MANILA — Six policemen accused of taking government cash assistance from a sidewalk vendor in Caloocan City were relieved from their posts, the Philippine National Police said Wednesday.
"The involved personnel were immediately relieved so a fair investigation can proceed without any undue influence. They are now under restrictive custody, and disarmed of their service firearms," PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement.
According to an initial report that reached the PNP, Eddie Yuson, 39, was about to buy dinner for his family on March 27 when the suspects searched and took his bag containing P14,000.
A security camera caught the incident wherein one of the policemen was also seen hitting Yuson's head.
In a Facebook post, Yuson's daughter said the stolen money was from the livelihood program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
"Naapektuhan na po ang hanapbuhay ng aking Papa. Kamamatay lang din po ni Mama at 4 po kaming magkakapatid na mag-isang binubuhay ni Papa," the victim's daughter wrote.
(My father's livelihood has been affected. Mama passed away recently and Papa is taking care of my and my 3 siblings by himself.)
The policemen, who all hold a rank of corporal, are assigned at the drug enforcement unit of the Caloocan City Police Station.
Carlos said the PNP was preparing to file an administrative complaint for grave misconduct and other appropriate charges against the suspects.
“We don’t want this isolated incident to tarnish the reputation of the entire organization. They will undergo the process of adjudication to ferret out the truth,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad, director of National Capital Region Police Office, denounced the incident as a shameless disregard of policies and laws.
He said such "unacceptable behavior deserves the severest sanction from our organization".
"Scalawags and erring members have no place in the PNP and rest assured that we will never tolerate unlawful acts perpetrated by our members," Natividad said in a statement.
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