By Jennifer P. Rendon
In a span of several hours, a dismissed policeman was able to get three things done: getting arrested, escaping from police custody, and voluntarily turning himself in.
Raul Romero II, 45, of Barangay Veterans Village, City Proper, Iloilo City, was arrested in a police anti-narcotics operation afternoon of Oct. 20.
Members of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU) 6 and the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG)-Visayas Field Unit led the buy-bust operation on Jocson Drive Barangay San Jose, Arevalo district around 3:25 p.m.
Romero allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P18,000.
When frisked, police seized 13 more sachets of suspected shabu, P1,220 cash, two mobile phones, a coin purse, a sling bag, a digital weighing scale, an empty box match, a small red envelope, a pair of scissors, several empty transparent plastic sachets, a pair of eyeglasses and a motorcycle.
The seized drugs weighed around 65 grams with a standard drug price value of P442,000.
Following his arrest, Romero was taken to a hospital in Jaro, Iloilo City to undergo a medical check-up.
The practice was a standard operating procedure (SOP) for arrested suspects before they could be committed to a jail facility.
It was gathered that most hospital facilities now only allow one police officer to accompany the suspect.
While the arresting policeman was filling up a form, Romero allegedly sneaked out, un-cuffed himself, and fled.
It might not be hard for Romero to navigate the area since he was a former investigator at Jaro Police Station.
But before noon of Oct. 21, he turned himself in to Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief.
Coronica said a lady lawyer knew Romeo’s partner. The lawyer asked the latter to convince the suspect to surrender.
Reports claimed that Romero was dismissed from service after he went on absence without official leave (AWOL) when his service firearm was recovered in a buy-bust operation.
Romero was subsequently charged with malversation.
Romero is now detained and will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).