The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) ordered on Sunday the immediate relief of two police commanders whose subordinates traded shots with agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during a buy-bust operation in Pasig City.
NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar said Chief Inspector Abraham Satorre Jr., head of the Eastern Police District (EPD)’s District Special Operations Unit (DSOU); and Inspector Edward Olmedo, commander of Pasig Police Community Precinct (PCP)-9, were relieved administratively over command responsibility.
This, after PO3 Mark Vesta, assigned to EPD-DSOU, and PO2 Marlou Roldan of Pasig PCP-9 were arrested by PDEA agents in a drug sting in Barangay Buting, Pasig City, on Friday.
The arrested cops were immediately sacked by EPD chief Senior Supt. Bernabe Balba.
“The NCRPO will be relentless in the implementation of the program. It is right that these rogue cops involved in illegal drugs are caught by any law enforcement agency. Criminal and administrative charges will be filed against them immediately and they should be relieved from the service,” Eleazar told reporters.
“The relief of their commanders is immediate while [an] internal investigation is in progress,” he added.
According to Eleazar, Vesta and Roldan were caught accompanying a suspected big-time drug pusher identified as Raymond Ryan Cruz, 35, when the PDEA agents conducted the sting against him.
Citing a report from the Pasig City Police, Eleazar said the two cops attempted to protect and let Cruz escape as they engaged the PDEA agents in a shootout.
Eventually, Roldan was hit and was forced to surrender to authorities.
Meanwhile, Vesta escaped but was subdued by the pursuing troops after he went to the Rizal Medical Center to treat his gunshot wounds.
Police also arrested Cruz who yielded around 430 grams of shabu with a street value of P2.9 million.
Eleazar said it was “difficult” for him to believe that the commanders of the arrested cops were unaware of their subordinates’ behavior.
“I expect the commanders to know their men thoroughly. At the least, the commanders must also observe and note the lifestyle and behavior of their men,” he stressed.
Chief Inspector Darwin Guerrero replaced Satorre as the head of the EPD-DSOU while the new commander of the Pasig PCP-9 has yet to be named, PO3 Gabby Deligente of the EPD public information office (PIO) said. (Martin A. Sadongdong)