18 January 2011

Crimes by Police Cast Doubt on Their Ranks

PNP Explains Kidnapping of Indian National
New year, new scandal. This time it involves the country's law enforcers who have tried for years to clean their image. No less than the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) admitted being worried over several incidents of abuse involving police officials in past weeks of December 2010 and January 2011.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo said they are working on long- and short-term solutions – starting with the arrest and prosecution of erring cops.

"In the last six weeks, we have seen many of our own men involved in at least eight index crimes. This is a cause for worry, and our National Headquarters will analyze the incidents and come up with appropriate measures," Bacalzo said in Filipino in an interview aired on dzBB.

Among the incidents of abuse was the fatal shooting of a town police chief in Nueva Ecija province by his own deputy on New Year's Day. Killed was Talavera town police head Superintendent Ricardo Dayag Jr., who was shot dead by his deputy Inspector Bernardo Castro.

The two had an argument where the allegedly drunk Castro shot Dayag dead. Castro fled but eventually surrendered.

Another nerve-wracking incident involved PO3 Antonio Bautista Jr., who was accused of raping a 30-year-old vendor inside the headquarters of the Manila Police District.

According to the victim, she was arrested in Carriedo last 31 December 2010 supposedly for vagrancy, while she was on her way to a hear Mass, by a cop later identified as Police Officer 3 Antonio Bautista Jr. Bautista was reportedly accompanied by a man wearing a shirt that bore the word "PRESS."

Vanessa said she was brought to the MPD headquarters on U.N. Avenue where Bautista allegedly took the PhP 4,000 cash she had in her wallet, raped her on top of a table inside the office of the Integrity Task Force, and then asked her to perform oral sex on him.

Before releasing her, PO3 Bautista even allegedly asked for more money, with a threat that if she fails to produce additional cash up to 3 January 2010, she will be incarcerated at the headquarters.

As if the above two examples of incompetence were not enough to rattle the authorities' moral confidence, two counts of murder were later filed on 5 January 2011 against three Quezon City policemen, a reported asset of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and four Indian nationals for the 20 December 2010 kidnap-slay of the associates of Indian national Manjinder "James" Khumar, who escaped from their abductors (pictured above, left).

The Pasay City police filed the complaint before the city prosecutor’s office after the bodies of Khumar's associates, Ferdinand Ret and Andy Brian Ngie, were found in Bataan and Pangasinan provinces.

Police said the victim's heads were wrapped in masking tape, and their feet and hands bound. Pasay police chief Senior Superintendent Napoleon Cuaton said that the way the two men were killed "has all the elements of murder."

The respondents named in the case are Chief Inspector Edwin Faycho, head of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) anti-drug unit; Police Officer 2 Edmund Faculdar; PO1 Mark Edward Zapata; and alleged NBI asset Charles Philip Lou, as well as Indian nationals Gurdanshan Singh, Saudagar Singh, Deepak Kumar (no relation to the victim) and Baldev Singh Brar.

After the three reported incidents mentioned above, who do you think will have no longer doubt on the PNP's commitment to clean their ranks of these abusers in uniform?