Saturday, June 23, 2007

7 narcotics agents axed

CAGAYAN de Oro City – (Ben Balce / June 23) CITY police director Senior Supt. Aurelio Trampe has relieved from Cagayan de Oro Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) seven police officers.

Trampe’s order came after the police unit was caught in a controversy that stemmed from a complaint that its agents mauled and illegally arrested a man suspected to be an illegal drug dealer in Bayabas last week.

The complaint is threatening to bungle whatever case the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has against the suspect, Renjun Catamco.

Relieved from the CDEU were SPO1 Reynaldo de la Victoria, and PO2s Joel Deloso, George Tabian Jr., Frederick Yamis, Alvin Enzel Nacaya, Fred Yasay Jr., and Ariel Lig-ang.

Authorities however said the relief order was not a penalty.

“It was not necessarily a penalty. The case is still under investigation,” said Trampe.

Unnamed CDEU personnel are facing investigation by the Cocpo’s internal affairs service for allegedly breaking the police rules in treating crime suspects when they arrested the 32-year old Catamco during a cock derby in Bayabas last weekend.

The new head of the CDEU, Insp. Exudio Vidal said the seven officers were merely affected by a revamp ordered by Trampe.

SPO1 de la Victoria, the highest ranking officer in the group, was transferred to the City Mobile Group (CMG) while Deloso, Tabian, Yamis, Nacaya, Yasay, and Lig-ang were assigned to various police station in the city.

The relief order took effect early this week.

Vidal said the relief order for the seven police officers had nothing to do with the Catamco complaint.

Trampe said the officers had to be transferred because the new CDEU chief had to bring his trusted men.

Catamco has alleged that CDEU agents violated the rules when they arrested him. His sister and other witnesses claimed officers took turns in beating Catamco, illegally arrested and illegally detained the drug suspect.

Catamco has denied any wrongdoing and maintained his innocence despite the police’s claim that he was in the barangay’s list of suspected drug pushers in Bayabas.

SPO2 Rico Justalero has maintained that the CDEU’s use of force was justified because Catamco allegedly fought back and resisted arrest.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Man hangs self

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – (Ben Balce / June 20) A MAN hanged himself following a disagreement with his common-law wife’s mother in Opol, Misamis Oreintal.

SPO4 Henry Patao identified the suicide as Rolando Gaboy, 20, of Poblacion, Opol, town.

Patao said investigators found no signs of foul play.

He said the suicide was believed to be emotionally unstable when he hanged himself early morning yesterday inside a nipa hut.

Patao said Gaboy was suffering from financial problems.

Gaboy was found dead around 6 a.m. by members of the household at the backyard of the house where he had stayed.

The victim used a thick cord in killing himself.

Patao said Gaboy had lived with a common-law wife’ who gave birth a week ago.

Investigators said Gaboy was hurt when he was told by his partner’s mother to leave the house. This supposedly happened a night before he killed himself.

Patao said the woman admitted to investigators that she had a disagreement with the suicide. But she said she did not mean to hurt Gaboy’s feelings.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

4 cops in trouble for beating suspect

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — (Ben Balce / June 19) AT LEAST four members of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office are now in trouble after beating and arbitrarily detaining civilian Renjun Catamco, 32, last Saturday.

Catamco is still detained at the Maharlika Detention Center for alleged involvement in drug pushing, a charge he denies.

Catamco’s relative Rose Jane Balaba claimed Catamco was beaten and kicked in the face, head and stomach by police officers. Although Balaba lodged a complaint on Saturday evening yet, it was only Monday morning when action was taken on the case.

Balaba identified the suspects as a certain Yamis, Nacaya, La Victoria and Jodaps, all members of the City Drug Enforcement Unit of the Cagayan de Oro Police.

"If that’s true. That is a violation of our policy," said City Director Senior Supt. Aurellio Trampe adding he have not yet received formal complaint.

Internal Affairs OIC Insp. Henry Peñero said they are still waiting for a formal complaint from the victim.