Some of the policemen involved in the EDSA ‘hulidap’ case were allegedly previously involved in illegal activities, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
According to a report on GMA7’s news program State of the Nation, two of the eight suspects tagged in the kidnapping of two men along EDSA last September 1 have pending cases before the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
Eduardo Escueta, Napolcom vice chairman and executive officer, identified the two police officers as SPO1 Ramil Hachero and PO2 Jonathan Rodriguez of the La Loma police station in Quezon City.
“We learned that Hachero and Rodriguez have a pending case filed here in our office. That was in 2011 and the modus operandi was the same,” Escueta said in the State of the Nation interview.
According to the report, in November 2011, Hachero and Rodriguez allegedly stopped a vehicle, arrested its passengers, brought them to the police station, then detained and extorted money from the victims..
The innocent victims were told they would be charged for possession of illegal drugs. They were only freed after their relatives went to the station and paid off the police officers.
The victims then filed a complaint with the Napolcom. Asked about the case, Escueta said the case it not been resolved, but the commission will come up with the decision soon.
He admitted that the two officers were relieved but allowed to go back into active service despite their alleged involvement in the 2011 case because they have to follow a due process.
“Yes, because there is presumption of innocence while an administrative case is pending, they will not be dismissed outright,” he said.
However, Escueta said Hachero and Rodriguez should not have been allowed to go back to their original police station.
“Normally, if a police officer did something wrong, like in Metro Manila, he will be reassigned somewhere in Mindanao or in the Visayas to change his environment and also to teach him lesson,” he added.
Rodriguez has been arrested last Monday while Hachero remains at large.
Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Allan Emlano of the Caloocan Police, another suspect in the 2014 EDSA robbery and abduction incident, was also charged before the Napolcom in 2001. His case was dismissed last Aug. 5 for insufficient evidence.
Emlano surrendered to authorities on Wednesday.
Another suspect, La Loma station deputy commander Chief Inspector Joseph de Vera, is also now in police custody.
State of the Nation also reported that to date, there are 1,774 cases filed before the Napolcom. Of these, 375 were filed last year.
Escueta said that the number is still low considering the number of policemen in service.