GUIMBAL, Iloilo - At least 28 policemen on Thursday requested to be reassigned from this town after their comrade was allegedly attacked by the mayor and his son.
Iloilo Rep. Richard Garin and Guimbal Mayor Oscar Garin allegedly confronted PO3 Federico Macaya on Wednesday for failing to file charges against the son of a councilor who figured in a scuffle.
Rep. Garin allegedly handcuffed, kicked and spat on Macaya aside from punching him at the Guimbal town plaza, said Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, head of the Western Visayas police.
SPO4 Roberto Ellorquez said he and his comrades asked to be relieved from their posts to avoid any confrontation with the Garins.
"Our feelings as policemen are still there, it returns every time we remember what happened. It's better if we are relieved and assigned to another area," he said in the local dialect.
The group was replaced by a special unit with members from different mobile force companies in the province.
Charges of physical injuries, assault to persons in authority, alarm and scandal and grave coercion are being prepared against Rep. Garin while a grave threat case is being prepared against his father, Bulalacao said.
The police chief of Guimbal, Senior Insp. Antonio Monreal, was relieved for "non-action and his failure to arrest" the Garins. The 2 police escorts of father and son were also recalled, said Bulalacao.
Investigators are also looking at whether or not the Garins are political opponents of the town councilor whose son they wanted charged, he added.
Rep. Garin, the husband of former health Secretary Janette Garin, said he would take full responsibility for his actions.
"I sincerely ask for your forgiveness of what I did. I reiterate my apologies for my actions, which I take full responsibility. However, I just would like to clarify that my actions are not directed to the PNP as an institution, or against its officers and personnel," he said in a statement.
The lawmaker also said his actions "were merely display of extreme frustration" against an officer that "committed a great disservice to the people of Guimbal."