Two cops, civilian employee face probe for using phones while on duty

(Photo Courtesy of CSC 6 / Facebook)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

THREE PNP personnel are under investigation after they were caught using their mobile phones while on duty.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), confirmed that a motu proprio (automatic) investigation on the trio was initiated after the incident made rounds in the media.

The Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) is investigating the incident involving Police Staff Sergeant Ronnie Refugio of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), Police Corporal Neneth Estampador of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), and non-uniformed personnel (NUP) Tieny Osorio of the Iloilo City Police Station 1.

The two uniformed policemen and the civilian employee were caught using their phones during a surprise visit by Civil Service Commissioner Aileen Lourdes Lizada.

A copy of the “undercover video” was provided to a media outfit.

“We immediately initiated the investigation after it was broadcast,” Malong said.

The three were asked to explain on Sept. 3 and submitted their letters of explanation the following day.

Refugio, who was detailed at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, was already relieved from his post. From his mother unit at Leganes Police Station, he is now detailed at the IPPO administrative building at Camp Sumagaysay, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

Police Colonel Roland Vilela, Iloilo police chief, said he will pursue the filing of charges against Refugio if they establish that he may have breached existing guidelines or orders.

On the other hand, Estampador is still with the Iloilo City Hall and while Osorio is at ICPS1.



All three policemen did not deny using their mobile phones while at work.

But each presented their reason for using their gadgets.

Refugio claimed that he earlier dropped his phone.  He was allegedly watching a volleyball game as a way of checking if his phone was still functioning.

On the other hand, Estampador said she was just checking orders from their office when she was caught holding her phone.

Osorio, a radio operator, justified that her work compelled her to check incoming reports sent via SMS or text messages.

Earlier, Malong said the PRO-6 has been religiously warming policemen against using mobile phones, especially those who render frontline duties.

She even encouraged the public to report police officers caught using their cellphones while at work.