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Sinas warns cops: Hands off recovered evidence vehicles

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas, has warned anew all officers and men of the 205,000-strong force to fully comply with their policy prohibiting the use of motor vehicles and motorcycles being recovered in anti-criminality operations saying those who will be found violating the rule will be dismissed from the PNP and stripped of their benefits.

Mamang PulisHe particularly issued the call on members of PNP anti-narcotics units in the cities and municipalities who are involved in operations to arrest small-level drug personalities and told them not to follow the path of some of their colleagues who violated the strict order and were arrested, jailed and are now facing dismissal from the police force.

“We have caught some policemen using recovered vehicle evidence in the past. They never learn so we will and should never be tired also in arresting and removing these disgrace to our uniform and the police service,” Sinas told the Journal Group.

An administrative case for flagrant violation of PNP Standard Operating Procedure No. 7 awaits any member of the police force who will be found violating the directive.

Sinas stressed that under SOP No. 7, no PNP personnel is allowed to use a recovered-stolen or impounded motor vehicle or cause the use by any person prior to the subsequent release of seized motor vehicle to its lawful owner. The said measure was released on April 12, 2011 under Revised Procedure in the Reporting and Disposition of Stolen and Recovered/Impounded Motor Vehicles.

Even the removal of any part or accessory of the recovered-stolen/impounded motor vehicle is also punishable under SOP No. 7, he said.

Shortly after he took over as 25th PNP chief, Sinas ordered the transfer of dozens of motor vehicles seized in anti-narcotics operations since the early 2000 and were already rotting after being exposed to the elements at the parking area of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group near the PNP Public Information Office.

The PNP chief has also ordered the accounting of all recovered motor vehicle evidence—those seized in the conduct of police buy-bust operations and service of search warrants for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and the conduct of other anti-criminality including anti-carnapping operations by different PNP units including the PNP Highway Patrol Group.

Sinas told the Journal Group that he wants to find a much bigger space where these motor vehicle evidence—SUVs, wagons, sedans and motorcycles included—will be housed under one roof complete with 24-hour security and CCTV system to prevent some unscrupulous persons from stealing them or taking any spare parts or accessories of the vehicles-turned court evidence.

When he was still the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, Sinas made sure that his Regional Intelligence Division will fully partner with the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group then headed by Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee in arresting policemen who are using recovered motorcycles.

As a result, two members of the NCRPO identified as Patrolman Orlando Perez of the NCRPO Regional Drug Enforcement Unit and Corporal Steven Mark Pandi of the Pasig City Police Station Drug Enforcement Unit were arrested by joint PNP-IMEG and NCRPO-RID operatives.

Perez was arrested by PNP-IMEG operatives last April 28 while in possession of a stolen motorcycle which he and his colleagues recovered during an anti-narcotics operation in Marikina City last April 5 while Pandi was apprehended while driving a motorcycle he seized from a drug offender in Pasig City on October 4 last year.

The two were stripped of their issued firearms and badges and are now facing criminal and administrative charges.

Sinas also ordered the investigation of the two’ immediate superiors for command responsibility.

Pandi,32, was arrested while with his live-in partner and back-rider identified as 25-year old Mary Grace David. The arrest was made after the PNP-IMEG received reports that Pandi was using a motorcycle that was seized in an anti-illegal drugs operation conducted by the Pasig police on October 4, 2019. The motorcycle was found registered under the name of Sigwald Perolina, the drug personality arrested by Pandi and his colleagues last October 4.

The suspect yielded an unlicensed caliber .45 pistol and was also stripped of his PNP-issued Beretta 9mm pistol following his arrest along Evangelista Street corner Santol Street in Barangay Santolan, Pasig City 1:30 p.m. last June 3.

Lee said their investigation showed that Pandi was the arresting officer of Perolina who was charged by the Pasig police for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 before the local prosecutor’s office.

Lee said it turned out that the motorcycle was not included in the inventory of confiscated drug evidence.

The public has been asked by the PNP to report the presence of any PNP personnel involved in irregularities to the PNP IMEG Hotlines: SMART- 09989702286 or GLOBE-09957952569. Information may also be forwarded to Facebook Page: Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group, he said while assuring that the identities of the complainant will be kept in utmost secrecy.