Azurin relieves PNP Custodial Center head after Sunday incident
The commander of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center was relieved from his post following the botched escape by three Abu Sayyaf members and the hostage-taking incident involving former Senator Leila De Lima within the facility in Camp Crame on Sunday.
During the press conference, PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said the relief of facility commander Lt. Col. Patrick Ramillano was part of the standard operating procedure to conduct an impartial investigation.
"Initially, of course, the immediate commander, we relieved him. That's automatic for administrative investigation to determine the culpability of the commander," he said.
On Sunday morning at 6:30 am, three Abu Sayyaf members including sub-leader Idang Susukan tried to flee after one of them stabbed a policeman carrying food. The duty officer warned the trio but when they persisted, he shot Susukan and Ariel Cabintoy.
Feliciano Sulayao fled to the room of De Lima, whom he tied up and blindfolded. With an improvised knife, he demanded transport to go to Mindanao or he will kill De Lima by 7:30, said Col. Mark Pespes, acting Headquarters Service Commander.
Pespes told reporters Sunday Sulayao wanted water, and when he was about to hand it to him, he saw Sulayao's body was exposed. He drew out his gun and shot him dead.
In a television interview, Azurin admitted that there was a security lapse and he added it is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) National Capital Region.
"Definitely there was lapse there because they saw that the police who bring their food is alone and unarmed. So they saw the opportunity that if they attack the police, they will have means to escape from the custodial (center) because it's very early morning," he said.
"The investigation is being conducted by CIDG NCR right now and then the forensic group also helped in the investigation to determine what happened," he added.
Azurin said De Lima was temporarily transferred to the PNP General Hospital.
"Sen. De Lima is now resting at the PNP GH because we have to fix her facility where the incident happened and we also want to transfer her so that she will not be reminded by the incident because Sulayao died there," he said.
Azurin said during De Lima's meeting with Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos on Sunday, the secretary informed her about the offer of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. if she wants to be transfer to another facility outside the PNP.
"Sen. De Lima manifest that she still feels more secure here at custodial and then when I visited her I reiterated the offer of the President to her and she said she wanted to stay here in the PNP where she feels more safer," said Azurin. Robina Asido/DMS