The 19 policemen assigned at the 6th Regional Public Safety Battalion and Bago City Police Station facing multiple charges before the Ombudsman for the Military, are expected to be assisted by the PNP Legal Service, Senior Supt. Mliko Lirazan, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said.
Supt. Simeon Gane, former Bago police chief, and Chief Inspector Lino Dalisay, lead the 19 policemen charged with kidnapping, serious illegal detention and torture.
The charges against them stemmed from an agrarian reform related case in Brgy. Atipuluhan, Bago City.
Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, upon his assumption of the Western Visayas police command, said criminal cases involving PNP personnel arising from service-related circumstances will be given appropriate legal assistance.
The five complainants,who include Demetrio Despojo, claimed they were illegally arrested and detained in May last year in Hacienda Aurelio, Brgy. Atipuluhan, Bago City, and they were not allowed to seek the help of their legal counsels. They further alleged that they were threatened with guns.
The respondent-policemen dismissed the filing of charges against them as a plain and simple harassment.
As long as the charges filed against them are job-related, they are entitled to legal assistance from the PNP, Lirazan said.
Records of the Commission on Human Rights showed that majority of the complaints filed against policemen are service-related. *GPB