PNP general who snatched reporter's phone promoted again

Brigadier General Nolasco Bathan, the police official who snatched the phone of GMA veteran reporter Jun Veneracion during Traslacion 2020, has been promoted again in the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

In an order promulgated on Wednesday, February 12, Bathan was promoted from deputy chief for operations to deputy chief for administration of the NCRPO – a move from the third highest post to the second highest post in the Metro Manila police.

Why was he promoted again? Bathan got another promotion because Metro Manila's former deputy chief for administration, Brigadier General Herminio Tadeo Jr, rose to the national headquarters as the director of the PNP's Health Service.

Tadeo replaced Brigadier General John Luglug, who recently retired. Bathan's latest promotion came just less than a week after the Philippine National Police Public Information Office announced his promotion from being the Southern Police District chief to deputy chief for operations.

What happened to the cellphone controversy? The NCRPO, under Major General Debold Sinas, forewent filing an administrative case against Bathan, punishing him only with an admonition and a warning despite widespread condemnation and the castigation of no less than Interior Secretary Eduardo Año over the incident.

In explaining the slap on the wrist, Sinas said the Regional Internal Affairs Service did not see it fit to further probe Bathan because Veneracion had forgiven the general and did not file an affidavit on the phone-grabbing.

Justice served? In a Facebook status on Monday, February 10, however, Veneracion said he wanted to "set the record straight," explaining that he has not submitted an affidavit because it was still with GMA-7's legal department.

"Closing the probe without considering the incontrovertible facts is a classic example of turning a blind eye. The infractions made on the 9th of January were as clear as day. Deep down, to be very blunt about it, I really didn't expect much from a flawed system. But to hand down a mere slap on the wrist is tantamount to a slap in the face for the aggrieved," Veneracion said. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.