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Due process for sacked Bacolod police officials

The Bacolod City police chief and four other cops relieved by President Rodrigo Duterte for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs will be given due process and their relief is pending the result of an administrative investigation, said Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

Albayalde pointed out the relief of Senior Supt. Francis Ebreo and four other police officers did not mean they are already guilty.

The four others are Supt. Allan Macapagal, deputy city director for operation; Supt. Ritchie Yatar, chief of City Mobile Force Company; Supt. Nassrudin Tayuan, former team leader of the City Drug Enforcement Unit; and Senior Insp. Victor Paulino, former chief of Police Station 3, who was re-assigned to the City Mobile Force Company last month.

“We will give them due process. Although they were relieved it doesn’t mean they were already guilty. It’s an administrative relief pending the result of an investigation. He’s not outright dismissed from the service,” Albayalde said in a briefing in Camp Crame on Monday.

He added that Ebreo was not on the PNP’s drugs watchlist and neither that of the President’s.

“As far as I am concerned, he’s not in the PNP watchlist. He’s not also in the list of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Albayalde said.

The relieved police officials were told to report to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit at the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 headquarters in Iloilo City.

Albayalde said Duterte, as the commander-in-chief, has his own sources of information.

“If that is the wisdom of the President, we need to implement that,” he said.

“That is a specific order coming from no less than the Commander-in-Chief himself, more than the PNP chief,” he added.

Albayalde said he received information from Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of PRO-6, that Ebreo has been performing well as the commander of the Bacolod police.

He also said they have yet to gather concrete evidence to prove claims that the policemen were linked to illegal drug activities.

“But then again… before we comment on this we have to validate and investigate this thoroughly. We don’t know, probably, they’re not the only ones involved here,” he said.

Bulalacao said he has designated Senior Supt. Henry Biñas as officer-in-charge of the Bacolod police effective Sunday.#