DAVAO CITY ,Philippines – Twenty-one police officials found guilty of simple neglect by the Office of the Ombudsman for the unsolved summary killings in this city that were attributed to the so-called Davao Death Squad, have received promotions since charges were filed against them in 2009.
The 21 police officials were made to pay an amount equivalent to one-month salary as penalty.
The case against them stemmed from a letter-complaint that the Office of the Ombudsman received in April 2009 from the Davao Deserves Good Government Movement that sought an inquiry into the summary executions.
The Davao Deserves Good Government Movement tagged the Davao Death Squad, a supposed vigilante group, behind the extra-judicial killings.
However, most of the police officials named in the complaint have already been promoted to the next higher rank and have even gotten sensitive positions. Among them is Chief Superintendent Catalino Cuy, who now heads the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Chief Superintendent Jaime Morente, on the other hand, is now the director of the Southern Mindanao police.
Morente told The STAR they have yet to receive a copy of the Ombudsman’s order, which he said would be coursed through the PNP headquarters in Manila.
The other police officials in the list are now assigned as police station commanders or holding important positions at the Southern Mindanao police based at Camp Catitipan here.
Also the subject of the Ombudsman’s order are Chief Inspectors Matthew Baccay, Filmore Escobal, Leandro Felonia, Marvin Manuel Pepino, Ranulfo Cabanog and Vicente Danao, who have been promoted a rank higher since 2009.
Also in the list are Superintendents Harry Espela, Michael John Dubria, and Rommil Mitra; Senior Inspectors Maximiano Atuel and Arnulfo Mahinay; and Chief Inspectors Alden Delvo, Rolly Tropico, Dionisio Abude, Antonio Alberio Jr., Juel Neil Salcedo, Coselito Loriza, Joel Neil Rojo and Napoleon Eguia.
Despite the Ombudsman’s order, police have continued to deny the existence of the Davao Death Squad, saying the summary executions resulted from gang wars, the illegal drug trade, and rivalry among criminal syndicates. - By Edith Regalado