MANILA Four active police officers and a civilian employee of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were arrested after they were caught drinking in public and at the same time engaging in online cockfight betting (e-sabong) in Cubao, Quezon City Wednesday night.
Col. Romeo Caramat, head of the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) formerly Counter-Intelligence Task Force on Thursday identified them as Senior M/Sgt. Gerry Ocampo, Senior M/Sgt. Demetrio Laroya, S/Sgt. Erwin Gobis, Cpl. Ariel Pasion and civilian employee Leo Ocinar, working at the Directorate for Personnel Records and Management.
The suspects were arrested inside a restaurant in Barangay Bagong Lipunan around 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Ocampo is assigned at the PNP Crime Laboratory while Laroya, Gobis and Pasion are all assigned at the Health Service.
Also collared were former policeman Fidel Agustin, who is currently working for his reinstatement, and Teddy Carpio, owner of an online gaming establishment.
Seized during the operation were bet money amounting to PHP14,430, two television sets used for online gambling, digital video recorder, a roll of betting ticket, two high-definition digital TV boxes and 23 bottles of wine.
"The operation stemmed from the reports received by IMEG that several policemen are frequently seen engaged in an online betting and drinking spree at the said establishment," said Caramat, adding this is the first police operation for the newly-created IMEG.
"This is in violation of the directive of President Duterte to refrain from drinking and gambling," he added.
Caramat said their verification disclosed that only one e-sabong license was issued and it was given to Philippines Cockfighting International Inc. located in Pampanga.
They were brought to the IMEG headquarters in Camp Crame for documentation and investigation for the eventual filing of raps for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 (Anti-Illegal Gambling Act) as amended in relation to Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and RA 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standard for Public Officials and Employees.
PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the newly-formed enforcement group replaces the two-year-old CITF, designed to conduct intelligence build-up and law enforcement operations against PNP personnel who are involved in illegal activities, such as drug and human trafficking, financial crimes, cybercrime, malversation, graft and corrupt practices, and security violations.
Earlier, Albayalde has issued an order barring policemen from drinking alcoholic beverages in public places as well as going to night clubs and gambling dens and other places devoted to vices.
The said violation, he said, is tantamount to grave misconduct which is punishable by dismissal from the service.
Albayalde has reminded all PNP personnel to conduct themselves properly at all times in keeping with the rules and regulations of the organization in accordance with the PNP Ethical Doctrine and the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards.
For acts or omissions that merely require administrative sanctions, the applicable punishments as provided for the rules and regulations promulgated by the PNP, National Police Commission, Civil Service Commission, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government shall be applied. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency