By: Jennifer P. Rendon
INVESTIGATION has begun to ascertain the possible administrative culpability of the three policemen who went on a drinking binge at a nightclub in Iloilo City.
The three cops with the ranks of Police Chief Master Sergeant, Master Sergeant, and Sergeant are assigned at the Regional Headquarters Support Unit 6 (RHSU-6) based in Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) headquarters in Camp Delgado, Iloilo City.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Manam Muarip, RHSU-6 chief, said they will send a written order directing the three police officers to explain the incident.
“Once they receive the letter, they will be given 24 hours to reply,” Muarip said.
In the meantime, all three cops are confined in the camp and two of them were disarmed.
Only two were disarmed since the Chief Master Sergeant had no issued firearm to him.
Initial reports claimed that the three cops acted unruly and declined to pay their bill at Club 88 Disco Pub & Restaurant, a nightclub along J.M. Basa St., City Proper, Iloilo City, on June 26, 2018.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Pablito, Iloilo City Police Station 1, said they received a call asking for assistance around 12:20 a.m. of June 26.
“When we arrived, there was no commotion. Apparently, they asked for assistance because these three customers refused to pay the bill,” he said.
But when responding policemen arrived, the trio had already settled their bill.
“Apparently, kulang ‘yung bayad at ‘yung isa sa kanila ay nagtaas ng boses. The two were trying to pacify. They eventually paid their bill even before our policemen arrived,” he said.
Club 88 also did not file a complaint claiming that the issue was already settled.
At that time, Pablito said they did not know that the three customers involved were police officers.
Hours after the incident, a Club 88 waiter went to the police station to report that he was insulted and threatened by three customers.
The blotter report was about oral defamation and threat. But when the waiter was informed that he must execute a judicial affidavit, he asked that he remain anonymous.
When he was told that it was not possible, he allegedly declined to file the report.
Rumors about the incident later led to the discovery that the trio were police officers.
“Sila-sila din ang nag-usap hanggang nakarating na sa iba. Kasi kung sa Club 88 lang, wala kang makukuha na information,” Pablito said.
Regardless if they settled their bill or acted unruly inside the bar, the trio can be held liable for violating a PNP directive.
On January 9, 2019, PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde reiterated that police officers are barred from leisure establishments like bars.
Albayalde said violation of the order is tantamount to grave misconduct, which is punishable by dismissal from the service.
He recently reminded all police personnel to conduct themselves properly at all times in keeping with the rules and regulations of the organization in accordance with the PNP Ethical Doctrine and the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards.