BAGUIO

Complaint vs public safety division personnel filed

A COMPLAINT was filed against Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) Marvin Herrera and two others before the Commission on Human Rights and the Baguio City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday.

Madino Codasi, the visually impaired man apprehended and given a citation ticket by personnel of the POSD, filed the complaint.

Herrera earlier said the apprehension of Codasi was done in a just and lawful manner. He added that no maltreatment nor abuse was done.

Codasi and another companion crossed the street where they were not supposed to, forcing the POSD personnel to apprehend them with a jaywalking citation ticket.

Vice–Mayor Faustino Olowan, meanwhile, said the Baguio City Mayor’s Office is investigating the issues on abuse hurled at POSD.

“We will assure the public that the truth will prevail, this office is directly under the mayor’s office, it is their employees, so we wait for the results of their investigation, but it would be good for someone to raise it in the council so we can tackle it separately,” added Olowan.

Olowan said the POSD was created through an executive order by former Mayor Mauricio Domogan, which falls directly under the chief executive’s office without any law created by the City Council nor clear rules of engagement backing its operation and existence.

In 2019, former Councilor Edgar Avila said the Council should legislate prescribed rules of engagement for POSD. Included in the ordinance will be the legal basis for its creation as an office, qualifications, and standards for its personnel.

In the same year, taho vendor Benedick Seño with then POSD head Policarpio Cambod faced the City Council, as POSD rules and its legality was tackled to streamline rules of engagement.

During the inquiry, Seño stood by his statement that he was within areas covered by his permit to sell but at the same time admitting he has been apprehended in the past by POSD for selling at areas not prescribed by his permit.

Seño recounted the life of roaming vendors who have to contend with the POSD, further exposing lapses in operations of the group.

POSD personnel who came with Cambod stood by their claims during the altercation saying no violence was directed to Seño.

The council showed the video of the incident during the inquiry, and the taho vendor was seen scrambling to get contents of his wares spilled on the sidewalk and the POSD taking hold of one of his containers and putting it on their vehicle.

Seño had to claim his equipment at the POSD office. Eventually, the case was internally settled with the Council’s move stalled and not acted upon to this day.

Today, humane treatment for persons with disabilities is put into question after POSD called out Codasi, the visually impaired man, for jaywalking.

Councilor Arthur Allad–iw earlier said consultation with Codasi over what is described to be inhumane treatment from POSD personnel has pushed the legislator to ask for a full council investigation of the incident as well as a review of engagement procedure of the division mandated to protect the public.

Allad-iw, an advocate of PWD rights, has invited Codasi as well as the POSD in the regular Council session to shed light on the matter.

Meanwhile, a petition to dismiss Herrera on the grounds of maltreatment, harassment, official misconduct, and abuse of official position was also launched online.

Herrera said the apprehension of Codasi was done in a just and lawful manner, saying the man was not blind nor was using a cane, and he was accompanied by another individual.

Allad-iw slammed the assumption of the POSD chief on the visual capability of the victim, saying his visual impairment has rendered Codasi nearing total blindness forcing him to navigate the streets only with a companion.


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