File charges vs cops in viral video, soldiers told
An official of the National Police Commission in Northern Mindanao (Napolcom-10) said the soldiers allegedly beaten by members of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon police are welcome to press administrative charges against the policemen before the commission.
Lawyer Robert Lou Elango, chairman of the Police Regional Appellate Board of Napolcom-10, said Private First Class (PFC) Brian Anco and PFC Armand Gentiles should retract first their affidavit of desistance against PO2 Mark Torregosa and PO1 Laurence Macalos.
“Pwede sila mag-file sa Napolcom magpaabot lang mi but 1st step is i-retract sa nila ang affidavit of desistance kay amo man gimonitor ang progress sa hitabo,”Elango said.
Elango said they are interested in seeing the full video, if any such recording exists, of the whole September 19 incident inside a public bus where the involved policemen responded to a call for assistance which led to the beating of the soldiers.
The soldiers were reportedly drunk and were supposedly unruly and disturbing other passengers.
The a video of a man punching one of the soldiers has gone viral.
“Bisan pa og nakainomog wala gyud gibuhat nga untoward actions pero mao lagi tan-awon sa nato ang full video. Ila tong i-submit as evidence para atong matanawan,” Elango said.
Elango said the soldiers could possibly file administrative charges for serious irregularity in the performance of duty against the policemen.
Elango explained that if the policemen are found guilty, they may likely face dismissal from police service, demotion or six months suspension.
He also said Napolcom would look into the arrest procedure and
the rules of engagement employed by the responding policemen.
“Kung ang pagdakop is legitimate unya nasagolan og dili maayo pwede ma-filan og irregularity in the performance of duty kung grabe ang extent sa violation mao nang serious,”Elango said.
“Karon kung legitimate ang pagdakop another story is giunsa pagdakop kung nisubay ba sa rules of engagement. Kabalo ang police nga ang pagamit og force last resort na gyud na,”Elango added.
Elango said they would also check if the policemen had the opportunity to prevent civilians from meddling during the arrest.
“Tan-awon pud nato ang circumstances pinaagi sa close review and scrutiny sa video kung naa bay chance ang police nga mapugngan ang mga civilians nga ning-apil,”Elango said.
For his part, Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said Camp Alagar considers the case closed when the two parties amicably settled the day after the incident.
“Na-resolve at case close na yan. Ang mga police ang nag-complain for direct assault, unruly ang mga sundalo nakiusap yung mga army kaya inatras ng PNP ang kaso kaya may amicable settlement,”Gonda said.
Gonda said the police is also hunting the alleged civilian who attack and hit the soldier on the face for case filing.
“We do not entertain speculations of the situation. Police are on factual situation of the incident. In court proceedings, its evidence-based and the video is not the whole evidence,”Gonda said.