Ex-Puerto Princesa police chief charged
In an 18-page complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on June 21, the DENR said Balonglong must be held liable for torture, unlawful arrest, slight physical injuries, obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders as well as graft and corruption.
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Ex-Puerto Princesa police chief charged
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2020 - 12:00am

PALAWAn, Philippines  — Relieved Puerto Princesa City police chief Col. Marion Balonglong is facing criminal and administrative complaints over the alleged illegal arrest and maltreatment of eight employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In an 18-page complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on June 21, the DENR said Balonglong must be held liable for torture, unlawful arrest, slight physical injuries, obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders as well as graft and corruption.

The DENR said Balonglong must also be investigated for grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of Republic Act 6317 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

It said Balonglong also violated the protocols on physical distancing amid the state of emergency due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Three foresters, four forest rangers and a forest protection officer were conducting an investigation in connection with the unlawful occupation of forest and cutting of mangrove trees in Sitio Bucana, Barangay Iwahig-Matahimik on June 10 when they were allegedly accosted by a group of police officers led by Balonglong.

The DENR employees were allegedly ordered to lie on the ground while being subjected to body search. One of them was “repeatedly kicked and stomped” on the ground at gunpoint.

The DENR team was brought to the PNP station in Barangay San Pedro, where they were detained for several hours. Rhodina Villanueva

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