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2 ‘moonlighting’ SAF commandos axed over brawl inside posh village

MANILA: Two members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) were relieved from their posts for their involvement in an alarm and scandal incident inside the Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City. In a statement Monday, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. said the two SAF commandos -- Cpl. George Mabuti and Pat. Roger Valdez -- were found to be moonlighting as unauthorized security escorts of a Chinese official of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO). Investigation showed that both Mabuti and Valdez are not rendering their official duties with their respective units -- the 52nd Special Action Company Zamboanga for Mabuti and the 55th Special Action Company Zamboanga for Valdez. This stemmed from an incident where a security guard of the subdivision sought police assistance due to complaints from residents about a disturbance caused by the two police officers in the area on May 18. Members of the Ayala-Alabang Police Su b-Station 5 went to the area and arrested the two police officers who were then engaged in a fistfight. The two are now under the custody of the Muntinlupa City Police Station and would face charges for alarm and scandal. 'In addition, subject personnel will be facing administrative charges for neglect of duty and misconduct for moonlighting and unauthorized provision of VIP security, including their Head of Office/Commander. We commit to disclose full transparency in this matter. We ensure that there will be no cover-up of any details and there will be no attempts of concealing the facts against these erring personnel,' Nartatez added. SAF director Brig. Gen. Mark Pespes, meanwhile, ordered the relief of the battalion commander, company commanders, platoon leaders, and other personnel with direct supervision over the two commandos pending an investigation. 'The Special Action Force assures the public that this incident is being taken seriously and that appropriate disciplinary measures will be enforced a gainst any personnel found guilty of violating regulations. The SAF remains dedicated to serving and protecting the community with honor and integrity,' Pespes added. In a press briefing in Camp Crame, PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil said only the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) is allowed to provide protective security personnel. 'They cannot provide security. The only unit of the PNP that can give you security is the PSPG. Other units are prohibited from doing it, especially SAF,' Marbil said. Marbil said the presence of these SAF commandos in Metro Manila when they were supposed to be with their units in Mindanao means that there was a connivance. 'It's not possible that you will not be accounted for because we account for our personnel on a daily basis. So it is not impossible that they could do it on their own. So we will make sure that those who connived with them will suffer and they will get the consequences of their action,' Marbil said. Source: Philippines News Agency