ILOILO City – Senior Superintendent Martin Defensor, director of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), shrugged off the administrative charges filed against him and 16 other police officers for arresting two security aides of Councilor Plaridal Nava last month.
Nava filed the complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Defensor said the councilor is within his rights to file charges against policemen.
“We will wait for our copies of the complaints and answer them,” he said.
The charges Nava filed were for grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service.
“This is a distraction from our jobs. Instead na magtrabaho kaming mga pulis eh mag-attend-attend kami ng mga hearings diyan. But kasama sa trabahon namin ‘yan so we will just continue doing our job as policemen,” said Defensor.
Nava’s security aides Roy Delos Reyes, 42, of Barangay West Timawa, Molo district and brother Rey Julius, 34, were arrested around 12:06 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the councilor’s office at city hall.
The brothers were suspects in the assassination of the councilor’s cousin Mercedes Nava in Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao district on Jan. 4.
According to policemen, they recovered from Rey Julius two .45 pistols with bullets, a hand grenade, P12,000 cash and a black holster, and from Roy a .45 pistol with bullets and P1,770 cash.
Policemen said the arrest was carried out without the need for an arrest warrant because they were on a “hot pursuit” operation.
Nava, however, said the so-called “hot pursuit” was no longer applicable in his security aides’ case, thus their arrest was illegal.
Defensor expressed confidence that the truth would exonerate him and his men.
“You can judge kon ano natabo. Hindi namon inabuse, hindi namin sinaktan ang accused. You can see them sa Mandurriao police station kung gaano sila ka-healthy subong. We just exercised our duty,” said Defensor.
While his complaints were being heard, according to Nava, the police officers should be placed under preventive suspension for at least 90 days to deter them from using their positions to harass him as complainant.
The respondents, aside from Defensor, were Superintendent Godfrey Buslotan, Police Station 1 commander Superintendent Jonathan Pablito, Mandurriao police commander Chief Inspector Marlon Valencia, Senior Police Officer 2 Edward Barrida, Police Officer 2 Cyril Maestre, Police Officer 2 John Marcel San Pedro, Police Officer 3 Richard Ivan Lopez, Police Officer 3 Oliver Lonasco, Senior Police Officer 2 Jessie Jim Rubio, Police Officer 3 Joel Novera, Police Officer 3 Ricardo Morante, Senior Police Officer 1 Vernie Escorial, Police Officer 3 Vincent Angelo Hongco, Police Officer 2 Melvin Nino, Police Officer 2 Enrico Gonzales, and Police Officer 2 Peter Organia./PN