MANILA— Some 15 Caloocan policemen are now facing criminal charges for allegedly using a minor to steal from the house of a businesswoman during an anti-drug operation last Sept. 7.
The complainant, Gina Erobas, accompanied by Public Attorney Office (PAO ) on Wednesday filed charges of robbery, trespass to dwelling, violation of the anti-child abuse law or RA 7610 and violation of domicile before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Sr. Insp Warren Peralta, C/Insp. Timothy Aniway Jr., Police Officers 1 Sherwin Rivera, Louie Serrano, Marvin Poblete, Jay Gabanata, Jaime Natividad, Jaypee Tulay, Ariel Furio, Rohelio Julaton, Joel Leaban, Rene Llanto, Michael Miguel, Francis Ruiz Quidic and Jay-r Sabangan.
Meanwhile, two John Does were included in the complaint.
The said cops allegedly instructed a minor to rob the house of Erobas in Barrio Santa Rita, Barangay 188, Tala, Caloocan.
Supt. Amando Clifton Empiso, Northern Police District (NPD) chief, had already ordered the relief of the 13 policemen after learning of the incident.
Empiso acted on the complaint of the 51-year-old businesswoman who brought a footage of her closed circuit television (CCTV) camera that showed what the cops did to her house.
The footage showed the policemen just barged into her house around 9 p.m., Sept. 7 and even used a bolt cutter to open the gate.
A child, who was with the policemen, was seen taking two watches and a phone. The victim said the cash amounting to around PHP30,000 was also missing.
The footage also showed the policemen were not in uniform when they conducted the raid.
Likewise, no search warrant was also presented and the policemen did not file a spot report on the raid.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ordered the DOJ Task Force on Child protection to thoroughly investigate the alleged acts of child abuse committed by the policemen.
“Part of my directive is for the DOJ task force to file the necessary charges against the responsible persons who have committed any act which is tantamount to child abuse,’ Aguirre said, adding that cases of child abuse should be punished to the full extent of the law.
“Evidently, any act which inflicts physical or psychological injury, cruelty to or neglect, sexual abuse of, or which exploits a child is child abuse,” he added.
For his part, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde has ordered the relief of the entire Caloocan police because of the incident and the spate of killings of young drug suspects during police operations in the city.
Albayalde said the relieved Caloocan policemen will undergo a 45-day retraining and reorientation program at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.