PNP chief defends cops in Abra 'shootout' with vice mayor's bodyguards

Gen. Dionardo Carlos, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), defended on Monday, May 2, the policemen in Abra who were entangled in a legal battle with Pilar town vice mayor Jaja Josefina Disono over an alleged shootout in March.

"Clearly, they disregarded the checkpoint. There were armed men and there were firearms in that particular incident," said Carlos.

The incident started when a van loaded with bodyguards of Disono allegedly ignored the checkpoint in Pilar town proper and even ran over two policemen. Those in the van allegedly fired at policemen.

One of the passengers of the van was killed after the policemen apparently traded shots with them.

But the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had a different version of the incident and this led to the filing of cases against policemen that include the regional police director of the Cordillera Administrative Region and the police provincial director of Abra.

"Let them investigate. With due respect to another law enforcement agency and investigating agency, go ahead. There's no problem with that, we have nothing to hide but clearly they disregarded the checkpoint," said Carlos.

The fact that firearms were seized and that the the vice mayor had bodyguards without clearance from the Commission on Election is already enough proof that the PNP did the right action, according to Carlos.

He said he is not also inclined in relieving the involved policemen.

"We will make sure that the election will be peaceful especially in this area. We will allow them to do their part. If they see something wrong go ahead. That's a due respect to another law enforcement agency," said Carlos.