Less than three months after he took over the post, Makati police chief Senior Supt. Dionisio Bartolome was relieved on Wednesday after four of his men were arrested for kidnapping and extortion.
Relieved along with Bartolome was Chief Insp. Oscar Pagulayan, the Makati police intelligence chief.
Southern Police District director, Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario, said the two officials were sanctioned on the grounds of command responsibility. He added that they should explain how four members of the Makati police intelligence division were able to carry out illegal activities without their knowledge.
The four policemen—PO2 Harley Garcera, PO2 Clarence Maynes, PO1 Tim Galzote and PO1 Jeffrey Cañete—were arrested by members of the Philippine National Police Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) in an entrapment operation in Pasay City on Tuesday evening.
According to the CITF chief, Senior Supt. Chiquito Malayo, the suspects were among eight men who abducted a couple from their bike shop on Kalayaan Road in Pasay City on Monday. The couple were taken to a depot on Pasong Tamo Extension where they were told to pay P400,000 for their release, an amount later lowered to P250,000.
The victims, whom the police did not identify, initially gave P100,000. They were freed but were warned that they should pay the balance or their family would be killed.
Upon their release, the couple contacted the police which set up an entrapment operation, leading to the lawmen’s arrest.
Malayo said the CITF was also looking for the other suspects—a retired officer, an active policeman and two civilians.
The four Makati policemen who face charges of robbery-extortion and kidnapping are detained at the CITF headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Apolinario said he was saddened by the involvement of his men but stressed that he would not tolerate any wrongdoing. The Makati police is under the jurisdiction of the SPD.
“With the reinforced internal cleansing of the PNP, SPD personnel who will be involved in illicit activities will face the full force of the law,” he added.
Bartolome was named Makati police chief in February, replacing Senior Supt. Milo Pagtalunan who was relieved for failing to solve a string of robbery cases in the city.
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