Police files criminal, admin charges vs. Garins

The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) on Thursday filed criminal and administrative charges against Iloilo First District Rep. Richard Garin and Guimbal, Iloilo Mayor Oscar Garin.

Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, IPPO director, led the filing of the charges before the Office of Ombudsman in this city, together with the victim, Police Officer 3 Federico Macaya Jr., who complained that he was allegedly mauled and threatened by the Garins.

In a media interview, Tayaba said they filed criminal charges against the Garins for direct assault, grave coercion, grave threats, physical injuries, slander by deeds, serious illegal detention, and alarm and scandal.

The cases cover the two “John Does”, who were unidentified security escorts of the Garins.

Tayaba said they also filed administrative cases against the Garins and their two unidentified aides for grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming, oppression and abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the public, and other violations that may be deemed necessary.

Macaya, who was assigned at a local police station in Guimbal, Iloilo, suffered injuries, including a bruised left eye after he was reportedly assaulted by the Garins early Wednesday.

Macaya, who was a little emotional during the filing of the charges, expressed gladness that he is being given the justice, as well as the support of the whole organization of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“To us, who are victims of injustice, our sentiments and resentments were finally getting justice, we should no longer feel sad because we have finally survived,” he told his fellow policemen.

Macaya stood firm in his decision to pursue the case and stand pat on not allowing any negotiations with the Garins.

He then expressed his thanks to the PNP for their support. “I cannot do this alone, this is all because of the support of the whole PNP,” he said.

Earlier on the same day, Director General Oscar Albayalde, PNP chief, ordered the cancellation of all Permits to Carry Firearms outside of Residence (PTCFOR) and License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) issued by the PNP to the Garins as an administrative action to their involvement in a criminal case involving the use of firearms.

Based on the information database of the PNP, it indicated that Rep. Garin is the registered owner of 11 firearms, three of which have expired licenses while Mayor Garin is the registered owner of eight firearms, five of which have expired licenses.

Macaya expressed support to the action taken by Albayalde.

Tayaba said the Garins should turn-over their firearms “as soon as possible” or the moment that they receive the cancellation of their PTCFOR and LTOPF.

Meantime, Tayaba clarified that he granted the request of at least 28 police officers, who were previously assigned in Guimbal, to be transferred in other areas in the province.

He said that some were assigned to the towns of Tubungan, Igbaras and Bingawan while other opted to join the Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company. Half of these personnel are residents of Guimbal, Tayaba said.

“The treatment given them by the higher officials in the town caused them to feel low morale and they said that they have already stayed quite long at the town so they wanted to venture and extend their services in other municipalities,” he said.

The police officers were replaced by a special unit with members from the different mobile force companies in the province. (PNA/Cindy Ferrer)