File complaints vs. scalawag cops, NCRPO urges public

MANILA — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Wednesday urged the public anew to provide information against rogue police personnel as part of its internal cleansing program.

“I encourage more victims of police abuse to come forward, so we can really send the message to our policemen that reform is at hand. At least, now, the complainants are coming out. At least now, victims know that the police institution is on their side and shall not tolerate these police abuses. I ask more victims to come to us with their complaints. And I assure the public that we will put these police scalawags in jail,” NCRPO head, Police Dir. Guillermo Eleazar told reporters.

Eleazar reiterated this appeal following the arrest of two Quezon City policemen for rape as he defended the PNP’s move which presents erring police personnel to the media.

“If we will not present them to the media, how will the public know? How will they know our calls encouraging them to report scalawags in uniform? This must serve as a lesson for all erring police officers. A stern warning. This way, we will be able to save future victims,” Eleazar stressed.

The suspects, PO1 Jayson Portuguez and PO1 Severino Montalban III, both assigned at the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 4 in Novaliches, were accused of raping a certain “Maria” after she was arrested for illegal gambling last week.

Based on investigation, the victim visited her live-in partner, John Kenneth Carillo, who was earlier arrested for illegal gambling and currently detained in the police station.

Shortly after midnight on Nov. 3, personnel from the QCPD Station 4 arrested “Maria” and five other women at the Plaza Nova and were then brought to the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) for medical examination.

The victim then pleaded with Montalban, one of the arresting officers, to release her.

In response, Montalban allegedly asked her to have sex with him in exchange for her freedom.

“Maria” claimed that she was brought by Montalban and Portuguez in a dark portion of the hospital where she was sexually abused.

She said Portuguez did not have sex with her, but he instead obliged her to perform other lewd acts.

After the incident, she was later dropped off at Buenamar St., at Nova Proper, Novaliches, Quezon City while the other arrested persons were brought to the QCPD Police Station 4 Novaliches after medical examination.

Acting on the victim’s complaint, personnel from the Regional Women and Children Protection Desk (RWCPD) and the NCRPO’s Regional Special Operations Unit conducted a follow-up operation which resulted in the arrest of Portuguez late on Monday.

Meanwhile, Montalban surrendered on Tuesday night after Eleazar ordered his immediate arrest.

A case for violation of RA 8353 (The Anti-New Rape Law of 1997) was referred before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against Portuguez and Montalban.

“We need people like “Maria” who will come out and file a complaint because without them, we cannot catch abusive police personnel. That is the message we want to convey to the people. Trust us and we will act on it. Help us in our internal cleansing,” Eleazar noted.

With the spate of rookie policemen being involved in unscrupulous acts, Eleazar also said the PNP must implement a stricter screening process for applicants.

“We must be able to screen our applicants well. We have instituted reforms in our recruiting process as well to try to ensure the quality of our new policemen,” the Metro Manila Police Chief noted.

Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, Chief Superintendent Joselito T Esquivel Jr., immediately ordered the disarming and confiscation of the badges of Portuguez and Montalban.

He also ordered the relief of Station 4 chief, Insp. Ronaldo Sergio, and three other police officers involved in arresting the female suspects, namely PO2 George De Leon, PO1 Benjieson Pablo, and PO1 King Ogalesco.

They were placed under restrictive custody pending filing of administrative charges.