Nueva Ecija

Man files complaint for evidence planting vs 5 Nueva Ecija cops

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Man files complaint for evidence planting vs 5 Nueva Ecija cops

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Cleared by the Nueva Ecija Prosecutor’s Office of accusations of grenade possession, a Cabiao town resident fights back by filing complaints against the police team before the Office of the Ombudsman

MANILA, Philippines – A man, arrested and detained for alleged possession of a grenade, and subsequently cleared by prosecutors, has filed criminal and administrative complaints against two police officials and their three subordinates for allegedly planting evidence against him in Nueva Ecija in February.

The complainant, Noel Montano, has accused the law enforcers – Major Shariel Paulino, Captain Sherwin Veloria, Staff Sergeant Joy Kristine Villar, and corporals Arvin Rove Velasco and Jorden Talavera – of grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming of police officers, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, among other violations.

In his criminal and administrative complaints filed on March 1 with the Office of the Ombudsman, Montano alleged that the police planted a grenade as evidence when they served an arrest warrant against him in Cabiao town, Nueva Ecija on February 21.

Montano accused the police of violating a clause in the law on illegal firearms, ammunition, and explosives, which provides a punishment of reclusion perpetua or up to 40 years of imprisonment for those who plant evidence.

The Office of the Nueva Ecija Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has cleared Montano and dismissed the complaint against him because the grenade supposedly found in his possession was not among the items listed in a search warrant.

Senior Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Susan Apolonio said the grenade was inadmissible as evidence in the complaint against Montano.

“The actuations of herein respondents of flagrantly violating the law has eroded people’s trust and confidence in public officials,” read part of Montano’s complaint.

He said the alleged planting of evidence was “a highly improper act.”

In his complaint, Montano said he was merely looking after his bed-ridden mother who had just undergone surgery when the police went to his home in Barangay San Fernando Norte, Cabiao town, and served a search warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Gapan City.

He said he agreed to the search on condition that he be allowed to ask several barangay officials first to witness the search.

He said he went to the barangay hall and returned with two village councilors, only to learn that another group of police officers had allegedly dropped in and left while he was gone.

Montano claimed that the police read him the warrant and then searched his home, and he was surprised when the law enforcers found a grenade supposedly hidden under the pillow of his ailing mother.

For that, Montano was arrested and held overnight in detention at the Cabiao town police station.

Montano said he included Major Paulino in his complaint because he supposedly overheard the police official berating a subordinate after the prosecutor’s office dismissed the complaint against him. –

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