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DILG to PNP: Keep out of politics

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
DILG to PNP: Keep out of politics
Año said that the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) do not tolerate political partisanship and political harassment, especially with the coming 2022 elections.
pna.gov.ph / File

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has reminded the Philippine National Police to keep out of politics, following the dismissal of six police officers over the illegal arrest of a Negros Occidental government official in 2017.

Año said that the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) do not tolerate political partisanship and political harassment, especially with the coming 2022 elections.

The reminder comes after six police officers were dismissed for the illegal arrest of then Moises Padilla town vice mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo in 2017. She is now the mayor of the Negros Occidental municipality.

“The dismissal of these cops is a warning to the entire PNP to be non-partisan especially during the election season,” Año said in a statement.

“We will not allow the police force to be used for dirty politicking and for disrespecting the law. This dismissal comes at a proper time to remind the politicians and the PNP to play fair and within the bounds of law especially during the election season,” he added in a mix of Filipino and English.

Dismissed were former Moises Padilla town police chief Cpt. Allan Reloj, MSg. Ricardo Campos Dingcong Jr., Cpl. Nobel Perante, Cpl. Felix Corejado Pesales Jr., Pat. Michael Mondido and Pat. Darryl Ducay Dormido.

Aside from dismissal from the service, the police officers’ eligibility and retirement benefits were forfeited, and they were also banned from holding any public office.

They were found to have committed grave misconduct and grave irregularities in the performance of their duties after they illegally accosted and harassed Garcia-Yulo and her husband, Felix Mathias.

The investigation showed that the couple were stopped by the police officers as they were driving along Barangay Crossing Magallon, which the Napolcom determined was election-related.

Reloj and his men were accused of conducting an illegal checkpoint, unlawfully arrested the couple and performed an illegal search and seizure of their vehicle.

“The search performed by the respondents on the complainants was unlawful, because aside from violations of the PNP Police Operational Procedures, they also failed to prove the area where the checkpoint was placed was within their immediate control,” Año said.

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