Cop quits alumni group over SAF 'sympathy march'
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PNPAAAI) is one member short, after one of its officials resigned almost a month over a controversial “sympathy march” for police who died during the botched “Oplan Exodus.”
Senior Superintendent Jerome Baxinela, Camp Crame Chapter president of the PNPAAAI, submitted his “irrevocable” resignation as a member of the alumni group on May 1, 2015.
Late April, the PNPAAAI, in a statement sent to media, said they would be imposing “disciplinary sanctions” against Baxinela for “countermanding” the associations’s March 8 “Sympathy March for SAF 44.”
Six of the 44 Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who died during the January 25 operation in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, were young alumni of the police academy.
Baxinela, who graduated from the PNPA in 1984, was suspended for 3 years by the PNPAAAI for circulating a text message to Camp Crame-based PNPA alumni, asking them to skip the sympathy march to “uphold public interests over and above all other interests.”
Another officer, Senior Superintendent Bernardo Borrinaga, was likewise suspended for a year by PNPAAAI, for doing the same thing.
Baxinela is currently the officer-in-charge executive officer of the PNP’s Directorate for Human Resource Doctrine and Development.
The PNPAAAI’s suspension means Baxinela and Borrinaga will not be given benefits and privileges due to alumni members. Baxinela will also be deprived of “retirement honors” from the alumni group.
In his resignation letter, a copy of which was obtained by Rappler, Baxinela said he was resigning from the alumni group “due to differences in conviction and stand” and because he is “fully convinced that I will get no fair deal and due process.”
Retired Chief Superintendent Tomas Rentoy III, board chairman of the PNPAAAI, called Baxinela’s actions “an act of disobeying, opposing and countermanding the implementation of the Board’s lawful instructions.”
The PNPAAAI president pointed out that Baxinela “actively took part” in meetings leading up to the march, only to withdraw his support at the last minute.
Speaking to media after the march, Rentoy hinted at pressure from authorities for police to skip the scheduled march. The PNP and the government denied putting any pressure on active members of the PNP, however.
Four other officers were suspended by the PNPAAAI, including 3 for their alleged involvement in the “EDSA hulidap case.” – Rappler.com