Gamboa orders relief of Puerto Princesa police chief

Archie Francisco F. Gamboa

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday ordered the administrative relief and investigation of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office director amid accusations he maltreated a group of local Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) personnel.

Ordered relieved from his post was Colonel Marion Balonglong, said PNP spokesman, Brigadier Gen. Bernard M. Banac.

“The allegations against Balonglong are serious and his relief is an administrative action to preclude any possibility of undue influence in the ongoing investigation,” Banac quoted Gen. Gamboa as saying in his instruction to Police Regional Office 4-B director, Brig. Gen. Nicerio Obaob to immediately effect the relief of the Puerto Princesa City police chief.

Obaob for his part assured Gen. Gamboa that all allegations against Balonglong will be thoroughly investigated based on evidence and verified accounts of witnesses.

Balonglong and his men were accused of holding at gunpoint and arresting DENR personnel who visited a coastal village in Matahimi-Bucana area to serve a vacate notice to settlers occupying a mangrove area last Wednesday.

The environmental officers claimed they were arrested without warrant and detained until 4 p.m. of the same day.

The police official maintained they were merely performing their job and checking the presence of the complainants in connection with a reported robbery incident in the area.