SPD chief to dismiss cops involved in KFR
Director Tomas Apolinario Jr of the Southern Police District on Tuesday warned his men he would not hesitate to dismiss them from service if they are found to be abusive and remiss in their work.
The warning came on the heels of the relief of Supt. Johnny Orme who was tagged as the leader of a kidnap-for-ransom group responsible for the abduction of hotel-casino junket operator Carlos Abad Tan last Oct. 21 in Cavite.
Apolinario placed Orme, who is still at large, under floating status at the District Personnel Holding and Accounting Section as a matter of standard operating procedure of the PNP, pending the ongoing internal investigation of the case.
“I hope this will also serve as a fair warning to those who are planning to defy the call for discipline and what is expected of them as a police officer,” he said.
Apolinario said Orme is “being contacted by SPD Command Group for him to come out in the open to clear his name if indeed he has no involvement and assuring him of due process in the conduct of investigation, SPD will help him.”
He said that he has also asked Orme’s family to help authorities to convince him to surrender.
Police said Orme and at least two four police officers were allegedly involved in the abduction of Tan, a junket operator at Resorts World Manila, and his driver in the early morning of October 21.
Tan’s body was reportedly had been eaten by a monitor lizard (bayawak) when the police arrived in a hilly area in Carmona.
Investigation showed that the abductors demanded P50 million as ransom. The negotiator brought the amount down to P5 million, but the kidnappers would only settle for P10 million.
Tan’s driver was reportedly released and told the police the whereabouts of the kidnappers.
The authorities then conducted an operation resulting in a gun battle, killing four members of the group.
Apolinario said he also ordered a reorganization of the Paranaque City Police Station’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) and Intelligence Unit where Orme was formerly assigned and or designated as supervisor.
“Personnel who were relieved from their post will be distributed to the different police stations of SPD. Their relief , however, does not mean that they are guilty and involved in any illegal activities but the SPD just want to ensure that there is no iota of doubt on the persons assigned at the Paranaque SOU and Intelligence Unit,” said Apolinario.
The SPD chief assured his office will cooperate and assist with the investigation to be conducted by law enforcement agencies to ensure that appropriate disciplinary actions will be meted against those responsible.
“This does not exempt him (Orme) from being investigated further by the SPD thru the District Investigation Unit and Paranaque Police if he has other previous involvement of similar incidents and other cases being linked to criminal or illegal activities,” added Apolinario.
Orme is a member of PNP Academy Class 97 and said to be the leader of the kidnap group targeting casino players in the Entertainment City.
Other accomplices of Orme include SPO1 Benjamin Pagarigan, PO3 Rodel Estonactor, PO1 Ramil Espejo, PO1 Rolando Albios, and civilian Erwin Escobido.
Estonactor, Espejo, Albios, and Escobido died during a police operation last Friday while Pagarigan gave himself up.