Cebu News

Cop who 'scolded' reporters relieved

- Ryan Christopher J. Sorote and Ria Mae Y. Booc -

CEBU, Philippines - A junior policewoman was relieved from her post for allegedly scolding members of the media last week.

Sr. Supt. Orlando Ualat, chief of the provincial police directorial staff, said the relief of Insp. Ma. Teresa Gutierrez took effect last Monday, but Gutierrez was informed about it only last Thursday. She was chief of the Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Minglanilla Police.

The order was signed by Police Regional Director Marcelo Garbo Jr.

“I have issued the directive to relive her of her post because of the incident. As part of our good relationship of the media and the PNP, I recommended her relief,” Garbo said.

Gutierrez was transferred to the Regional Police Community Relations (RPCR) office headed by Supt. Armando Radoc.

He said Gutierrez’ relief is a chance for her to learn from experience, stressing that being with RPCR would help her develop her skill in dealing with reporters.

Garbo insisted on the relief despite last Wednesday’s settlement dialogue between Gutierrez and the concerned reporters at Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO).

Reports have it that Gutierrez allegedly maltreated harassed reporters last May 17 who were trying to get some details on a rape case.  

The dialogue was witnessed by Comendador and Supt. Elmer Lim, chief of the Police Community Relations. Chito Aragon, president of the Defense-PNP Press Corps, the group of reporters covering the police beat, appeared on behalf of the complaining reporters.

During the dialogue, Gutierrez said that being new in the force, she was still unaware of the needs of the reporters at that time. She also said that she was meeting a deadline at that time for a case that needed to be filed. She said what happened was a simple case of miscommunication between her and the four reporters who complained against her.

She also said it would have been better if the reporters approached her properly.

“Next time, they (reporters) should have approached me properly,” she said in Tagalog.

Gutierrez reportedly argued with the media when she was asked for an interview in relation to a case of a 14-year-old victim who accused her 80-year-old grandfather of rape 14. Reporters from television stations and radio stations who were at the police station asked Gutierrez for a short interview, but the Gutierrez refused, her actuations caught on camera.

Gutierrez graduated from the Philippine National Police Academy last 2011. She was primarily assigned at the Provincial Operation and Plans Division before she was transferred to the Minglanilla Police Station.

Comendador himself admitted that there are still many policemen from the 51 police stations throughout the province who are not comfortable dealing with reporters. He, however, assured that CPPO will address this concern through seminars and other activities.

For his part, Chief Insp. Timmar Alam, Minglanilla police chief, does not think that Gutierrez’s transfer had something to do with the incident with reporters.

“Basin kinahanglan lang sila ug batan-on and active sa service kay more on paper works and ROPD,” Alam said.

He added that Gutierrez was a loss to the station for she was right for the job as WCPD officer. She is even reportedly fit to become deputy for operations.

Alam said PO2 Mary Cristy Nacario will be their new WCPD officer. – (FREEMAN)












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