The Public Order and Safety and Division is caught in another controversy as one of its personnel is accused of brandishing a bladed weapon to a driver who was accosted for parking in a non-parking area.
The employee involved is presently under preventive suspension while the Baguio City Police Office is investigating the issue.
POSD security officer Daryll Kim Longid said the division conducted a preliminary inquiry into the issue and found out that the employee was triggered by the hostile attitude of the PUJ driver whose jeepney was left unattended in a passenger loading and unloading area at the Slaughterhouse compound.
Longid said that at around lunchtime, April 27, the concerned POSD employee and several others from said office were conducting their patrol along Magsaysay Avenue when they chanced upon five vehicles parked at a PUV loading-unloading area at the slaughterhouse. As part of the anti-road obstruction drive, he said the POSD personnel tried to locate the drivers who left their vehicles unattended. Except for one driver, four immediately cleared the area.
Longid said when the POSD could not locate the PUJ’s driver, they decided to detach the vehicle’s license plate and simultaneously issue a citation ticket.
It was at this instance when the driver, who was said to be dining in one of the restaurants at Slaughterhouse, confronted the POSD. Longid said the POSD avoided arguing with the driver but proceeded with the issuance of a citation ticket.
The driver, however, challenged them to a fistfight which triggered a POSD employee to bring out a package cutter. This sparked the driver’s rage so he brought out a metal pipe purportedly to be used as weapon against the concerned POSD employee.
To avoid violence, the POSD employee and the driver were brought to Police Station 2 for investigation. The driver, accompanied by the jeepney association president, admitted his violation and subsequently paid the fine for obstruction and arrogance.
But the incident has since circulated on social media with netizens commenting that the POSD acted beyond its authority.
Longid has denied that the POSD abuses its authority, saying while the employee concerned might have been provoked, bringing out a cutter is unbecoming of government personnel. He said this is why they allowed the BCPO to conduct a parallel investigation to prove that they do not condone such acts and will impose sanctions if justified.
“We do not condone such actions should it be proven true. Violence or threatening acts have no place in public service regardless if a violator is provocative or hostile,” the POSD said in a statement posted in its social media page.
The POSD also appealed to the public that in case they want to contest or complain about an apprehension or conduct of any member of our office, the POSD is ready to hear their complaint.
“Let’s not let our emotions get the better of us,” the POSD added. – Rimaliza A. Opiña