QCPD probes alleged cover-up of hit-and-run case; accused cops relieved

Published August 20, 2022, 1:15 PM

by Aaron Homer Dioquino

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) is conducting a thorough investigation on the “cover-up” accusations against the cops who handled a hit-and-run case against a police official.

The incident involving a black Ranger Ford pick-up truck owned by QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) chief Lt. Col Julio Abong and a tricycle happened at around 5 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the corner of Anonas Road and Pajo Streets in Brgy. Quirino 2A.

Tricycle driver Joel Laroa, 53, a resident of Krus na Ligas, Quezon City died while his passenger, Rozelle Morales, 27, from Antipolo City, sustained injuries.

The CIDU chief denied responsibility for the incident, claiming that one Ronald Centino drove his car without his consent. The QCPD had relieved him from his post.

Laroa’s sisters earlier filed grave misconduct, grave neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming of a police officer against Abong before the QC People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB).

“Apart from the charges of Grave Misconduct, Grave Neglect of Duty, and Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer filed before People’s Law Enforcement Board of Quezon City (PLEB-QC) against Lt. Col. Abong, the family of Laroa also accused the latter, including three other personnel of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), namely: Lt. Col. Alexander G. Barredo; Cpl. Joan R. Vicente; and Senior Master/ Sgt. Jose R. Soriano, for covering-up the said incident,” the QCPD said in a statement on Friday.

The complainants also filed the same charges against QCPD Talipapa Station (PS 3) chief Barredo, Vicente, and other responding officers from PS 3 and Anonas Station PS 9. Soriano is also facing grave misconduct charges.

They said that a video taken by a motorist showed that Barredo, Vicente and a responding policeman were beside Abong’s vehicle when the incident happened, but no arrests were made.

The officers allowed Abong to escape, the complainants added.

They also claimed that Soriano even made them sign the criminal complaint clearing the CIDU chief of the blame and shifting the liability to Centino.

“Upon receipt of the said accusation, this Police District immediately took actions to address the matter by thoroughly investigating and ascertaining the truthfulness thereof,” the QCPD said.

“The QCPD has also relieved the involved personnel and reassigned them to the District Personnel Holding and Accounting Section (DPHAS) effective August 18, 2022 to prevent them from influencing the pending investigation or tampering the records at hand,” it added.

The QCPD also said that once its personnel were proven liable for the allegation, it will initiate appropriate administrative charges against them and ensure that justice will be served to the family of the victims.

“We will never tolerate any wrongdoing committed by our personnel under my watch. We guarantee that the QCPD will continuously cooperate in the investigation of PLEB-QC to ensure that there will be no concealment of the facts and circumstances relative to the incident,” QCPD director Brig. Gen. Nicolas D. Torre III said.

Read more: Kin of hit-and-run victim files charges vs. QCPD official, QCPD relieves police officer involved in hit-and-run