FIVE members of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office who went missing at the height of simultaneous raids on suspected New People’s Army hideouts in the province last December 27 turned out to have merely abandoned their posts after sensing the grave danger they were in at the hands of armed rebels.
Police Regional Office 7 director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas ordered the filing of administrative charges for cowardice, conduct unbecoming of an officer, abandonment of post and AWOL against the five who were also ordered disarmed.
Sinas said three of the five are Police Commissioned Officers – Chief Insp. Jomar Medil and Inspectors Clifton Gairanod and Mark Eric Papong.
The two others are Police Officers 1 Tomas and Melvin Cañete.
The official said that during the accounting of person and debriefing after the operations, the three PCOs were unaccounted for and were believed to have left their teams.
An investigation later showed that after the first day of the operation, the three left the area without asking permission from their superiors and without informing their respective teams. All three were later discovered to be already in Cebu City.
“These actions of the three PCOs reflected their unprofessional and undisciplined attitude and not good examples to any PCOs and PNCOs. By leaving their respective teams to tend to its own showed that these PCOs had no leadership qualities to speak of,” Sinas said.
After ordering the disarming of the three, the Central Visayas police director ordered their reassignment to the Regional Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit 7.
Sinas said around 2 a.m. of December 28, the two PO1s reported to the chief of police of the Gulhungan City Police Station in the province.
An investigation showed that the two PO1s panicked and ran away from their target area, thus abandoning their fellow policemen when they heard gunshots while the raids were being conducted in Poblacion, Guilhungan City.
The Cañetes stayed in a safe area in the city while all their teammates were searching for them for the whole day and night. Accordingly, when all the operating elements transferred from the Guihulngan CPS to the Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Tanjay City, the two panicked.
They later started calling members of their teams and claimed that they were trapped and several snipers were shooting at them.
Sinas said the two were disarmed and ordered confined in the barracks.
“They will be investigated and will be charged with desertion and cowardice and dishonesty to the detriment of the operating elements,” Sinas said.