwhile, Minglanilla Police Station Chief Leoncio Baliguat Jr. is also being investigated for his failure to supervise the road security during last Sunday’s visit of President Gloria Arroyo for the burial of the late press secretary Cerge Remonde.

Baliguat allegedly failed to report to his office because his wife gave birth and he neglected to delegate his tasks to his deputy.

President Arroyo’s trip to Argao town got delayed by a traffic jam in Minglanilla.

Digal said only one police officer was seen manning the traffic in that town.

Before President Arroyo’s visit, Digal called a command conference to discuss the plans for the president’s visit, including the road security.

Digal said Baliguat’s excuse is not justifiable.

He will ask for clearance from the Commission on Elections to relieve Baliguat and transfer him to another unit, considering an election ban on relief and transfer orders is in effect. (JTG)