A police official confirmed Friday there were lapses in the anti-drug raid that saw police "assets" stealing more than P30,000 in valuables and cash from a businesswoman's house in Caloocan.
Speaking to ANC's Early Edition, Caloocan police chief Sr. Supt. Jemar Modequillo said police officers involved in the September 7 raid have been relieved and placed under restrictive custody in Bicutan.
CCTV footage of the alleged anti-drug operation saw a disabled police asset, later identified as Mark Andrada Dizon, wielding a firearm while leading several police officers into a house that was allegedly used as a drug den.
Another alleged asset, a minor, could be seen stuffing cellphones and watches in his pockets while one police officer signaled to him to keep quiet.
"I saw lapses. May na-overlook lang things that they are supposed to do..." Modequillo said.
The police chief said the police team leader failed to directly supervise his men and even allowed one police asset to wield firearms.
"We don't need the one there yung pilay (Dizon) na they authorized to bring firearms. That is actually a violation of the procedures," he said.
Asked if what happened can be attributed to lapses or "just plain robbery", he said: "That is actually lapses because what is really needed is close supervision of the one handling those assets. The police commander or the team leader. He should have full control of the ones coming in."
He particularly cited the police officer who put a finger on his lips so that the asset who was stealing cell phones will keep quiet.
"He knows what those assets are doing. Talagang masabi natin na may mga pagpayag sa mga ginagawa ng assets na iyon," he said.
Modequillo said the raid was actually a follow-up operation after a drug suspect had pinpointed the house as the source of illegal drugs.
"As far as I heard, I learned from the police involved in the operation that that particular youth has that knowledge with regard to that particular individual who [was] pinpointed...allegedly as the source of the illegal drugs that has been confiscated from yung nahuli nila prior to that operation," he said.
"Dapat may search warrant, 'yan ang legal . Pero kung time-constrained pwede ka mag follow-up talaga dahil continuing crime."
Homeowner "Lorena", however, told ABS-CBN's TV Patrol earlier that the alleged drug suspect alyas "Bebe" had never been to her house.
Modequillo said police officers conducting the raid should have brought barangay officials with them during the operation to avoid rumors that the search was done illegally.
He said police should always do "intelligence-driven" operations, and not just base their information from tipsters who might not be telling the truth.
"Hindi naman tayo pu-pwedeng basta magturo na lang. We cannot just allow things to happen. Try to put [yourself] in the shoes of these people," he said.
Thirteen police officers involved in the September 7 operation were sacked and are set to face charges. They are Police Officers Ariel Furlo, Jaypee Talay, Jay-R Sabangan, Jaime Natividad, Francis Ruiz Quidic, Jay Gabata, Michael Miguel, Marvin Poblite, Rene Llanto, Louie Serrano, Joey Leaban, Ronelio Julaton, and Sherwin Rivera. Also sacked were Senior Inspector Warren Peralta and PCP station 4 commander Chief Inspector Timothy Aniway Jr.
Aniway earlier said there was no spot report of the September 7 police operation because the officers involved did not inform him about the raid.
"Hindi nila pinaalam na may pinasok silang bahay, sir," he told NCRPO chief Oscar Albayalde.
In the interview, Modequillo welcomed the plan of the Philippine National Police to reassign Davao cops to Caloocan after around 1,000 policemen were relieved from their duties last week.
Lahat ng pinaplano ng ating higher-ups are all good ideas," he said.
"Kahit saan manggaling ang tao , kung wala yung close supervision to the elements level, talagang maliligaw at maliligaw yan," he added.