Department of Interior and Local Government wants cop escorts charged

Eduardo Año

INTERIOR and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año, said he wants charges  filed against two policemen from the Manila Police District (MPD) for their alleged failure  to secure two alleged ‘hitmen’ who were gunned down inside a police car last Tuesday in Sampaloc, Manila

“Cases should be filed against them; they did not even attempted to resist,” said the highly respected former chief of the Armed Forces, in response to a question on the incident posed by this writer.

The two policemen have been identified as PO1 Joven Miguel and PO2 Mark De Lima, who were merely sent home by their superiors “for rest due to trauma” prior to facing an investigation ordered by Philippine National Police chief, police general, Oscar Albayalde.

De Lima and Miguel were supposed to secure the persons of Apolonio Flores and Patrick Cortez, two alleged members of a ‘gun-for-hire’ group, who have been arrested by operatives of the MPD’s Sampaloc (Station 4) a day previously.

A concerned resident told the police that a man with a gun was “acting suspiciously” along Lacson Avenue in Sampaloc who, when arrested, turned out to be Flores.

Lacson PCP chief, police lieutenant Edwin Fuggan, told the media that after his arrest, Flores admitted to being a member of a gun-for-hire group with Cortez as his supposed ‘handler.’

The police then set up a follow-up operation that led to the arrest of Cortez hours later.

Both suspects were on their way back to the police station “under escort” by De Lima and Miguel on board a police car after attending an inquest proceeding for illegal possession of firearm and explosive and violation of the election gun ban when at least eight armed suspects on board several motorcycles blocked their path between Lacson Avenue and Fajardo Street.

But instead of fighting back, De Lima and Miguel allowed themselves to be disarmed by the suspects and followed the order to them to lay face down on the pavement as they went on to kill their targets.

The gunmen then fled the scene and are yet to be tracked down and identified by the MPD as of this writing, despite the embarrassment the command suffered from the incident.