(UPDATED) PO1 resigns, laments ‘corruption’ in PNP Catanduanes

LEGASPI CITY 4/26/17 (Bicol Standard) – A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) with a rank of Police Officer 1 (PO1) has made good on his promise to resign from service if the alleged corruption and involvement in illegal activities of several ranking police officials in Catanduanes persists.

In a statement aired over radio stations and sent to different media outlets in Bicol, PO1 Vincent Tacorda told the BICOL STANDARD he can no longer stomach the situation within his organization in spite of the commitment of top police officials who promised to implement immediate reforms within the organization.

PO1 Tacorda said he had sent an irrevocable letter of resignation addressed to PSSupt. Jacinto N. Culver, Group Director, Regional Headquarters Support Group (RHSG), Police Regional Office 5 informing him of his decision to resign.

He (Tacorda) criticized his reassignment order to the RHSG, allegedly without valid basis or reason, which constitutes an act of constructive demotion.

“I do not wish to brag about my contributions in the organization especially those extra efforts I exerted only to ensure the fight against criminality, more particularly the war on drugs, even before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office,” he narrated in his letter.

“My resignation comes with a heavy heart that I should leave the badge of service because I am no longer happy in the organization,” he said. The resignation was dated April 26, 2017.

In the same interview, Tacorda alleged that he, together with PO1 Dan Bagay were reassigned to Camp Simeon Ola because they were against the illegal activities being perpetrated by ranking police officials in Catanduanes.

Extra-judicial killing

Tacorda confirmed that there was a time when he was ordered by his superiors to kill an alleged drug personality. Allegedly, the target was an employee of the Department of Education (DepEd).

“May tape recorded order ako rito ng dalawang opisyal na nag utos sa akin. Ang isa sa kanila ay Kapitan na ngayon at ang isa ay Police Supt.,” he said.

“Im ready to give my statements in the proper forum. Maybe to the National Bureau of Investigation if this case is investigated. That order to kill was given to me so that PNP Catandunes could submit an accomplishment regarding the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs,” he added.

Planting of evidence

Tacorda also mentioned about the practice some police officers to plant evidence. He said he is willing to executive a sworn affidavit to prove his claim. He mentioned some names, but said he would rather present his evidence, again in the proper forum.

Repeatedly, he mentioned the name of Manuel Huit Jr., an alleged bigtime drug dealer. The said person was, according to Tacorda, a regular visitor inside Camp Francisco Camacho, where PNP Catanduanes holds office.

He also mentioned some ranking police officers assigned in Catanduanes who allegedly were in the payola from the operators of illegal gambling activities. He himself, being assigned in the intelligence division, had also been a recipient of the same payola money.

Reply of the PNP

In response to the report, Police Regional Office 5 Information Officer Police Chief Inspector Malu Calubaquib stated: “The accusation of the two PO1s involving some police officers in Catanduanes is an unsubstantiated allegation in the absence of clear and convincing evidences.”

“Airing their grievances to the media is apparently Conduct of Unbecoming of Police Officer. Applying the general rule ‘He who asserts, not who denies, must prove,’ it is the burden on the part of the accuser to provide evidence in order to substantiate the claim,” she continued.

“Dai man po na problema samuya (We have no problem with it), as long as they can prove it. The responsible personnel will be charged. The media cannot address their grievance. We have a proper forum for cases such as these,” she explained.

Tacorda is the second member of the Catanduanes police who recently criticized the organization of the PNP.

Earlier, PO1 Dan Bagay faced the media to expose the alleged involvement of ranking police officials in Catanduanes in illegal fishing and illegal logging activities.

Meantime, Tacorda is expected to hold a press conference on the issues anytime soon.