28 relieved policemen off to war-torn areas

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol July 19,2016 - 11:09 PM

AT least 28 operatives mostly from two special police units in Central Visayas are heading either to the rebel-infested areas in Luzon or to war-torn areas in Mindanao.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has ordered the relief of five police officials with the rank of Senior Inspector, and 23 non-commissioned officers with the rank ranging from Police Officer 1 to Senior Police Officer 3.

The order affected operatives of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (RAIDSOTF), the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

The July 15 order, which was received by PRO-7 on Monday, did not explain the reason for the transfer.

But during his command visit to PRO-7 last Monday, Dela Rosa said the revamp of police officials in Central Visayas was because of reports that some of them were receiving money from personalities involved in illegal drugs.

He said he has to pull out some policemen from their current assignments to disrupt their illegal activities.

There were 67 operatives of the RAIDSOTF and RSOG who were relieved and made to undergo basic retraining. None of them tested positive during the drug test conducted on them.

“Policemen should be willing to be assigned anywhere in the Philippines. And I want these relieved operatives to fight the Abu Sayyaf and the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) as well as the gun-for-hire groups. Their services are badly needed in those regions,” the PNP chief told reporters last Monday.

Early on, Dela Rosa said he also relieved about 100 policemen from Central Luzon who were linked to illegal drugs and transferred them to Mindanao.

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the new PRO-7 director, ordered the mass relief of all RAIDSOTF and RSOG policemen in the region, citing his dissatisfaction over the performances of the operatives despite having killed two of the top drug personalities in Central Visayas in a span of three weeks.

Taliño said he’s still waiting for the recommendation of the Performance Evaluation Team or the Oversight Committee headed by Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas as to the assignments of the remaining operatives of RAIDSOTF and RSOG, including its respective chiefs Senior Inspector Henrix Bancoleta, and Supt. George Ylanan.

“Not one of them shall return to the RAIDSOTF or RSOG. That’s my decision. I appreciate their accomplishments. But as I have said, we need to transfer them to other units, so they will become well-rounded policemen. They have become so used to their jobs to the point that they are no longer that aggressive,” he explained.

The New RSOG & RAIDSOTF

Taliño said he will appoint new heads and members of the two police units based on the recommendation of the Oversight Committee.

“We’re validating the backgrounds and performances of the new policemen who will comprise the RAIDSOTF and the RSOG,” he said.

If two police units need augmentation in their operations, Taliño said they could request additional policemen from the Regional Public Safety Battalion.

“The relief of several policemen has something to do with PNP’s campaign to clean its ranks as we go about the problem on illegal drugs,” he said.

Several police stations chiefs in Central Visayas, Taliño said, will be relieved from their respective posts within the week for failure to arrest even half of the top 10 drug personalities in the area.

“We were given three to six months to clean the region from illegal drugs. If I won’t be able to do it, I’d rather go too,” he said.

Dismay

One of the 28 policemen recently relieved from their posts expressed dismay over Camp Crame’s failure to explain to them why they had to be transferred to another location.

“Wala man mi tagai og igong rason. Igo na lang mi gibalhin. (We were not given sufficient reason as to why we were relieved. We were just mandated to move out),” said the police officer who requested anonymity.

The policeman is facing charges in court that stemmed from previous police operations. Now that he’s transferred to Bicol, he said he has to pay for his travel expenses to Cebu whenever his case will be called for hearing.

“Gasto kaayo mi ani ron. (We will spend much in traveling to Cebu for the hearings),” he told reporters.

The five officers ordered relieved were Senior Insp. Delfin Bontuyan of CIDG; Senior Insp. Chuck Barandog of the Cebu City Public Safety Company; Senior Insp. Joel Corpuz of the Carbon Police Station; and RSOG officers Senior Insp. Romeo Sentinta Jr. and Senior Insp. Ruel Burlat.

Bontuyan will go to Cordillera, Barandog; to Cagayan Valley, Corpuz; to Bicol, Sentinta; to Caraga Region, while Burlat will go to Mimaropa Region (formally known as the Southern Tagalog Islands).

Other assignments

Assigned to the Cordillera Administrative Region were SPO3 Michael Ernie, SPO2 Raymundo Supatan, PO3 Alex Buanghog Jr., PO3 Philip Plasus and PO3 Christopher Sanchez — one of the six Mabolo policemen who are facing charges for extortion.

PO3 Ruben Quita and PO1 Nelson Nodalo were transferred to the Mimaropa or Southern Tagalog Region; SPO1 Mikie Espina, PO3 Bernard Yiro and PO3 Marvin Sanson to Bicol; and PO1 Michael Maucesa and PO3 Albert Luardo to the Cagayan Valley.

Headed for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are SPO1 Francis Villamor, PO3 Frederick Ybañez, PO3 Mark Tago Aniñon and PO2 Julius Codilla while PO3 Cesar Pandong is going to the Caraga Region.

PO3 Raymund Aballe and PO3 Junbert Acosta were transferred to Central Mindanao; SPO1 Richard Valencia and PO3 Erwin Piquero to Zamboanga Peninsula; and SPO1 ROY Carlo Veloso and PO3 JUlius Aniñon to Northern Mindanao.

Supt. Renato Dugan, chief of the Regional Personnel and Human Resources Development Division, said the relief of the 28 operatives is so far the largest batch of policemen from Central Visayas who were transferred elsewhere.

“I don’t know if there are still coming relief orders,” he said.

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