Iloilo cops in hot water after arresting politiko’s bodyguards

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At least 17 members of the Iloilo City police face administrative charges over alleged irregularities in the arrest of two bodyguards of a city councilor.

Iloilo City Councilor Plaridel Nava II filed administrative charges against the 17, all from the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).

Charged before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas were Iloilo City police lead by city police head Senior Superintendent Martin Defensor. The charges included (

– grave abuse of authority
– grave misconduct
– conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service

Other respondents included:
– Superintendent Godfrey Buslotan, chief of the ICPO Intelligence Section
– Superintendent Jonathan Pablito, Iloilo City Police Station 1 chief
– Chief Inspector Marlon Valencia, ICPS5 Chief
– SPO2 Edward Barrida, PO2 Cyril Maestre, PO2 John Marcel San Pedro, PO3 Richard Ivan Lopez, PO3 Oliver Lonasco, PO3 Ricardo Morante, SPO2 Jessie Jim Rubio, PO3 Joel Novera, SPO1 Vernie Escorial, PO3 Vincent Angelo Hongco, PO2 Melvin Niño, PO2 Enrico Gonzales, and PO2 Peter Organia.

Nava’s complaint stemmed from the arrest of his security aides Julius and Roy de los Reyes, who were tagged in the killing of Nava’s cousin Mercedes Nava last Jan. 7.

Mercedes and her companion, Erwin Fontillas, were killed by riding-in-tandem gunmen at Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao District Jan. 4.

But Nava claimed the arrest of the de los Reyes brothers via “hot pursuit” was illegal and void from the beginning.

He added the respondent police officers had no personal knowledge of the facts linking the de los Reyes brothers to the crime, and their knowledge was “based entirely on what they had been told by others.”

Nava also said that since the arrest was illegal, the items seized during the search – including three cal-.45 pistols and a hand grenade – are inadmissible as evidence in court.

Nava also claimed two witnesses “were produced” to pin down the brothers.

Last Jan. 8, the ICPO filed charges for murder and violations of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and RA 9516 or illegal possession of explosives against the de los Reyes brothers.