Ranking cop stripped of badge for drug use

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2017 06:31 PM | Updated as of Oct 06 2017 06:32 PM

MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa has dismissed a ranking police official who was caught in a pot session in Las Piñas City in March, ABS-CBN News has learned.

Supt. Lito Cabamongan, former chief of the PNP Crime Laboratory satellite office in Muntinlupa, was removed from duty effective Sept. 1, according to a dismissal order signed by Dela Rosa.

He may file a motion for reconsideration, but he may never go back to the service, Dela Rosa said. 

“Napakabigat masyado non, kaya dismissed siya," Dela Rosa told ABS-CBN News.

“Mag-appeal siya kung gusto niya, pero malabo na mapagbigayan ang appeal niya. Hangga’t ako ang nakaupo,” he said. 

Cabamongan's case showed the PNP's intent to cleanse its own ranks as it enforced the administration's fierce campaign against drugs. 

“No sacred cows sa PNP, kahit na opisyal ka, kahit superintendent ka, if you are into drugs, kung meron kang ginawang hindi maganda, ma-di-dismiss ka talaga,” the PNP chief added.

Cabamongan was caught in the act of using shabu on March 30 with one Nedy Sabdao in Talon Kuatro, Las Piñas City. He tested positive for illegal drugs.

He is facing administrative and criminal charges for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Initial findings of his neuro-psychiatric test showed that Cabamongan is suffering from "psychosis secondary to drug abuse."

Cabamongan's troubles began even before he was caught using drugs. 

On March 23, the official was relieved from his post as chief of the PNP Alabang Crime Laboratory satellite office after he forcibly entered a cinema to watch a film for free four days earlier. 

At the time, Cabamongan told mall employees that he was conducting a surveillance operation and threatened them when he was declined entry.

Two days later, he returned to the mall with a gun and again insisted to enter the cinema. Authorities said he exhibited unusual behavior as he performed sit-up exercises and yoga poses.