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Dumaguete cop arrested in ‘drug den’ risks losing job

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — A policeman assigned to the Dumaguete City police station who was arrested in Cebu for alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade stands to be dismissed from the Philippine National Police (PNP) service if found guilty.

Sr. Supt. Henry F. Biñas, acting provincial police director of Negros Oriental, warned Friday the same fate will happen to other members of the PNP in the province if they persist engaging in the illegal drugs trade.

Biñas said he will personally handle the investigation and if proven guilty, the subject policeman, SPO1 Cielo Bonite, will definitely be dismissed from the service.

“I will ensure that he will be separated from the service. I will personally prepare the pre-charge evaluation,” said Biñas. “If proven guilty, he does not deserve to stay in the service any longer.”

Bonite was arrested, along with three civilians, during a police operation in an alleged drug den in Barangay Tabunok, Talisay in Cebu province early Thursday.

Bonite, 47, and the other suspects, Frederick Go, 46, Arnold Leceña, 44, and Jaime dela Cerna, 59, are now under detention and are facing charges for illegal drugs possession, as well as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and other drug paraphernalia.

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Police authorities in Cebu said Go was the primary target of that police operation, which yielded 45 grams of suspected shabu worth over half a million pesos, dried marijuana leaves, a KG9 submachine gun, a shotgun, a caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade, cellular phones and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Dumaguete City police chief Supt. Jovito Atanacio has confirmed that Bonite was an organic member of the Dumaguete City Police Station but had a record of being transferred from one assignment to another.

Bonite, who hails from Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, was a member of the CIB in Cebu before he was transferred to the PNP provincial police office then to Sibulan PNP and back to the provincial headquarters prior to his assignment in Dumaguete, said Atanacio.

Atanacio said Bonite has been issued several delinquency reports (DR) due to habitual absences. One time, he was about to be declared absent without official leave (AWOL) but reported back to duty three days after.

Bonite was last seen at the Dumaguete police station on March 2 when he was directed by Supt. Atanacio to report even if he was off-duty, as a sort of community work to cover for his delinquency. Since then, he never reported back to duty, Atanacio said.

Atanacio further said his DRs had accumulated and reached 20 points and so the police station was in the process of pre-charging him prior to the recommendation of dropping Bonite from the roll. Atanacio could not remember if he has undergone the surprise drug test, which was conducted four times in Dumaguete.

Following Bonite’s arrest, the Dumaguete police chief has ordered a strict monitoring of police personnel while on duty to allay insinuations some of them are moonlighting.

Atanacio is also monitoring one police officer whom he observes is absent during scheduled inspections or similar police activities, with the usual “alibi” that he is sick.

Biñas has directed all police stations to submit to the provincial command their respective Daily Personnel Accounting Report (DPAR) to make sure each policeman is performing and doing his daily task.

Aside from the DPAR, officers of the day (OD) of every police station has to check on the whereabouts of the every policeman in view of reports after signing in the logbook, some of them disappear and return when it is time to log out.

Biñas reiterated his warning to members of the PNP in Negros Oriental to stay away from the illegal drugs trade or face strict sanctions.

He said he has already caused the dismissal of a number of police personnel involved in the illegal drugs trade while he was still assigned at the PRO-7 headquartered in Cebu.

Biñas had previously disclosed that a number of police personnel in Negros Oriental are under close monitoring for their alleged involvement in the illegal narcotics trade but some of them have already been reassigned elsewhere. (FREEMAN)

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