Extortion case vs Cebu City cops lowers morale of colleagues
Cebu City (3 September) -- The involvement of three cops in Cebu City on extortion charges has slightly dipped the morale of the rest of the city police personnel.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Chief P/Supt. Patrocinio Commendador admitted the three policemen under the Vice Control Section (VCS) who were caught in an entrapment operation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7) last August 22 for a P1.2M extortion deal from a businessman had the rest of the city policemen wary on the negative effect the highly-publicized news had on the police image.
Commendador however said, he has told his men to always remain professional amid the current criticisms the police have received due to the incident.
Businessman Reuel Lerio filed a complaint against SPO1 Jaime Otadoy, PO1Raniel Capangpangan and PO3 Rey Albotra who allegedly tried to extort P2M from him or else, he would be threatened with a non-bailable drug case. Lerio had a previous charge for drug use.
The P2M demand was reduced to P1.2M. After a P200T payment by a relative, he was released, according to Lerio.
Upon the request of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7), the NBI led the entrapment operation right inside the VCS headquarters. Of the three cops, only Otadoy was arrested as Capangpangan was able to slip away while Albotra was not around during that time.
Because of the incident, Commendador disbanded the VCS and the police under it absorbed to the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (CIIB) that would take in the tasks of the VCS.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeņa opposed the disbandment of the VCS and said the office is not the problem but the men manning the office. Osmeņa said an overhaul is necessary where new personnel would now man the VCS office.
Commendador said he is ready to defend his move in disbanding the VCS if called by the city council. The VCS functions will not be left behind as more efficient and capable men in the CIIB would take in the tasks, Commendador claimed.
The Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) meanwhile has recommended the filing of summary dismissal proceedings against the three policemen.
PNP Chief Oscar Calderon who is aware of the incident has ordered PRO-7 Director Silverio Alarcio Jr. to make sure the three cops are dismissed from the service.
Commendador said the three cops will be given a fair trial as provided by law. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]