By Martin Sadongdong
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has relieved a police deputy commander in Manila after he allegedly hit three cops for failing to control the millions of devotees during the “Traslacion” or the procession of the revered image of the Black Nazarene last Wednesday.
NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar ordered the administrative relief of Chief Insp. Alden Panganiban, deputy commander of Manila Police District (MPD)’s Gandara Community Precinct in Binondo.
According to Eleazar, Panganiban was sacked after PO3 Enrique Valdez, PO1 Ricardo Bautista and PO1 Jose Sinfroso, all assigned at the NCRPO Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (RPHAU), filed charges against the police deputy commander for conduct unbecoming of an officer, grave abuse of authority, and violation of the Anti-Hazing Law.
The three cops, who served as auxilliary forces during the Traslacion, alleged that Panganiban summoned them to a construction site along Escolta at the height of the procession, and hit their hands with a piece of wood.
The victims said Panganiban went ballistic after he accused them of failing to control the devotees from pushing and pulling during the procession, and for refusing to obey some of his orders.
However, Panganiban reasoned out that he only taught the cops a “lesson” since he claimed the three cops repeatedly refused to follow some of his orders since they said he was not in-charge of them.
Panganiban also claimed the three policemen kept on leaving their posts.
The victims denied this and complained that they couldn’t move their hands well because they were swelling due to the severity of the punishment.
Sr. Insp. Myrna Diploma, chief of the NCRPO public information office (PIO), told the Manila Bulletin that the the Regional Investigation and Detection Management Division (RIDMD, NCRPO) has been reviewing the charges against Panganiban.
“Major Panganiban was already relieved from his post and the case is already under investigation by the RIDMD,” Diploma said in a message.
For his part, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said they will look into the matter to determine why Panganiban punished the three policemen.
However, Albayalde said the three victims were not yet off the hook as he also looking at the possibility of filing administrative charges against them for insubordination and non-compliance with a legal directive.
As of writing, the NCRPO has yet to name a replacement for Panganiban.