PNP sacks 2 'partisan' cops
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police sacked from their posts two policemen who escorted voters in the final day of voters' registration last October 31.
The relieved cops, PO3 Raymund Palope and PO2 Jithelo Panigan Tuazon, are the police escorts of La Paz, Abra Mayor Joseph "JB" Bernos. They were punished for escorting voters of Barangay Isit, Dolores town while carrying with them firearms that were not issued to them by the PNP.
“We will not allow our policemen to be used by anybody to protect their dubious activities and political interests regardless whether they are incumbent or powerful political leaders of any political party,” Chief Supt Benjamin Magalong, police director of the Cordillera region, said in a statement.
Seized from the two sacked policemen were an MP5 sub-machine pistol (caliber .9mm) allegedly owned by the local government of La Paz, and a caliber .45 pistol.
The two will also be investigated for administrative violations.
The PNP has called on its cops to stay neutral as the organization prepares to secure the May 2013 elections. Deputy Director General Alan Purisima has been designated as the lead commander to ensure clean and honest elections.
PNP investigation showed that Bernos arrived at the Comelec office in Dolores town last October 31 with a group of voters who were supposed to register in the area.
The Comelec registrar refused to accept the application of the voters, triggering a heated argument among Mayor Bernos, the Comelec officer and the mayor of Dolores town, Robert Victor Seares Jr.
Seares then sought the assistance of local police. When the police arrived at the scene, they immediately confiscated the guns of the two police-escorts. - Rappler.com