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Labella stops allowance for Sawang Calero cops
“I have decided that for as long as their investigation is pending, hunungon usab sa atong kagamhanan ang paghatag og allowance sa mga involved nga pulis. These are very serious allegations that I will not tolerate among our policemen. It is unacceptable for law enforcers to do such acts. It is also not fair to those who are doing the right thing ug nagtinarong sa ilang pagserbisyo,” Labella said in a Facebook post.

Labella stops allowance for Sawang Calero cops

Ian B. Melecio (The Freeman) - April 11, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has suspended the city’s allowance allocation for cops at the Sawang Calero Police Station who are facing investigation and charges for alleged abusive acts against detainees.

“I have decided that for as long as their investigation is pending, hunungon usab sa atong kagamhanan ang paghatag og allowance sa mga involved nga pulis. These are very serious allegations that I will not tolerate among our policemen. It is unacceptable for law enforcers to do such acts. It is also not fair to those who are doing the right thing ug nagtinarong sa ilang pagserbisyo,” Labella said in a Facebook post.

At least 11 policemen of the station have been relieved and are now facing charges for rape, extortion, and robbery.

One complainant has alleged that she was raped and robbed after she was picked up at her house in Tungkil, Minglanilla on March 10.

Another complainant also accused the cops of detaining and torturing her at the “secret jail” at the back of the police station for four days.

Policemen in Cebu City receive allowance from the city government every month. The amount depends on their position and rank.

Labella said the city will not tolerate abuse among cops in the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

“Let this be a notice to all other members of the police force. We will not tolerate abuse among your ranks,” he said.

Labella said if charges are proven, the few “scalawags” or “rotten eggs” will tarnish the reputation of many other policemen who are doing their job earnestly.

Labella said he has directed City Legal Officer Attorney Rey Gealon to coordinate with the city police office so that appropriate charges can be filed if investigation warrants.

This will be on top of the complaints that the two complainants have already filed.

The Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group - Visayas Field Unit (IMEG-VFU), a special unit of the PNP, is the agency investigating the allegations. IMEG-VFU is headed by Police Major Alejandro Batobalonos.

Aside from the IMEG, the Commission on Human Rights has also opened its own investigation into the allegations, particularly the presence of the supposed “secret jail”.

On April 6, 2021, CHR-7 chief investigator Leo Villarino checked the “secret jail” out together with former arrestees who have complained and filed charges against the cops.

In a room located behind the police station, the complainants pointed to several items they reportedly remember seeing while in detention – a plastic bench with a hole in the middle, electrical wirings, a ceiling fan, and a hole in the wall where an air conditioner was once installed.

"Ang na-file nga kaso against the 11 are the alleged rape, extortion, robbery, and that have nothing to do with the secret detention cell so mao na atong gi-imbestigar karon," Villarino has said. — JMO (FREEMAN)

EDGARDO LABELLA
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