The Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership challenged yesterday former Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell Menorca II to substantiate his allegations by filing a formal complaint against the policemen whom he accused of abducting and harassing him.
Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesman, said allegations made in the media cannot be considered as a form of complaint because there is an existing protocol for the aggrieved party to file the complaint in the proper forum, in this case, with the PNP.
“This is our request. Let us go to the proper forum because there is a process in the conduct of investigation under the law. And that is you file a complaint to the proper forum,” said Mayor.
On Sunday, Menorca alleged that several policemen, including a former chief of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), took part in his abduction last July in Sorsogon and an attempt on his life in Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Mayor’s challenge did not sit well with Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Menorca’s counsel, who viewed it as a hostile action.
“Of course we will file the charges, but in our own time,” said Angeles who reminded the police that Menorca had just been rescued. “We’re still collecting evidence.”
Angeles advised the PNP spokesman to stop making statements that could be misconstrued as an attempt to cover up the misdeeds of its ranks.
“Menorca’s life is in danger, you must remember. We are fighting an influential group,” she said.
Angeles decried that nobody from the PNP had approached them and offered help, this despite the announcement of PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez last Monday that he had ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to look into Menorca’s allegations.
“This will give you an idea that the PNP could not be trusted and that we may have to get the help of other government agencies,” she said.
In yesterday’s press briefing, Mayor was grilled about the alleged double standard of the PNP in handling cases.
During the case of the alleged suicide attempt of Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, the PNP initiated an investigation on the case even without a complaint. It ended up with security guards and even doctors of Revilla being slapped with administrative charges.
But in the case of Menorca, Mayor insisted that a complaint should be filed first.
“Through the media, we are inviting you to come to us or give us information and we will go to you,” said Mayor.