Policewoman files case vs sacked EPD chief
Emmanuel Tupas, Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A policewoman yesterday filed an administrative complaint against Eastern Police District (EPD) director Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan, who was relieved from his post after he was caught on camera physically and verbally abusing her last month.

Cpl. April Santiago, assigned with the San Juan City police, did not intend to file a case against Tambungan for fear of reprisal, but changed her mind after she was convinced by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

“I called her to my office and convinced her to file a complaint, which would be the basis in relieving Gen. Tambungan,” Eleazar said.

Santiago reported the incident to the NCRPO Regional Women and Children Protection Division, Eleazar said.

He said the relief of Tambungan was approved by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

Eleazar ordered Tambungan to appear before the NCRPO Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division to give his side of the incident.

Tambungan was replaced by Col. Florendo Quibuyen, director for administration of the EPD.

Eleazar said Tambungan appeared at the Police Community Precinct 1 in Greenhills on May 12 and asked Santiago to provide him with a support vehicle that would guide him to a restaurant to meet Albayalde.

Since it was the eve of the midterm elections, Santiago told Tambungan that all police vehicles were on dispatched to conduct checkpoint operations.

Tambungan, who was in his car, hit Santiago in the head, swung his car door at her and hurled profanities at the policewoman.

The incident was caught on closed-circuit television footage that went viral on social media.

Eleazar said he would give due process to Tambungan, whom he reassigned to the NCRPO.

He did not say whether Tambungan could return to his post once cleared of the infraction.

Tambungan has yet to reach out to Santiago to apologize for his misbehavior.

Albayalde said Tambungan was out of line when he physically assaulted Santiago.

“We are gender sensitive in the PNP. Babae yan, we never hurt women for that matter,” Albayalde told reporters.

He said the incident could have been avoided had Tambungan used other ways to discipline the policewoman.

“He could have filed an administrative case against her. Hindi niya kailangan saktan lalo na babae ‘yun,” Albayalde said.

The PNP chief vowed to provide legal assistance to Santiago.

Even if Santiago withdraws her complaint, Albayalde said the administrative case against Tambungan, who is set to retire in December, will continue.

Tambungan, known for his reputation of being a strict disciplinarian, was formerly assigned with the Manila Police District.

According to PNP records, Albayalde said Tambungan is facing a similar offense before the ombudsman for allegedly manhandling two persons whom he did not identify.

CHRISTOPHER TAMBUNGAN
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