In your next travel to the Philippines, beware of Manila policemen

THE five Manila policemen accused of extorting money from a hotel chef and forcing him to eat shabu have been reassigned to Mindanao after serving their 90-day suspension, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

The erring cops also face possible summary dismissal from the service.

They were identified as Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, Inspector Nelson Lagasa, SPO1 Nestor David, PO3 Wilson Gavino and PO2 Roderick Lopena. They, however, denied the charges.

In defending himself, Mendoza said his track record will show that he is a good cop, being a past winner of the search for 10 outstanding policemen in the country.

Supt. Eleazar Mata, of the MPD’s General Assignment Section, said the five will be temporarily reassigned to separate units in Mindanao where they will be tasked to go after insurgents.

Mata said the five policemen were charged with robbery, robbery-extortion, grave threat and physical injuries by Mandarin Hotel chef Christian Kalaw, who claimed that he was forced to eat shabu by the policemen who accused him of using illegal drugs. All the five policemen were previously detailed with the MPD-District Mobile Force Unit.

A report from the National Capital Region Police Office said the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division headed by Senior Supt. Clarence V. Guinto found probable cause to charge them with grave misconduct.

The NCRPO also recommended the 90-day preventive suspension of the five on the ground that the ‘‘charges against them were serious and the evidence of guilt was strong.’’