PRO-6 mulls recall of Hi-PAD personnel

Photo Courtesy: Aksyonradyo Iloilo / FB page

THE Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) might recall all police officers assigned to Highway Police Assistance Desks or Hi-PADs in Western Visayas.

Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, said the plan is an offshoot of an incident in a Hi-PADs in Alimodian, Iloilo on April 27, 2019.

Bulalacao tasked the PRO-6 Regional Oversight Committee to look into the advantages and disadvantages of deploying personnel to Hi-PADs.

The PNP national headquarters ordered the deployment of Hi-PADs personnel to certain areas.

“During my inspections, I saw some Hi-PADs which were unmanned. If they are manned, 2 or 3 personnel lang kaya madali silang ma-neutralize ng mga kalaban,” he said.

Police Brigadier General Jesus Cambay Jr., PRO-6 deputy regional director for administration, will spearhead the review for the possibility of recalling Hi-PADs personnel deployed “for them not to be vulnerable enemy attacks.”

“We’re thinking of just consolidating our personnel at the police station,” Bulalacao said.

Suspected members of the New People’s Army on Saturday disarmed a police officer manning a Hi-PAD at Barangay Bangalore, Alimodian, Iloilo.

Police Corporal John John Anaya, 37, was alone when 15 armed rebels stormed the police desk at around 4:50 p.m.

When the incident happened, he was with Barangay Kagawad Lemuel Almendral and barangay tanod chief Willy Brania.

The suspects were on board two tricycles, which they earlier hijacked at Barangay Si-ol, Leon town, when they stormed the area.

They took Anaya’s service firearm at gunpoint. Anaya said around 6 armed men poked guns at him.

Almendral and Brania were not spared as they were also held at gunpoint inside the Hi-PAD.

The other remaining rebels stood as look-up and secured the area for their withdrawal.

The NPA rebels took away Anaya’s service firearms – an M16 armalite rifle (serial number 162499) and a caliber .9mm Taurus pistol (serial number TCW 36503) – with two magazines for the pistol and five magazines for the rifle.

The rebels also took his mobile phone, bag containing his wallet with cash, a PNP-owned handheld radio, and the barangay-owned handheld radio.

When the incident happened, Anaya was allegedly accompanied by Corporal Gary Anzures.

But Anzures allegedly attended to his personal necessities when the rebel made their daring attack.

Bulalacao said they’re investigating because there were supposed to be three police personnel in the said HiPAD but the two were absent and one was left alone with the barangay tanods.

The region’s top cop said he already informed PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde about the incident.

“Our Chief PNP wants the investigation to be completed immediately so that necessary administrative actions will be instituted against the two absent personnel,” he said.

But in the meantime, no relief order was instituted against the involved personnel and their direct superior, Police Lieutenant Danilo Noca.

Hi-PADs were also beefed up with personnel to prevent similar attacks.

If there was one thing good, though, that came out of the incident was “the fact that the Hi-PAD hindered the rebels from attacking the police station.”