Officer ‘made 3 boys drink brandy’

A ROOKIE policeman will be investigated for allegedly forcing three boys to drink liquor in Barangay Sta. Ana, Barili last Sunday morning.

The officer, however, told his boss that no such incident happened and that the boys’ families were only getting back at him for fencing a property in their neighborhood.

Senior Insp. Julius Ompad, the town’s police chief, said the police are preparing complaints against PO1 Admund Caumeran Concepcion for allegedly violating Republic Act (RA) 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Concepcion is a member of the Regional Public Safety Batallion (RPSB) 7. The boys, who are all 10 years old, are cousins.

Alex (real name withheld) told Sun.Star Cebu he was playing with PO1 Concepcion’s nine-year-old daughter near the officer’s house, when the officer called him, placed a gun on the table and made him drink from a bottle of Emperador brandy.

The Grade 4 pupil of Barili Central School said he consumed almost half the bottle’s contents before he passed out.

Alex’s grandmother Epifania, 60, said that her 37-year-old nephew, Alex’s uncle Ramon, carried the boy home. They then brought him to the hospital, where he stayed until his release last Monday.

The boy has lived with his grandmother since both parents died.

Alex showed Sun.Star Cebu yesterday during an interview some marks on his left upper arm and his chest.

In a separate interview, Senior Supt. Clifford Gairanod, RPSB 7 commander, said he will place Concepcion under camp restriction while being investigated.

The incident was recorded in the blotter of the police station’s Women and Children’s Protection Desk.

Lawyer Noemi Truya Abarientos, spokesperson of the Children’s Legal Bureau, said the parents should file a complaint against the police officer.

“If ever he committed a mistake, filing a complaint against him would give an example that his alleged abuses will not go unchecked,” she said in a phone interview.

Gairanod said he has not yet received a formal complaint against Concepcion, who entered the police service two years ago.

He talked with Concepcion over the phone and the latter denied the accusation, saying the boys’ family has an axe to grind against him.

Naa kuno’y gi-koral na si Concepcion nga yuta unya nasuko na ang apohan sa mga bata (Concepcion put up a fence around a lot and the boys’ grandparents got mad at him),” said Gairanod.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has ordered an inquiry.

Aside from criminal complaints, an administrative case for grave misconduct may also be filed if there is enough evidence, Lawas said. The most severe penalty for this is dismissal from the service.

Before the incident happened, Concepcion reportedly asked the boys to get coconuts from his front yard.

He later offered them liquor mixed with apple juice.

Two of the boys spat out the liquor because it stung their tongues. They ran away.

Alex failed to escape, reportedly because Concepcion had showed him his gun.

His relatives found him sleeping inside the policeman’s house. When he woke up, his legs wobbled and he had some difficulty breathing.

After his relatives brought the boy to the hospital, they noticed the marks, which looked like needle marks.

The boys were brought to the local social welfare office for counseling.

RA 7610 punishes any person “who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty, or exploitation or to be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development.”
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