PNP open to any probe by rights groups on alleged abuses in implementing ECQ
The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said they are open to any investigation by human rights groups following continuous reports of alleged police abuse during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa made the statement after the United Nations expressed alarm over the “highly militarized” action of the law enforcement in implementing the ECQ.
“A lot of other entities have said that there are (police) violations then we invite them to investigate themselves if there are really possible human rights violation of our policemen,” Gamboa said.
“All those who are accusing the PNP we have a lot of human rights violation… we are open for you to investigate the PNP,” he said.
Gamboa said they kept on reminding their policemen about the standard operating procedures.
“And whenever there are incidents we have impartial investigation and we update the public on what happen to this investigation,” Gamboa said.
In a speech in Geneva last April 27, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the Philippines' "highly militarized response" to the pandemic has led to the arrest of over a hundred thousand people for violating curfew ordinances.
“Shooting, detaining, or abusing someone for breaking a curfew because they are desperately searching for food is clearly an unacceptable and unlawful response,” Bachelet said.
On the latest incident in Quezon City, Gamboa said he talked to QCPD Director Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo and ordered an investigation.
“Currently they are investigating on that alleged stick beating but I already informed the police yesterday when I rounded up the NCR (National Capital Region) that tiredness is not a reason for them to forget about the police operational procedures and I told commanders to keep reminding their policemen,” Gamboa said.
Asked on the status of the policeman involved in a shooting incident in Quezon City last week, Gamboa said Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo will remain under restrictive custody of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
“The status of his homicide is RFI (request for information) and that is being the action taken by the prosecution. But on the part of (his) administrative case he is still under restrictive custody because it's the IAS (Internal Affairs Service) of the PNP which is acting on the administrative case,” he said.
“However I have heard that Napolcom (National Police Commission) might take jurisdiction of the case. In whatever case PMSgt Florendo will still remain under restrictive custody in QCPD,” he added.
Florendo is facing a homicide case for shooting a former soldier allegedly for violating ECQ.
The Commission on Human Rights earlier said they are investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, for the policeman who had a confrontation with a Spanish resident of a village in Makati City, Gamboa said Police Senior MSgt Roland Von Madrona will not be promoted since he is only doing his job.
“The promotion requirement of PNP is very stringent… traditionally before (promotion) is usually on combat zones. Madrona only did his job so he will not qualify for meritorious promotion,” he said.
Gamboa met Madrona Wednesday during his inspection in Makati City.
The PNP chief reiterated his instruction to his men is to fairly implement the law and no one is exempted.
“We will equally implement the law,” Gamboa said. Ella Dionisio/DMS