PNP dismisses ambulance driver for extortion of police applicants
PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City
PNP Public Information Office

PNP dismisses ambulance driver for extortion of police applicants

(Philstar.com) - June 16, 2021 - 12:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — National police leadership has ordered the dismissal of an ambulance driver of the PNP Health Service for grave misconduct in extorting money from police applicants. 

Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police, confirmed in a statement that the dismissal of Police Staff Sergeant Joel Zalun Bunagan took effect on Monday.

Operatives of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group arrested Bunagan in an entrapment operation in Brgy. 175 Camarin, Caloocan City last May 31. 

According to a report, the driver allegedly demanded P100,000 from a police applicant supposedly in exchange for facilitating his entry into the PNP.  

“We went ahead and removed this Bunagan from service...there is no room in the PNP for the police involved in illegal activities,” Eleazar said.

Bunagan was out on bail at the time of the arrest. Police records show that Bunagan was previously arrested in an entrapment operation in Brgy. Kaligayahan, Novaliches, Quezon City by the IMEG for the same offense in April last year. 

It is unclear why he remained in the service despite his first arrest. 

He is facing several criminal charges in court including violation of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Act of 2018 and of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.    

"We will not stop until these corrupt cops are gone. Aside from criminal cases, I will definitely keep you out of service,” Eleazar said.

Earlier, the PNP also disqualified and filed charges against police applicants who were caught submitting fake RT-PCR results during their recruitment. 

Reform in the PNP's recruitment is among the internal cleansing measures pushed by Eleazar "in a move to demolish the culture of corruption and padrino system."

Eleazar said the anomalous recruitment system is one of the major roots of the culture of abuse in the PNP. 

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