For leaving men behind Sinas sacks three police officials

Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - January 10, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Three police officials are in hot water for going home ahead during an anti-criminality drive in Negros Oriental last December.


Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said in a press conference yesterday that Police Chief Insp. Jomar Medil, Insp. Clifton Gairanod and Insp. Mark Eric Papong were relieved from their posts.

Medil was the chief of Cebu City Tourist Police Unit, while Gairanod and Papong are with the Regional Mobile Force Battalion.

They are made to report to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit to undergo investigation.

Sinas said that the administrative charges filed against them are abandonment of post, absence without leave (AWOL), cowardice, and conduct unbecoming a police officer.

He said the charges may also result in dismissal.

Sinas said that the three went home after the first day of the synchronized enhanced managing police operations which served over a hundred search warrants of illegal firearms in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

The operation lasted for three days. During the first day, as well, two cops broke away from their units after hearing successive gun fire.  They were PO1 Melvin Cañete and PO1 Thomas Cañete.

Sinas ordered an area-wide search which lasted for more than two hours only to know the two were safe in a restaurant in Barangay Poblacion.

They were traced because of the beeping of their cellphones. The two were already charged for cowardice and dishonesty and were relieved from the post in the Regional Mobile Force Batallion.

Sinas said that the relief will serve as a lesson to other police officers.

“We have to do this because it’s a massive operation and they just left the area.  They have been disarmed and this is aground for dismissal,” Sinas said.

He said that the three police officials were team leaders and what they did was unbecoming a leader.

It was fortunate that their teammates did not follow and stayed behind for the rest of the operation.

Sinas said it will be determined during the investigation if they are fit to be reassigned in other police stations, as police with pending cases of abandonment may affect morale of other cops.

Cebu City Police Office director Royina Garma said in a separate press conference that Medil had an untarnished record during his stint as tourist police chief.

But she said he has to learn his lesson by not being complacent.

“The officer has to learn from the action he did. He had no derogatory records. It’s a loss but I have to respect the decision. If you are a policeman, you have to be flexible.  You have to have sense of responsibility and accountability,” she said. — MBG (FREEMAN)

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