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Command responsibility

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“WE DID not fall short in our warnings and memo directives reminding all PNP personnel to never engage in illegal activities. This will serve as a stern warning to all PNP personnel and we will continue to weed out hoodlums and punish the undisciplined among our ranks.”

So warned Police Regional Office 3 director Brig. Gen Matthew Baccay after he ordered last week the “immediate relief and removal from post” of 10 cops assigned to the Pampanga police provincial intelligence unit involved in a “hulidap” on an illegal cockfight or “tupada” in Bacolor town on March 19.

Robbery cases were filed against the policemen for allegedly carting away P379,700 and other valuables in the course of their “unsanctioned operations.”

“In the course of the operation, the operatives made an inventory of bet money, which would have been part of the pieces of evidence. During the process, a certain Alberto Gopez, the owner of the compound and one of the accosted among the complainants, pleaded with the operatives not to pursue the formal complaint against them. The operatives released the complainants and left the place of the incident without returning the bet money,” said Baccay in a statement.

An administrative case against the policemen was also filed by the Pampanga provincial police office.

The police actions were prompted by the call of Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda and Bacolor Mayor Diman Datu for an investigation of the incident.

“It was wrong that a tupada was planned and it was even more wrong to get money and valuables from the residents,” the governor said then. “I cannot allow scalawags in uniform to work in our province.”

Most apparently the PNP hierarchy’s response to the call of Pineda fell hard not only on the 10 policemen directly involved but more so on their immediate superiors.

In what could be an instance of application of the doctrine of command responsibility in the PNP, a new director, albeit in an acting capacity, has taken over the reins of the Pampanga PPO from Col. Robin Sarmiento.

On Monday, in the customary courtesy call on the governor, Col. Jonas Amparo presented his credentials to Pineda accompanied by the equally new appointed provincial intelligence unit chief Col. Romeo Castro.

A salute to General Baccay for keeping the shine in the police escutcheon.

Hail to Pineda for taking the issue by the horn.

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