NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday ordered the administrative relief of the head of the Las Piñas City Police Station and the entire personnel of the station’s Drug Enforcement Unit in the aftermath of an ongoing investigation into an extortion case involving 7 of its personnel.
Eleazar said Senior Superintendent Marion Balonglong will be replaced by Senior Supt. Simnar Gran, the erstwhile chief of the NCRPO Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division. Balonglong, the head of the local police for nearly two years was doing fine in his job until the illegal activities of his DEU personnel cost him his job.
He also ordered Southern Police District director, Senior Supt. Eliseo DC Cruz to order the administrative relief of 36 SDEU personnel effective Thursday. All were assigned to the SPD District Personnel Administrative and Holding Section while the case is being investigated.
Cruz said the 7 policemen tagged for their involvement in the embarrassing incident will also undergo a complete record check. Officers visited the 7 in their respective residences and asked them to report for work and to shed light on the matter.
According to the SPD director, Police Officer 3 Joel Lupig, PO2 Vener Guanlao and PO1s Mark Jefferson Fulgencio, Jeffrey de Leon and Raymart Gomez were formerly assigned with the SDEU of Las Piñas CPS but got reassigned to different local police precincts when their unit was dissolved previously.
Cruz said the accused were only reassigned back to the SDEU when its erstwhile chief, Senior Inspector Edgardo Tigbao was returned to the same office last October 3 and all signified their intention to return to their previous unit.
On the other hand, the other accused identified as PO2 Jason Arellano and PO1 Erickson Rivera were formerly assigned at the Police-Community Precinct 8 of the same police station under Tigbao.
Eleazar yesterday ordered a full-blast investigation of three members of the Las Piñas City Police Station accused of using a minor to extort money from an arrested drug offender.
Eleazar asked Cruz to account for all the policemen and disarm them while undergoing investigation.
Cruz said combined operatives of the Silang Municipal Police Station, the Cavite Police Provincial Office Provincial Intelligence Branch and the Parañaque and Las Piñas City Police Stations around 11 p.m. Wednesday arrested a 13-year old student who tried to collect the P200,000 demanded by the policemen from a sister of one Cyrus Ligutan who was arrested by the 4 accused for alleged possession of illegal drugs in Las Pinas City.
The entrapment operation was conducted along Quirino Avenue corner Victor Medina Street in Parañaque City.
Cruz said that the sting led in the arrest of the teenager identified only as alias ‘Jay,’ (not his true name) who later identified the 4 as his cohorts. All 4 policemen managed to escape on board a dark grey Isuzu Hi-lander with a “Sinaglahi” sticker after sensing the entrapment operation, the official said.
According to Cruz, the sting was triggered by a complaint from Shelane Ligutan, 28-year old resident of Silang, Cavite who said that her brother Cyrus was detained by the 4 policemen for alleged drug possession and that they have demanded P200,000 for his release.
The woman said she told the 4 policemen that he could only produce P30,000. After the woman pleaded to them that she could not afford their P200,000 demand, the 4 policemen reportedly agreed to get the P30,000.
Cruz said during the operation, officers were surprised when they found out that the person who received the money from the woman was the Grade 8 student who was driving a motorbike owned by a colleague of the 4 accused.
Balonglong said he recognized the boy as he frequents their station and talks with the accused. Following the incident, Balonglong and Tigbao were ordered relieved by Eleazar in accordance with the NCRPO’s ‘1-strike policy’ when it comes to drug-related offenses.
According to Cruz, the male Ligutan was freed by the accused shortly after the entrapment operation. The teenager was turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development.
Cruz said recovered during the sting were the boodle money worth P30,000, a gun replica and a grey Yamaha Mio owned by a certain ‘PO1 Buneventura.’