Puerto Princesa police chief sacked

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The police chief of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan has been relieved from his post amid allegations that he maltreated employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa placed Col. Marlon Balonglong on floating status and reassigned him to the regional headquarters while an investigation is ongoing.

Gamboa vowed an impartial probe, which he said would be based on evidence and validated accounts of witnesses.

Balonglong was replaced by Col. Sergio Vivar Jr., former head of the regional personnel and records management division.

“The allegations against Balonglong are serious. His relief is an administrative action to preclude any possibility of undue influence in the ongoing investigation,” Gamboa said.

The DENR employees were reportedly investigating reports on the illegal cutting of mangroves in Barangay Iwahig when Balonglong and his men arrived and pointed a gun at them.

One of the police officers allegedly kicked one of the DENR employees.

Explain Facebook post

Meanwhile, Gamboa ordered a probe of personnel of a police station in Lucban, Quezon over a post on Facebook telling women not to wear revealing clothes to avoid being victims of rape and other forms of sexual harassment.

He said Lucban police chief Maj. Rizaly Merene and his men would be asked to explain their action.

“They will be made to justify why no administrative sanctions shall be imposed upon them despite earlier instructions to take down posts with similar content,” Gamboa said.

“Kayo naman mga gherlsz, wag kayo magsusuot ng pagkaikli-ikling damit at pag naman nabastos ay magsusumbong din sa amin. Isipin nyo rin,” the post, which had been deleted read.

Gamboa said the PNP strongly advocates the protection of women and children and maintains a strict set of guidelines on the use of social media.

The PNP chief said violators face administrative and criminal charges.

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