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17 QC cops relieved for negligence in hit-and-run ‘coverup’
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Police Brigadier General Nicolas D Torre III announced the relief of 17 police officers for their negligence in the hit-and-run incident that transpired along Anonas corner Pajo Streets, Barangay Quirino 2A, Quezon City, last August 6, 2022, involving a black Ford Ranger pickup truck owned by P/Lt. Col. Mark U. Abong that killed tricycle driver Joel Laroa and injured his passenger.
Upon assumption of Torre III on August 16, 2022, a SITG or Special Investigation Task Group “Abong” was created to investigate further the alleged coverup of the incident.
As a result, three personnel from Talipapa Police Station (PS 3), six personnel from Anonas Police Station (PS 9), and eight personnel from District Traffic Enforcement Unit (DTEU) were ordered relieved and immediately reassigned to District Personnel Holding and Accounting Section (DPHAS) effective August 22, 2022.
The suspects were duty “Officers of the Day” (OD), Shift Patrol Supervisors (SPS), and Station Tactical Operation Center (STOC) of different stations and units concerned during the incident. They will remain in the DPHAS in Camp Karingal during the ongoing investigation.
It can be recalled that Abong was the first one who was relieved from his post and was immediately reassigned to DPHAS, followed by three other police officers who were both onboard their QC mobile car and were just beside Abong’s vehicle when the incident happened, but no arrests were made; and another who was the investigator-on-case.
Mayor Joy Belmonte commented on the incident and said, “We pledge a safe and peaceful community here in Quezon City. There is no room for erring cops here. We have put systems in place, and I am confident that after a thorough investigation, [the] truth will prevail. I will not allow a mockery of this probe.”
Torre III said, “I will not tolerate ‘rouges’ in our ranks as QCPD is the home of well-disciplined police officers. There is no room for mistakes or negligence, for we are bound to secure the peace of our city, not the other way around.”
“Under my watch, we will continue our internal cleansing program, and may this serve as a stern warning to all QCPD personnel who are planning to commit a crime or will not perform their duties and responsibilities as police officers,” Torre pointed out.
“Pinapaunawa po namin sa publiko na ang ganitong pangyayari ay hindi sumasalamin sa kabuuan ng aming organisasyon. This is just an isolated case and that the QCPD is still conducting an in-depth investigation regarding this matter. Makakaasa ang ating mga biktima na makakamtan nila ang hustisya,” he added.
Furthermore, the QCPD and the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB)-Quezon City conducted a meeting to discuss the said case and that the QCPD will be coordinating to them for the sanctions and penalties of the police officers involved in the incident and will immediately impose such once QCPD formally receives orders.