QC cop faces complaint after attempting to arrest taxi driver for parking near his house


Franco Luna (Philstar.com) – February 16, 2021 – 6:11pm
MANILA, Philippines — A ranking exec of the Quezon City Police District is in hot water after he was sued for grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming of a police officer and oppression before the city government’s People’s Law Enforcement Board, for attempting to arrest a taxi driver over a parking dispute.

In a statement, the Quezon City local government disclosed that the complaint filed against Police Lt. Col. Ariel Capocao, who serves as deputy director of operations of the QCPD, stemmed from a confrontation between him and taxi driver Marlon Bacsal over the latter’s parking.

Under Republic Act No. 6975, cities and municipalities are required to have a People’s Law Enforcement Board, which are court-like bodies mandated to “hear and decide citizen’s complaints or cases filed before it against erring officers and members of the PNP.”

According to the city government, Bacsal in his complaint said that the conflict began when the cop Capocao wanted the former’s taxi removed because it was parked adjacent to the policeman’s house. 

The taxi driver Bacsal replied, saying that he would move his vehicle once the sand that was placed in the area where he usually parks was removed later that day. He added that he even apologized to the police officer at the time, but the latter did not accept his explanation and instead cursed him.

“Insulted, the complainant also cursed back at Capocao, telling him that he doesn’t own the road,” Quezon City’s statement read. 

“However, Capocao had Bacsal arrested without a warrant by police officers armed with M16 rifles. They had Bacsal investigated and was sent for a medical examination before filing an unjust vexation case against him.”

What do PNP rules say?

It is unclear why M16 rifles were deemed necessary to arrest a taxi driver. 

Rules 7.4 and 7.5 of the PNP Operational Procedures hold that:

“When suspect is violent or threatening, and that less physical measures have been tried and deemed inappropriate, a more extreme, but non-deadly measure can be used such as baton/truncheon, pepper spray, stun gun and other nonlethal weapon to bring the suspect under control, or effect an arrest.

During confrontation with an armed offender, only such necessary and reasonable force should be applied as would be sufficient to overcome the resistance put up by the offender; subdue the clear and imminent danger posed by him; or to justify the force/act under the principles of selfdefense, defense of relative, or defense of stranger.”

Rule 7.6 reads: “A police officer, however, is not required to afford offender/s attacking him the opportunity for a fair or equal struggle. The reasonableness of the force employed will depend upon the number of aggressors, nature and characteristic of the weapon used, physical condition, size and other circumstances to include the place and occasion of the assault. The police officer is given the sound discretion to consider these factors in employing reasonable force.”

Rule 7.2 of the police manual also directs officers to “first issue a verbal warning” before resorting to force, but also says that failure to give a verbal warning is excusable “where threat to life or property is already imminent” and cops are given no choice. 

What happens now?

The PLEB said that it had given Capocao seven days to respond to Bacsal’s complaint.

“We will resolve this case in a swift but fair manner. I assure you, in the end, justice will prevail,” said lawyer Rafael Calinisan, who serves as executive officer of the city’s PLEB. 

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte also expressed her full support for the PLEB in her statement, adding that she intends to hold police officers accountable for their misdeeds if there are any.

“We aren’t the enemies of the police in Quezon City. But we have to protect the people from erring men in uniform, while we continue to take steps to rebuild the trust of the people with our law enforcers,” said Belmonte.

 

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.



Source link

SHARE ME PLEASE!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Reply