Why Delfin Lee captor is frustrated, angry over 'relief'

by Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2014 04:11 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2014 12:11 AM

MANILA - “Ano pa bang kailangang itsura ko (para makita niyo)?”

This was Police Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa’s reply to reporters who asked him if he was demoralized by his relief from his post as head of Task Force Tugis, the special team which caught fugitive real estate developer Delfin Lee Thursday last week.

Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima announced Capa’s relief at a press conference early Thursday morning. Purisima said it was not a punishment, but a move to make him eligible for a higher position.

“If he is in the position of task force commander, he cannot be [police chief superintendent] general. The reason for his relief is promotion. Hindi po siya ni-relieve dahil inaresto niya si Delfin Lee. This is actually a reward for him,” Purisima said.

Capa, however, did not look like a man promoted when he faced the media.

When asked how he felt about the “relief,” he said, “frustrated. maganda na yung momentum, inspired na yung mga boys ko. Isang linggo pa lang pagkatapos ma-aresto namin si Delfin Lee. Anong nangyari?”

Capa will become deputy regional director for operations in Cebu, the third highest position in the Police Regional Office in Region 7 (Central Visayas)

Capa, who currently holds the rank of police senior superintendent (equivalent to colonel in the military), said he does recognize that it makes him eligible for the rank of police chief superintendent (equivalent of brigadier general in military), and will obey Purisima’s instructions.

Capa said, however, he could have gone a similar path even without leaving Camp Crame.

When asked why - for a man promoted, he did not seem happy - his answer was a curt “next question, please.”

He also refused to give his theories as to why he was relieved.

He recalled how difficult it was to track Lee. “Everyday, napapanaginipan ko na si Delfin Lee.”

The capture of Lee inspired the members of Task Force Tugis to work harder in finding the other top four fugitives in the most wanted list of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, including Jovito Palparan, Ruben Ecleo, and the Reyes brothers.

But now, he will no longer be able to continue the search.

“I got one. I would have gotten 4 or more,” Capa said.

Speaking to members of the media in another interview on the phone, Capa was more candid in his anger and frustration.

He apologized for no longer being as vocal on camera, saying, “Sinabihan na ako ni chief na huwag nang magpa-interview.”

He said he does not regret speaking out. “Of course not. Wala akong ginawang pinagsisihan ko.”

Capa thanked his men in Task Force Tugis for their dedication to the mission. He said he can only take solace in the fact that he helped the victims of the Globe Asiatique case.

“Tuwing nanonood na lang ako ng TV, nakikita ko yung mga biktima ni Delfin Lee, naiisip ko, natulungan ko sila. Yun na ang aking reward.”