AFTER a thorough examination, the City Investigations and Detective Management Branch (CIDMB) of Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) found sufficient evidence to file administrative charges against a high ranking police official and his assistant.

Superintendent Danildo Tumanda, summary hearing officer at Cocpo, said the evidence culled from the entrapment operation of the National Bureau of Investigation-Northern Mindanao (NBI-10) on March 17, 2014 will affirm the pursuit of administrative charges against former Superintendent John Michael Deloso, chief of the traffic division of Cocpo, and Police Officer 3 (PO3) Ernesto Galleto.

“Very strong ang evidence presented by the prosecutor. But we also have to hear the other [Deloso and Galleto] side," said Tumanda during a pre-hearing conference of the case held at Cocpo Maharlika Headquarters Wednesday.

According to Tumanda, the prosecution team will provide an additional witness named Resty Barse, a member of the Xavier Heights Jeepney Drivers and Operators Association (XHJDOA).

Barse, who was allegedly extorted by the defendants the night before the entrapment, and eight other witnesses, will face the hearing officer on the first hearing on June 18.

Deloso and Galleto were nabbed by the NBI-10 in a hotel after lawyer Ernesto Palanan, president of XHJDOA, requested for assistance regarding the alleged 'extortion' activities of the police personnel.

In the entrapment operation, Palanan handed Galleto an envelope containing P2,000 and Deloso who came later got an envelope with P4,000.

The amount is allegedly for the protection of drivers from apprehensions on traffic violations.

Both officials were relieved from post on the same day.

While they were able to bail for the case, Palanan is pessimistic toward it.

“Nganong wa man nay preventive suspension nga bug-at man na nga kaso (Why was a preventive suspension not imposed since it was a grave case),” Palanan told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone.

Palanan, however, expects positive outcome with the case.

“Confident ko nga mogawas ang hustisya og kamatuuran (I am confident that justice and truth will come out),” he told this paper in a text message.

Superintendent Michael Pareja, Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10) spokesman, said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) “hopes to serve what is due” to Deloso and Galleto.

"Kung ma-acquit sila, good. Kung ma-convict sila, good. They have to face the consequences," he told Sun.Star by phone.

Also, City Mayor Oscar Moreno has urged PRO-10 to implement the law without favor after the entrapment.

"Nobody is above the law. The law is supreme and it has to be upheld. This case is disturbing and disconcerting since he is one of the top police officials in the region. But at the end of the day, the law must be enforced," Moreno said referring to Deloso.

Cocpo will review the evidence presented by both sides before they will forward the investigation and recommendation to PRO-10 regional director Chief Superintendent Isagani Genabe Jr. who will have the final decision on the case.

If proven guilty, Deloso and Galleto may face dismissal from service as the maximum penalty.