Philippine media

Precinct commander, policemen relieved over arrest of radio reporter

Jairo Bolledo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

RELIEVED. File photo of members of the Philippine National Police

Rappler File photo

Aside from being relieved of their duties, the police officers may face grave misconduct complaints

Manila Police District (MPD) announced the relief of a precinct commander and 4 other policemen under MPD Station 10 after the arrest of a radio reporter in Manila on April 16. 

Precinct commander Police Lieutenant Joel Piñon and 4 other policemen from Beata Police Community Precinct in Pandacan were relieved and are now under investigation, according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Mupaz of the MPD Public Information Office. 

They were transferred to the MPD Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management Division while the investigation is ongoing. 

The other relieved policemen are named as: 

  • Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonathan Hernandez
  • Police Corporal Charles Bronzon Dela Torre
  • Patrolman Marvin Anthony Comboya
  • Patrolman Jonathan Abad

On April 16, Lorenz Tanjoco, a radio reporter of Radyo Pilipinas under PTV 4, was arrested by the police after he failed to wear his mask properly while riding his motorcycle in Pandacan, Manila. 

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MPD said that aside from being relieved of their duties, the policemen might face grave misconduct complaints.

Siguro grave misconduct ‘yan ‘yung mga usual na kaso na administrative sa mga kaso ng pulis eh (Possibly grave misconduct because that is the usual administrative complaints against policemen),” Mupaz told Rappler in a phone interview. 

Tanjoco shared his experience with Rappler after being detained for almost 10 hours. 

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Gusto nila umakto na parang Diyos. Oo ka lang, ‘yes sir, yes sir, sorry po.’ Otherwise ‘pag pumalag ka they can and they will use their position to harass you. Balewala kung tama ka, ang mahalaga hindi sila mapahiya,” Tanjoco said of his encounter with the policemen. 

(They want to act like Gods. You should always say yes and apologize. Otherwise, if you disobey them, they can and will use their position to harass you. It doesn’t matter if you’re right, the important thing for them is to feed their ego.)

Once Tanjoco was apprehended, he presented his media ID but the police officers did not accept it and decided to bring him to the police station. Tanjoco started to document his arrest using his mobile phone but the officers confiscated it and said he would face a resisting arrest complaint. 

He was cuffed and detained for almost 10 hours inside the community precinct before being released.

On April 12, then-PNP spokesperson Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana said no violators would be arrested under MECQ and, instead, receive warnings or tickets.

In the event that village guards (barangay tanod) arrest violators and transfer them to the police, cops must immediately release them. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.