By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – A police officer was relieved from his post and was criminally charged for allegedly involving himself in a mauling incident at Barangay Dancalan, Ilog, Negros Occidental last week.
Police Colonel Henry Biñas, officer-in-charge of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) ordered the relief of Patrolman Jan Reymel Bagatela, 34, who is a member of the BCPO assigned at the City Mobile Force Company and also detailed at City Drug Enforcement Unit. He has been reassigned to the Regional Personnel Accounting and Holding Unit (RPHAU) – 6 in Iloilo City effective April 22, Biñas said.
“We will not tolerate such act of a law enforcer,” said Biñas, who added that Bagatela will be investigated for his administrative liability.
For his part, Police Major Norberto Barniso, chief of Ilog Municipal Police Station said Ritchie Gerasmia, 22, of Barangay Bata, Bacolod City; Justine Karl Gecosala, 18; John Carlo Yap, 18; Jake Amen, 22, all residents of Barangay Dancalan; and two minors, aged 17, filed charges for multiple physical injuries, threat, and physical injuries in relation to violation of Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act,” against Bagatela Monday.
On April 19, Bagatela was reportedly drunk when he called out one of the complainants on a motorcycle in front of a store.
Bagatela asked for the man’s official receipts to check the ownership of the motorcycle but when he failed to present it, the police officer allegedly kicked and punched him as he suspected him to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).
A commotion ensued between Bagatela and the complainants when he also punched some of them, and allegedly threatened them at gunpoint.
Bagatela was immediately arrested by village watchmen, who also called for police assistance.
He did not resist arrest, Barniso said. Bagatela’s firearm was not recovered from him during his arrest.
Barniso said Bagatela was also previously reported for the same offense when he was also under the influence of liquor.