6 Central Visayas cops accused of kidnapping, torturing 2 individuals who pretended to sell illegal drugs
CEBU CITY, Philippines – At least six police officers assigned at the Central Visayas office of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG-7) are now in hot waters after being accused of kidnapping and torturing two individuals from Minglanilla who only pretended to sell shabu.
The National Bureau of Investigation here (NBI-7) lodged criminal and administrative complaints against the six police officers of PDEG-7.
They filed cases on kidnapping and serious illegal detention and grave misconduct against Police Staff Sergeants Rey David Aumentado, Rex Celerio, Marjun Milar, and Jemechiel Gemang before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas on Monday, May 8, 2023.
The other two were only named as John Does in the cases as investigators continue to verify their identities.
These stemmed from complaints of two individuals from Minglanilla, namely Randolph Restauro and Gemalen Elorde, who claimed to have been kidnapped and tortured last March 26.
The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), on the other hand, said the six PDEG-7 officers named as respondents have been relieved from their posts.
Although PDEG-7 operates independently from PRO-7, the latter does not condone the crimes allegedly committed by members of the PNP.
“Our regional director, Brig. Gen. Anthony Aberin, will not condone these actions,” said Police Lt. Col. Gerald Ace Pelare, spokesperson of PRO-7.
Based on NBI-7’s findings, the policemen apparently went to Minglanilla for an anti-drugs operation with Restauro as the subject.
They reportedly forced Restauro and Elorde inside a sports utility vehicle (SUV) while the two were traversing the National Highway in Brgy. Tungkop in Minglanilla on a motorcycle around 1 a.m. on March 26.
Pretending to sell illegal drugs
While on their way to Cebu City, Restauro told investigators that the officers started punching and asking him if they have any shabu, which he vehemently denied. Shabu is the local term for methamphetamine.
The suspects then brought the victims inside a building along R.R. Landon Street in Cebu City, where the police further questioned them about the shabu they supposedly have.
It was here when Restauro told authorities that he only pretended to sell illegal drugs by cropping pictures of buy-bust operations in Pagadian City from a local radio network ‘as a joke to a friend.’
After learning the truth, the police officers transported the victims back to Minglanilla and dropped them off in front of a convenience store in Brgy. Tunghaan.
Nevertheless, the PRO-7 urged police officers here that the incident should serve as a warning not to abuse their power.
“We would like to iterate and emphasize the standing instructions from the new chief PNP in the conduct of honest and sincere police operations,” said Pelare.
“Ang PNP di gyud mutolerate ug mga ingon ani… and kung makita atong police sad-an gyud, we will not hesitate to post penalty,” he added.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.