In the aftermath of the Tarlac shooting of two civilians by an off-duty police officer, the Catanduanes Provincial Police Office has condemned the incident and relieved from his post a police chief who made controversial comments on social media.
In a statement released on Dec. 21, 2020, the local police command headed by Col. Brian Castillo said it does not condone any violation of human rights even as it urges all of its personnel to obey the existing rules and regulations and strengthens the Internal Cleansing Program of the Philippine National Police.
“Expect that any violation from the ranks of the local police in the province will be held to account,” it stressed.
Regarding the comments posted by Bato police chief Capt. Ariel Buraga, Camp Camacho said it is already conducting an in-depth and fair investigation of the matter as part of its due process.
“My Father is a Policeeeee Mannnnn ha!!! I don’t care eh eh eh eh eh err!!! P@#¥ng ina mo gusto mo tapusin na kita ngayon???? Bang Bang Bang Bang.. Lesson Learn kahit puti na ang buhok o ubanin na tayo eh matuto tayo rumispeto sa ating mga Kapulisan..mahirap kalaban ang Pagtitimpi at pagpapasensya.. RIP Nanay and Totoy..” went Buraga’s viral post, followed by his subsequent agreement with a netizen’s clarificatory query that it was the mother’s fault why she was shot by the policeman.
Soon after the post became viral, the Bicol PNP directed the Catanduanes police to issue a show cause order against the police chief.
The relief of the officer came after Mayor Juan Rodulfo requested the PD to assign another police chief to assuage the fears of Batonhons of “a seemingly biased chief of police whose loyalty, it seems, rests primarily with his fellow policemen than with the constituents in his area of responsibility.”
“Much as we respect his right to publicly pronounce his personal opinion regarding the killing, he should have exercised restraint and prudence in doing so considering that he is the Chief of Police in this LGU…,” the chief executive stated.
Just weeks after Buraga was assigned to Bato, he soon became the target of criticism from motorists of the poblacion after he personally flagged down and issued citation tickets to drivers without licenses, vehicle registration or helmets.
He is now assigned at the 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company based at Camp Camacho pending the result of the investigation, with Lt. Fidel Romero sent in his stead to Bato town as officer-in-charge of the police station.