ILAGAN, Isabela—For allegedly asking some P400,000 from a businessman charged with illegal possession of firearms, Supt. Antonio Abellon Jr., the head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Unit here, was axed from his post.
“The suspect’s allegation that my men, upon my orders, were asking him for a pay off to settle his case of illegal possession of firearms was purely baseless and concocted,” Abellon lamented.
Abellon together with Senior Police Officer 4 John Bello, police community relations and supply officer; PO3 Ignacio Layugan Jr., intelligence and investigation chief; PO2 Arnold de la Cruz, warrant noncommissioned officer; and PO1 Lauro Guillermo Jr., investigator, were accused of extortion by Aldrich Joseph Gomez, a businessman from Delfin Albano town.
The relief order came after the Isabela prosecutor’s office dismissed the illegal possession of firearms charges against Gomez and informed the CIDG regional unit that the alleged confiscated firearms were “properly documented.”
Supt. Ismael Lapira, the regional CIDG chief, carried out the relief order from higher police officials against Abellon and his men.
Abellon’s men searched Gomez’s house on October 5 in Barangay San Antonio by virtue of a search warrant issued by Judge Cesar Dumlao based on information that the suspect was keeping seven high-powered unlicensed firearms.
In his complaint, however, Gomez denied the firearms were unlicensed as claimed by the arresting officers.
Allegedly, the confiscated firearms include two unlicensed 9mm Beretta pistols and a 12-gauge shotgun and several rounds of live bullets.
“What my men did is only to [carry out] the search warrant,” Abellon said. “Anybody can easily concoct allegations to support their claims.”
“I believed we’re victims of political maneuvering. I’m also convinced that influential people were behind our relief. But we have to follow orders. Powerful and rich people meddling in pure and legitimate police affairs,” he further added without elaborating.
It was learned that Gomez was a relative of former governor Benjamin Dy of Isabela, Delfin Albano and Mayor Edward Co. Dy and Co could not be reached for comment.
As a result, Abellon and Bello were relegated to “floating status” at the CIDG-Cagayan Valley office in Tuguegarao City; Layugan and Guillermo were transferred to the CIDG-Santiago City; and de la Cruz was assigned to Nueva Vizcaya.