THE head of Manila traffic unit and a subordinate were sacked from their posts after one of them was caught collecting weekly payola from operators of buses, particularly those passing the Lawton area.
Relieved from their posts were Chief Supt. Lucile Faycho, Manila Police District-Traffic Enforcement Unit head, and Police Officer 2 Joseph Buan, effective July 28.
Buan was arrested after an entrapment operation set up by Camp Crame-based Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) operatives, according to Supt. Erwin Margarejo, MPD spokesman, on Thursday.
Margarejo said Faycho was relieved because of “command responsibility” although she was still included in the investigation by the Internal Affairs Service (IAS).
Infomation reaching CITF alleged that Buan and his colleagues were collecting from P500 to P2,000 weekly from bus operators of Viofel, EPL, and Yohan Bus Company.
“They are now under investigation by IAS of the Philippine National Police based in Camp Crame. After 30 days, we expect IAS to release a resolution detailing the penalties or sanctions,” Margarejo told The Manila Times.
Placed as temporary head of TEU was Chief Insp. Alejandro Pelias, according to Margarejo.
Mayor Joseph Estrada directed Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, MPD head, to report on Buan’s accomplices as he expressed outrage over the arrest of yet another MPD policeman for extortion – the third since July 7 – by CITF operatives.
“This unfortunate incident undermines our efforts to professionalize our city police force, so I want to know how and why this criminal activity had been tolerated, and who are the people protecting it,” Estrada said in a statement.
Meanwhile. Coronel also said that the relief of Faycho and Buan was not yet their punishment.
“Depending on the results of our investigation, if we find probable cause to charge them, then that’s the time they will have to be transferred or reassigned permanently,” he said.
If Faycho is cleared of any criminal or administrative liability, she will be reinstated, Coronel said.
Prior to the July 28 operation, elements of CITF arrested on July 7 Chief Insp. Ramon Nazario, commander of the police community precinct at the University Belt, based on the extortion complaint filed by a group of vendors.
Nazario was arrested along with Kagawad Gregorio Bernardo of Barangay 409, Zone 42 and a certain Raymund Baga.
On July 21, CITF personnel again operated in Manila, arresting Police Officer 1 Raymund Gulapa who allegedly demanded P15,000 from an arrested drug suspect in exchange for downgrading the charge against him.