Philippine National Police

7 Bukidnon cops relieved for allegedly planting evidence

Jairo Bolledo

RELIEVED. File photo of PNP officials

Rappler File photo

The internal affairs service of the PNP Northern Mindanao also recommends the relief of the Valencia City police chief

Seven cops from the Valencia City police drug enforcement unit were relieved from their posts over accusations of planting evidence on a suspect they allegedly killed in a buy-bust operation.

The Bukidnon acting police provincial director confirmed Friday, April 30, the relief of the cops involved in the incident which was seen on a video that went viral on social media.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police-Northern Mindanao (PRO 10) Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS) based in Cagayan De Oro City recommended the relief of the Valencia City police chief over the incident.

“‘Yung hepe, for recommendation pa lang. ‘Yung mga pulis from city drug unit, relieved na sila ng region. (So far, there is a recommendation for the relief of the [Valencia City police] chief. The police officers from the city drug unit were relieved by the regional office),” acting provincial director Police Colonel Jun Mark Lagare told Rappler over the phone.

The police officers are now under investigation.

They were accused of killing and planting a pistol on a slain suspect, according to the RIAS. 

The list of names of the cops has yet to be released by the PNP Northern Mindanao. 

On March 10, a video circulated online showing a man, who was said to be a cop, putting a revolver gun beside a dead body. The RIAS said the person who uploaded the video told them the incident happened on February 20 in Purok 4, Barangay Batangan in Valencia City.

The victim was identified as Pol Lopez Estanol, a barangay tanod (village guard), who was allegedly involved in drugs. 

In a report released by the United Nations Human Rights Office in 2020, Philippine police said to have planted guns as evidence to support their “nanlaban (fought back)” claims against killed individuals in police operations. 

The report added that ‘police repeatedly recovered guns bearing the same serial numbers from different victims in different locations.’ –

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.