Gun-toting ex-cop in viral video has yet to return separation pay: senator


Posted at Sep 03 2023 10:57 AM | Updated as of Sep 03 2023 01:02 PM

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MANILA — The former policeman in a viral road rage incident in August has yet to return his separation pay to the Philippine National Police (PNP) despite being asked to do so, a senator said on Sunday. 

Sen. Francis Tolentino said Wilfredo Gonzales, who brandished his gun during an altercation with a cyclist in Quezon City, was supposed to return the separation pay after being dismissed from service. 

Gonzales, who was a policeman for two decades before his retirement in 2016, was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017 due to grave misconduct after he whipped out a gun during a separate altercation.

"Hanggang ngayon hindi pa niya nasasauli [ang separation pay]. Kasi noong na-order siyang na-dismiss, natanggap na niya. Naka-retire na. Noong na-dismiss, pinapasauli (separation pay)," Tolentino said in Teleradyo Serbisyo interview. 

(He has yet to return it. He was ordered to do so when he was dismissed from service because he already received his separation pay when he retired.)

Tolentino, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, did not disclose the amount of the separation pay. But he said Gonzales' alleged failure to return his separation pay showed "disregard" against the PNP's order. 

The senator urged the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to continue reorientation and reevaluation of whether or not their personnel are still fit to do their duties based on their mental capacity. 

This can be done by strengthening the PNP's human resources office by tapping third party consultants, he added.

"Sa umpisa madaling itago, itatago 'yan... hindi mo makikilala kaagad yung kaharap mo pero 'pag nagtatrabaho na, makikita mo na may problema pala," he said. 

(You can easily hide it in the beginning. You do not know who they are at the beginning but when they start to work, you would know what they are capable of.) 

Gonzales was seen on the viral video getting off a red sedan to confront and hit a cyclist in the head before cocking a gun at him. The video was taken on August 8 this year.

The PNP Quezon City Police District has filed an alarms and scandals complaint against him, while the Senate intends to conduct its own investigation next week.