PNP-IMEG, IAS partner in crackdown vs cops in casinos, ‘tupas”

January 16, 2020

ACTING on orders from the Philippine National Police leadership, the Philippine National Police Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) has set its eyes on more erring policemen who are violating PNP directives which bar their presence in casinos, cockpit arenas and ‘tupadas’ in the country, the head of the unit told the Journal Group yesterday.

“On orders of PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, we are looking for policemen playing in casinos, cockpit arenas and ‘tupadas’ and visiting other places of ill-refute,” said Colonel Ronald O. Lee.

Lee said they are partnering with the PNP Internal Affairs Service in going after these erring policemen as well as those using recovered motor vehicles and motorcycles despite Gen. Gamboa’s previous directive.

The PNP-IMEG is the main PNP unit tasked to enforce the directive in coordination with the 17 Police Regional Offices and the different PNP national support and administrative units.

The PNP-IMEG will be the one to file criminal charges against the erring cops while the PNP-IAS will be subjecting them to administrative charges. Lee said they are serious in the campaign which led in the identification and arrest of 17 policemen from 2017 to date, one of them already dismissed from the service, one demoted and the other still undergoing administrative proceedings.

President Duterte had made it clear that all government officials and employees, PNP personnel included are governed by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials under Republic Act No. 6719 that prescribes a set of norms that promote a high standard of ethics in public service and thus should not engage in gambling activities particularly in hotels and casinos.  

Violation of any of the said laws could lead to dismissal from service.

President Duterte in 2018 specifically warned policemen to avoid staying near the premises of Okada Manila casino in Parañaque City. He said that aside from providing security, police seen in casinos have no other reason but to commit a crime.

Moreover, Presidential Decrees 1067-B and 1869, which created the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), forbids government officials, members of uniformed services, students and minors from gambling in casinos. Memorandum Circular 6, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in 2016, restated the ban.

From February 3, 2017 to last Monday, PNP-IMEG agents have already arrested 17 Police Non-Commissioned Officers and one Non-Uniformed Personnel for their involvement in illegal gambling.

Lee said administrative charges were filed against the erring cops, leading to the dismissal from the service of one of them identified as Police Officer 2 Yob Enguio of the Bangsamaro Administrative Region Police Regional Office who was found guilty by the court of violating Presidential Decree 1602.

The policeman was arrested on November 18, 2018 for involvement in a ‘tupada’ operation in Muntinlupa City and was charged before the Muntinlupa City Municipal Trial Court Branch 114. Judge Nelvin Asi found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt and ordered him to pay a P6,000 fine.

Lee said that the BARMM cop was ordered dismissed from the police force last September 19.

Another identified as Senior Police Officer 1 Jefer Butawan of the Quezon City Police District was ordered demoted following his arrest over a ‘tupada’ operation in Q.C. on July 8, 2017.

Fifteen of the accused were all arrested by PNP-IMEG operatives for illegal cockfighting last year and were charged in court and before the PNP-IAS.  The rest who were from the Central Visayas police were administratively charged for less grave neglect of duty under the Napolcom Memorandum Circular 2016-002 after they were monitored to be frequently attending cockfighting derby in Cebu City and Negros Oriental.

The PNP-OIC earlier ordered the strict implementation of PNP Standard Operating Procedure No. 7 that prohibits the use of recovered evidence motor vehicles and motorcycles.

PNP Highway Patrol Group director Brigadier General Dionardo B. Carlos stressed a previous order that any HPG officer or men who will be found using or in possession of stolen motor vehicles or giving motor vehicle clearances under the highly-fraudulent “non-appearance scheme” will find themselves being arrested, jailed and prosecuted.