62 Caloocan cops sacked, more to be relieved after alleged robbery

Updated with interview with NCRPO Chief Oscar Albayalde, Caloocan police chief Jemar Modequillo, and statement from lawmakers

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — Sixty-two police officers from Caloocan City were relieved from their posts on Thursday, while the rest of the almost 1,000 strong force may follow suit, the Metro Manila police chief said on Friday.

All personnel of the Caloocan Police Office Station 4, including two officials, were ordered relieved after they allegedly committed robbery, Police Director Oscar Albayalde told CNN Philippines.

Thirteen members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion were also ordered relieved.

'Yung 13 na 'yun ay mga pumasok mismo doon sa loob ng bahay na  nakuhanan ng CCTV. Hindi sila organic ng Caloocan City Police Office, personnel sila ng Public Safety Battalion ng NPD (Northern Police  District)," he told CNN Philippines on Friday.

[Translation: The 13 policemen were caught on CCTV. They're not organic to the Caloocan City Police Office; they're from the Public Safety Battalion of the Northern Police  District.]

Albayalde said the sacked police officers will face criminal and administrative charges, while the members of the Public Safety Battalion are under restrictive custody.

"We do not condone the wrongdoings of our personnel... They will undergo re-training, re-orientation, and values formation course dito sa kampo," he said.

Albayalde said the relief orders for Caloocan Police Stations 2 and 7 will also be issued.

He also revealed a plan to relieve the entire city police personnel numbering around 1,000.

"Tinitingnan natin saan tayo makakakuha ng personnel dun. Probably  from our regional public safety battalion. Pwede natin palitan lahat ng  yun while they undergo re-training," he said.

[Translation: We are looking into how we can get personnel. Probably  from our regional public safety battalion. We can replace them while they  undergo re-training.]

More than 50 members of the Northern Police District-Public Safey Battalion arrived Friday afternoon to take over the posts of those relieved.

Raid turned robbery incident

Caloocan City Police chief Senior Supt. Jemar Modequillo said the policemen raided the house of a suspected drug personality in Bgy. 188 Tala in Caloocan.

CCTV footage showed no one was home during the raid, Modequillo said, noting lapses in the operation.

"There was no search warrant, why?  Di namin alam 'to. Ang worst thing doon because may kasama silang civilian, 'yun ang naggalaw ng mga gamit, nagnakaw (There was no search warrant, why? We didn't know about this. The worst thing is they were with a civilian...who stole some things)," Modequillo said.

Albayalde said what the Caloocan police officials did can be likened to "akyat bahay" activities.

"Parang walang pinagkaiba ito sa mga akyat bahay activities... Unang-una walang search warrant, hindi naka uniform, napakarami nating nakitang violations dun," he said.

[Translation: This is no different from those activities. First of all, there  was no search warrant. They were not wearing uniforms. We saw so much  violations.]

He added, "Yung nauna sa pagpasok sa kanila ay yung asset pa nila. At gumamit pa sila ng minor. At nakita natin na ang daming kinuha dun sa  loob ng bahay."

[Translation: The asset was the first one who entered and they used a  minor. We saw they took many things from the house.]

Albayalde said the sacked officers told him the owner of the house they entered was a supplier of shabu.

"Ang excuse nila tinuro daw yung may-ari ng bahay na isang supplier ng shabu. But then again, hindi naman yun hot pursuit operations. Kung hindi hot pursuit, kailangan may arrest warrant," he said.

[Translation: Their excuse was the house owner was a shabu supplier. But it was not a hot pursuit operation; this means they needed an arrest warrant.]

Relief a 'welcome move'

Several lawmakers lauded the move to sack the policemen.

"It is a welcome move on the part of the NCRPO. It goes to show that our PNP is sensitive enough in addressing the wrongdoings of its members," Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said in a statement.

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin said, "accountability demands action and not melodramatics."

The Caloocan City police has been in hot water for the past few weeks for their operations. Two teenagers, 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, were killed by Caloocan police after the two allegedly engaged the police in a shootout.

The Caloocan police involved in the two incidents were also relieved.

CNN Philippines' Ruth Cabal contributed to this report.