Cops sued before Ombuds
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - May 1, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Members of the Cebu Mobile Company Force (CMCF), including its head, Police Major Chuck Barandog, are facing charges before the Ombudsman over the controversy involving the police checkpoint in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City last April 28.

The complainants said the respondents committed grave threats and grave misconduct and violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and Commission on Elections Resolution No. 10468.

 The complainants are William Armian, Jr., Philip Anian Abella, Kevin Paz, Jimmy Aves, Jesus Rojas, and William Alicabe.

Armian was with the group of vice mayoralty candidate Mary Ann de los Santos that just came from a campaign near the barangay hall in Kasambagan when they were stopped at the checkpoint.

Armian said he was driving a motorcycle and the CMCF team allegedly forced him to stop. One of Barandog’s men allegedly attempted to hold his right side pocket.

“When I noticed it, I then immediately asked unsa mani sir. But instead of answering me, Police Major Barandog did not mind me and he continued to utter words arrogantly saying Daplin! Daplin! Di ka mohunong, pusilon tika run! While Barandog uttered these words, he was still grabbing my arm and was shaking me, while his other arm was holding a gun,” Armian’s affidavit reads.

It was only when Barandog released his arm when he contacted De los Santos’ driver to seek for help.

When Barandog ordered his men to search Armian, Delos Santos alighted from her vehicle and intervened.

Meanwhile, in a separate complaint, Abella said he was flagged down by police at the checkpoint near the Kasambagan Gymnasium. The police, he said, committed several violations while manning the checkpoint.

“The place was not well-lighted and not a main road it is a semi-village,” his complaint-affidavit reads.

Abella said he was driving the vehicle ridden by Paz, the executive assistant of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, as well as the other complainants.

He alleged that Barandog’s team ordered them to disembark from the vehicle without reason, which was beyond visual search.

Police

The other day, the police said it was De los Santos’ group that allegedly evaded the checkpoint. Barandog, too, admitted grabbing Armian shoulder.

“Akong gipara, mao to, di man sya mohunong… di man gyud sya mohunong… mao to ako syang gihawiran hangtud nga natumba sa kalsada (I flagged him but he did not stop so I grabbed him on the shoulder and did not let go until he fell to the ground),” Barandog said earlier.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña arrived later and confronted the checkpoint team.

“Si mayor nangisog to siya nganong gi-flag down ang iyang (Delos Santos) convoy, which is wala mi kabalo nga iya tong convoy (The mayor got angry because the convoy was flagged down but we did not know it was De los Santos’convoy),” said Cebu City Police Director Garma.

In a video Garma showed to reporters Monday, Osmeña could be seen telling the police, “You cannot ask people to go down. It’s not your job.”

Police Regional Office - 7 Director Debold Sinas said they also plan to sue Osmeña and De los Santos for conduct unbecoming a government official.

Don’t Politicize

Meanwhile, Councilor Joel Garganera called on Osmeña and De los Santos to not overreact and to not politicize the issue.

“Let us treat each other with respect. That’s a Comelec checkpoint area. Let us not treat it nga i-politicize nato. Kadaghan pod sa among mga tao nga mga walay rehistro, walay lisensya pero walay mahimo kay dakop man (Let us treat each other with respect. That’s a Comelec checkpoint area. Let us not politicize it. We also have people who don’t have registration papers and they could not do anything because they would be arrested),” he told reporters.

Garganera sits as chairman of the Police Advisory Council.

While saying he is not defending the police, he said there are inconsistencies of the claim of the officials, adding that Osmeña might be misinformed of the incident.

Garganera said he saw the video wherein Osmeña was captured raising his voice against the police officer who is doing his job.

Garganera said the checkpoint was conducted along the well-lighted area and the vehicles of Osmeña and de los Santos were not stopped.

Garganera said one of the men of de los Santos was stopped because he was carrying a tactical belt bag, adding that the police may stop the person to check possible violation.

“Who is harassing who? Did you hear the police raising their voice? Wala man,” he said.

He said the advisory council is now cleansing the ranks of the police.

“They are so paranoid. Kon mohunong lang ta og checkpoint, unsay mahitabo? That’s a checkpoint. Kon wala kay gitagoan, nganong mahadlok man ka?” he added. — JMO (FREEMAN)

CHUCK BARANDOG OMBUDSMAN
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