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Policeman faces dismissal for indiscriminate firing

A policeman assigned in Mindanao is facing dismissal from service after he was tagged as behind one of the three stray bullet incidents that were monitored by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

During a press briefing in Camp Crame, PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa identified the controversial policeman as PO1 Arthur Malayo who is now undergoing summary dismissal proceedings after his arrest in Zamboanga del Norte.

Malayo, 32, was collared after firing his gun in Barangay Buenasuerte in Mutia town of Zamboanga del Norte on the morning of Christmas Day. Fortunately, no one was hit by the bullet he had fired.

The retired policeman was identified as Wilfredo Duenas, of Barangay San Quitin, Rizal town in Kalinga.

Also arrested for the same offense were Dominador Tugarino, Sr., of Balungao, Pangasinan; Elmo Refuerzo, 42, Vigan City; Mariano Jimenez, 48, Bayambang, Pangasinan; and, Julius Olimpo, of Legazpi City.

Meantime, PNP records reveal three stray bullet victims who were identified as Alan Gore Cagadas, 48 years old who was hit while having a drinking session with his friends in Cebu, Philip Estrella Roncales, 56 who was hit near his house in Mandaue City and Alex Cabangal, 50 of General Santos City.

“The criminal act of indiscriminate firing of guns by persons in authority is the height of arrogance and indiscipline that has no place in the police service,” said dela Rosa. “I hope it is already the last time we are seeing these incidents of indiscriminate firing of guns and stray bullet casualties until the rest of the entire holiday season.”

Earlier, dela Rosa ordered a stop on the practice of taping the muzzle of the barrel of the guns of policemen which is being done as a symbolic warning to authorities against indiscriminate firing.

“As Chief of the PNP, I feel I no longer need to warn or remind PNP personnel from firing their guns indiscriminately because each and every PNP member is assumed to be discerning of how to properly conduct himself whether on or off duty,” added dela Rosa.

“On the otherhand, every PNP member is duty bound to take swift and decisive police action against any person who shall violate the law, more so if the offender is a fellow police officer,” he added.

Dela Rosa also laid down the policy to force policemen to work to prevent stray bullet casualties, placing the brunt on commanders starting from chiefs of police.

“If someone dies of stray bullet, the perpetrator should be arrested within 24 hours. Otherwise, you will explain what happened,” said dela Rosa.

If two chiefs of police of a province are relieved for stray bullet incidents, dela Rosa said the provincial director will automatically be sacked from his post.

“This goes here in Metro Manila. If two station commanders are relieved, then the District Director will be relieved,” he said. (AARON RECUENCO)