POLICE Regional Office 1 director, Brigadier General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. has warned anew all erring members of the Ilocos-Pangasinan police force to mend their ways or find themselves being targeted for arrest and ending up in jail.
The member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 issued the warning in the aftermath of the arrest of a member of the PRO1 Regional Drug Enforcement Unit for robbery-extortion in Balungao, Pangasinan by members of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee last Thursday.
Azurin said he has ordered continuing counter-intelligence operations to identify and arrest erring members of the PRO1 who continue to defy legal orders to refrain from engaging in illegal activities including illegal drug and gambling activities and most importantly, any acts of extortion which tarnish the image and reputation of the entire police force.
The PRO1 director has directed all his police provincial, city and municipal station chiefs to fully comply with the ‘no-take policy’ of PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and said that all who will refuse to heed the order will find themselves being arrested and charged criminally and administratively.
Azurin said that rogue policemen in the region, whether they are active or dismissed will face the full brunt of the law and those who will offer armed resistance will be met with necessary force.
Last Thursday morning, a PNP-IMEG-led entrapment operation in Balungao, Pangasinan resulted in the arrest of Police Master Sergeant Aurelio Pine, a member of the Police Regional Office 1 Regional Drug Enforcement Unit for extortion.
Lee said that the erring was arrested in a sting inside the Rain-Plan Hardware & Construction Supply in Barangay Pugaro in Balungao.
The official said that the entrapment operation was conducted following a series of validation of complaints and intelligence reports regarding the extortion activities of Pine conducted by joint teams of the IMEG Luzon Field Unit, the PRO1 Regional Intelligence Division and the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office headed by Colonel Redrico Maranan.
Lee said that during the sting, the suspect was caught in the act of receiving P100,000 worth of boodle money topped by two marked P1,000 bills.
The official said they placed the suspect under surveillance after the owner of the hardware store identified as Ricky Sanchez sought their help in apprehending the accused.
It turned out that the suspect contacted Sanchez and informed him that his name in included in the PRO1 list of known members of gun-for-hire and drug trafficking syndicates being targeted for neutralization.
During their talk, the PRO1-RDEU operative told Sanchez he could remove his name in the PRO1 wanted list for P100,000. Lee said that they have discovered that the suspect was just using the scheme to frighten his targets and force them to yield to his extortion demand.
Lee said that the suspect was found in possession of his PNP-issued Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and a caliber .45 pistol with an expired license when arrested.
The suspect who is now under the custody of the PNP-IMEG was ordered disarmed and charged criminally and administratively by Brig. Gen. Azurin.
The arrest of Pine came amid an appeal by the PNP-IMEG for the public to report the presence of rogue policemen and other government workers to their hotlines 09989702286 (Smart) or 09957952569 (Globe) and rest be assured that their complaint will be investigated thoroughly.
Lee made the assurance as the PNP-IMEG, partnership with the Thompson Lighting Solution and Mindwaves Philippines Inc. officially launched its first Digital Billboard in 13 MRT stations in Metro Manila. Lee said that the MRT billboards will be the PNP IMEG’s bridge with the public in answering concerns under its mandate.
“We want a quick response system that will immediately address all complaints against erring PNP personnel who continue to tarnish the good reputation and image of the police force,” the official said.
The PNP IMEG continues to be in the frontline of ensuring public safety having been ordered by Gen.Gamboa to run after police scalawags regardless of their rank and position.
According to Lee, the project will further strengthen communications and ensure the quick response of the PNP to issues and concerns of the public relative to the illegal activities of PNP personnel.
He assured that the 24/7 PNP IMEG Hotlines will be manned by trained police personnel who will readily respond to public concerns.
Lee said that information may also be forwarded to Facebook Page: Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and Twitter account: @imeg2017. He assured the public that the identities of the informant will be kept in utmost secrecy.