Barricade at the disputed property in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City.
“Even if a police official is allowed to retire for the time being, the monitoring and investigation must continue, to gather evidence that may lead to eventual criminal prosecution. We must always act within the rule of law.”
— DILG Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr.
IT’S ALMOST A YEAR since senseless violence erupted in a disputed property in Barangay Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City and I hope that city police director PCol. Elmer S. Lim will remain on the level and will not take sides in maintaining peace and order.
It can be recalled that on September 5 last year, it seemed like an early morning nightmare for 55-year-old Judith Pagobo when suddenly bullets peppered their house made of light materials as she was about to cook breakfast for her family.
Pagobo, a descendant of Lapu-Lapu, only got a small cut when a bullet grazed her forearm as gunshots rang out for more than an hour.
In the blog “Celebrating Lapu-Lapu’s Genealogy” (www.filipinogenealogy.com), it was written: “The Pagobo and Baring families of Mactan and the Mundo family of Borbon, both in Cebu province, claim that they are modern-day blood relatives of (Lapu-Lapu) hero of Mactan.”
Incidentally, my late paternal grandmom was Nieves Mundo whose ancestors moved from Opon (old name of Lapu-Lapu City) to Borbon, a coastal northeast town of Cebu island.
Pagobo’s brother-in-law retired Senior Police Officer 2 Abduljafur “Allan” Namli claimed that the security guards of Sta. Lucia Realty & Development Inc. (SLRDI) suddenly shot their houses without provocation.
Now, the residents of Sitio Tumoy in Punta Engaño hope there will be no more nightmares like this and the police will be professional enough to maintain peace and order.
Under the PBBM administration and with Secretary Benhur Abalos at the helm of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), it can be noted that the proverbial rotten eggs are weeded out.
Indeed, no law enforcer should be above the law.
For example, no police officer should threaten any fellow cop or civilian.
The threat to kill is punishable by imprisonment of arresto Mayor (1 month and 1 day to 6 months) and a fine not exceeding P100,000.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has a special authority to punish erring cops through administrative cases.
These cases are filed much faster than criminal or civil cases since it’s the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) – parts of the police organization – that handle the investigation.
Notably, the Napolcom memorandum lists at least seven offenses that can be used as grounds for administrative cases. These are:
- Neglect of duty or failure of a policeman to perform his police and legal obligations,
- Irregularities in the performance of duty – an improper or unlawful act done by a cop,
- Misconduct or any wrongful or illegal behavior exhibited by a cop intentionally,
- Conduct unbecoming of a police officer or any act committed by a cop that disgraced him as a police officer,
- Incompetence or the lack of adequate mental, physical, or intellectual ability to perform police duties,
- Oppressive actions or actions referring to the abuse of power to oppress citizens, and
- Abandonment of loyalty to the government.