Gamboa warns rogue cops, ex-cops of unrelenting crackdown

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, yesterday warned anew active and dismissed rogue police personnel that they will continue to be treated as criminals by the force and will be subjected to continuing counter-intelligence operations if they persist on doing their illicit activities.

The top cop particularly stressed that police officers and men dismissed for criminal or administrative offenses specifically grave misconduct won’t be spared by their ongoing internal cleansing program and would still be monitored for their involvement in illegal activities in the country.

“Under the PNP’s Internal Cleansing Program, we continue to monitor dismissed personnel to check if they are still involved in illegal activities,” Gamboa said as he emphasized that crooked cops fired for various irregularities continue to remain under the radar of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group headed by Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee.

“If these dismissed PNP members are still engaged in illegal activities, they will be treated as ordinary civilian criminals,” he said.

Gen. Gamboa said their uncompromising policy against rogues in uniform has already resulted in the dismissal of 4,208 policemen from July 2016 to date. The 4,208 police officers and men are among the 14,572 erring personnel who were subjected to disciplinary actions since the start of the Duterte presidency in 2016.

During the period, a total of 7,376 erring policemen were suspended, 770 were demoted; 559 had their salaries forfeited; 1,345 were reprimanded; 101 were restricted to quarters; and 164 had their privileges withheld.

Last Thursday, agents of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group headed by Brig. Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo and the PNP Special Action Force’s Rapid Deployment Battalion attached to the PNP-AKG shot dead dismissed Patrolman Rico Moog Gutierrez and two others following a shootout in Barangay Behia in Tiaong, Quezon.

Estomo said the Tiaong operation also resulted in the confiscation of a cache of high-powered weapons and ammunition and 100 grams of suspected shabu worth P680,000 and several drug paraphernalia.

The PNP-AKG director said the raids principally targeted ex-Pat. Gutierrez and Jose Alcaria who were both described as members of a KFR gang which has gained notoriety for their involvement in kidnapping-for-ransom cases in Metro Manila and Calabarzon region.

Estomo said that armed with a search warrant,  PNP-AKG operatives, backed up by commandos from the PNP Special Action Force  stormed the kidnappers safehouses.

Estomo said Gutierrez is a former intelligence officer of the Quezon Police Provincial Office who was transferred to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Police Regional Office while undergoing criminal and administrative investigation forcing him to go on AWOL (Absence Without Official Leave) status which led to his dismissal from the police force.

Estomo said that prior to the raid, they received reports that the ex-policeman has been providing refuge to his  uncle Jaime Moog who used to be one of the country’s most wanted kidnappers with a P500,000 bounty on his head.

Recovered inside the house of Gutierrez were two M-16 automatic rifles, one semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun, one caliber .45 revolver, five cal. .45 pistols, one cal. .22 rifle, one cal. .380 pistol, one Super .38 pistol, assorted magazines and dozens of live ammunition, around 100 grams of suspected shabu worth P680,000  and various drug paraphernalia.

Found inside the house of Alcaria were one cal. .45 pistol and a cal. .38 revolver with several live ammunition.

On the same day, operatives of the PNP-IMEG arrested the chief of the Godod Municipal Police Station in Zamboanga del Norte for robbery-extortion.

Brig. Gen. Lee identified the erring police officer as Captain Haran Ulah.

According to the official, complainant Jose Abarca sought their assistance after the police officer demanded P10,000 from him in exchange for his unhampered treasure-hunting activities in Sitio Riverside in Barangay Baba in Godod municipality. The first payoff was reportedly made last May 29.

Lee said the Godod police chief was placed under arrest by members of the PNP-IMEG Mindanao Field Unit right after he received P5,000 in marked bills from the complainant.

“There will be no respite in our crackdown against police scalawags and other rogues in government service despite the ongoing strict enforcement of quarantine measures to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Walang COVID-COVID sa amin kapag ang huhulihin ay iskalawag na pulis,” Lee said.

Recovered from the possession of the police officer were the marked P 5,000 bills. He was also stripped  of his PNP-issued M- 16 automatic rifle and a caliber .45 pistol.