Administrative charges have been recommended for a police chief and 14 of his men, in connection with the killing of Police Officer 2 Johnny Urbano in a cockpit in Escalante City, Negros Occidental, on November 28 last year.
Senior Supt. Allan Guisihan, police provincial director, yesterday said he has re-affirmed the recommendation of the Task Group Escalante to file administrative charges against Chief Inspector Santiago Rapiz, Escalante police chief, and 14 other policemen for their alleged delay in responding to the killing of Urbano, and against others who did nothing, and fled from the scene.
Guisihan, however, said Rapiz and seven Escalante policemen, who are members of the alert team, will not be relieved, except the seven others who were at the cockpit when Urbano was brutally killed allegedly by New People’s Army hitmen inside the cockpit in Brgy. Balintawak, Escalante City.
Investigations of the task group showed that seven Escalante policemen were present and had witnessed the killing of Urbano.
Police Supt. Arnel Arpon, head of the Task Group Escalante, said the seven policemen who witnessed, but did nothing during the assassination of Urbano, will be charged with serious neglect of duty and less grave misconduct, while the seven members of the Escalante police alert team at the time of incident, face charges for simple neglect of duty.
Rapiz, the Escalante police chief, on other hand, will be charged with serious neglect of duty, under the principle of command responsibility.
Analee Urbano, wife of the slain policeman, had claimed that the Escalante police responded to the killing of her husband, a former close-in security of former Vice-Mayor Santiago Barcelona, arrived at the scene of incident, an hour later.
Maintaining that he has not remiss in the performance of his duty, Rapiz said “I will face any administrative case filed against me. I will follow any legal orders from the higher command,” he added.
Guisihan said that due process will be strictly observed for those facing administrative charges. “The result of the investigation is not yet conclusive,” he clarified.
He said the respondents will be required to present their counter-affidavits before the PNP Legal Service, which will determine whether they should be exonerated or held administratively.
Urbano succumbed to eight gunshot wounds, and responsibility for his “summary execution” was claimed by the Roselyn “Ka Jean” Pelle Command, in a statement released to media outlets in Bacolod City.*GPB