MANILA – Three police officers who were implicated in the purported disappearance of an e-sabong (online cockfighting) "master agent" in San Pablo City, Laguna have been placed under restrictive custody, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.
In a radio interview, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said these cops are now under restrictive custody at the headquarters of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-4A (Calabarzon) and are set to face charges in the coming days.
“Sa ngayon, tatlo yung mga nabanggit during the Senate hearing plus yung mga nauna na natin mga nakuhang statement prior dito sa Senate hearing, may iba pa po tayong iniimbestigahan. Sila sa ngayon ang may positive identification based dito sa nawawalang master agent at yung iba pa po nating iniimbestigahang mga pulis ay kasama yan kung tatanungin natin yung ating mga imbestigador dahil nga may mga ilan pa tayong hinihintay na report para to confirm their participation doon sa nasabi nating insidente (So far, the three mentioned during the Senate hearing plus the previous statements we obtained prior to this Senate hearing, we are investigating other angles. They now have a positive identification based on the missing master agent. The other policemen we are investigating are included if we are to ask our investigators because we are still waiting for some reports to confirm their participation),” Fajardo said.
Fajardo also said the police provincial director of Laguna, Col. Rogart Campo, has been relieved after he allegedly received PHP1 million from businessman Atong Ang as revealed during a Senate hearing.
Ang accused Campo of taking part in the supposed conspiracy against him by other e-sabong stakeholders.
At least two police officers, Pat. Roy Navarete and Staff Sgt. Daryl Paghangaan, were identified by some relatives of the e-sabong "master agent" Ricardo Lasco as among those who abducted him in August last year.
Prior to the Senate hearing on the disappearances of over 30 cockfight enthusiasts, Fajardo said the cops have already been relieved from their posts over their alleged involvement in the incidents.
Aside from Navarete and Paghangaan, the PRO-4A also identified master Sgt. Michael Claveria as one of the involved cops.
PRO-4A chief Brig. General Antonio Yarra said he already ordered the relief of the three police personnel from their present assignments and had them transferred to the regional headquarters.
“We will make sure that all facts and information regarding this matter will be taken into consideration for the quick resolution of these cases and to give justice to the families of the missing victims,” he said.
For his part, PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba said the PNP will not take the witnesses’ accounts lightly but it will make sure that due process is upheld in this case.
PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos has been reminding police personnel to refrain from engaging in e-sabong and other gambling activities. (PNA)