A POLICE station commander in Angeles City, Pampanga and six of his men were arrested on Friday for alleged illegal arrest, arbitrary detention and extortion.
A report submitted to Police Regional Office director Brig. Gen. Jose Hidalgo Jr. said arrested were Angeles City Police Station 2 commander Maj. Marvin Aquino and his men MSg Romulo Melegrito, SSg Mark Steven C. Sison, SSg Nikko Dave V. Marquez, Cpl. Diosdado B. Villamor Jr., Cpl. Richard R. Gozum and Cpl. Jaypee N. Mangilit.
The seven were immediately relieved from their posts and were brought to Camp Crame in Quezon City for documentation and filing of appropriate criminal charges.
A civilian “asset” of the accused policemen identified as Esmael Arviola was also arrested during the same operation. He yielded an unlicensed cal. .38 revolver.
Prior to the arrest, the operating units conducted random inspection of the Angeles City Police Station 2 following a complaint by a daughter of a vendor.
Complainant Jonalyn Antonio said her mother Josephine was illegally arrested and arbitrarily detained by the Angeles City policemen for alleged violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Josephine was caught inside her residence in Bgy. Amsic in Angeles City around 11 p.m. on May 28.
The complainant said that personnel of the Angeles City Police Station 2 demanded P30,000 from her in exchange for the filing of a mere case for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 or the Anti-illegal Gambling Law instead of RA 9165 against her mother.
In response, Philippine National Police Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group director Brig. Gen. Warren F. De Leon said that with the help of the Angeles City PNP Internal Affairs Service, the Angeles City Police Office and the PNP Special Action Force, they conducted a surprise inspection of all Persons Under Police Custody or PUPCs at the Angeles City PS 2 on Friday morning.
The official said that during an inspection of the PUPCs inside the Angeles City PS 2, they discovered that Josephine Antonio and 14 others were being held inside the jail without any criminal charges as of Friday.
Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code says that authorities will not face arbitrary detention charges if they will deliver a suspect to judicial authorities within the following specific timeframes: 12 hours for a person accused of a crime punishably by light penalties, 18 hours for crime punishable by correctional penalties, and 36 hours for crimes punishable by capital penalties.
Hidalgo said the police are fully committed to implement the PNP’s Internal Cleansing Programs to get rid of rogue cops whether they are active, retired, or dismissed from the service.