File charges vs cops in vi­ral video, soldiers told

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By Al­wen Salir­ing

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.

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