7 cops faces charges for hazing in training camp
August 3, 2012
Seven police instructors face administrative charges for hazing female trainees in a police camp in Sibonga town, Cebu in July.
“Hazing was proven,” said Zandro Oriol, spokesman of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) in Central Visayas.
He said this followed a perusal of evidence – medical certificate of the trainees, documentation of evidence, statements of the trainees and investigation.
He said the charges of grave misconduct are based on the Anti-Hazing Law (RA 8047) and that it’s up to the complainants whether to file criminal charges.
The Napolcom 7 will file administrative cases against Regional Special Training Unit (RSTU) training manager Senior Insp. Dexter Calacar and training director Insp. Juanity Nuñez for grave misconduct and serious neglect of duty.
Five other police officers serving as assistant instructors will be facing administrative charges for grave misconduct and serious irregularity in the performance of duty.
They are PO2 Milinie Francisco, PO2 Diana Paghasi-an, PO1 Wilmore Alvarado, PO1 Kelvin Mendrano and PO1 Aaron Genera.
Oriol said the seven officers could be suspended up to 90 days, demoted or dismissed from service depending on the gravity of the offense.
A pre-evaluation charge report of the Napolcom-7 established the fact that the hazing happened during the training.
The complainants were undergoing Special Counter-insurgency Operation Unit Training (Scout) in Camp Ceferino Genovia in Sibonga town.
On July 13, 12 trainees complained of hazing but only seven female police officers went to the Sibonga police station to file the complaint against their assistant instructors.
A medical certificate documented bruises on their feet and the back of their legs.
The women said their instructors hit their bare feet with sticks as punishment for mistakes during the training.
The training manager and training director were implicated as part of command responsibility.
They were cited for their failure “to take corrective and preventive measures to ensure that the incident would not happen and the fact that the hazing happened due to their negligence.”
The “absence” of Calacar and Nuñez during the training is a form of “neglect of duty,” Oriol explained.
The RSTU training course manual clearly prohibits “giving punishment to trainees like harmful, excessive, physical contact.”
“If the intention of the assistant instructors is to impose discipline, it should be in a correct and proper way and not hitting them on the hands and feet.” Oriol said.
Meanwhile, Calacar said they will just wait to be summoned by Napolcom-7.
“We will answer the charges. We have also conducted internal investigation on the assistant instructors accused of hazing,” Calcar told CDN.
The female trainees said sticks were used to hit the soles of their feet as “punishment” for violations of training rules like using a cell phone in the camp, arriving late in the formation or failing to prepare lunch in the mess hall.
After the complaint was filed, the three assistant instructors were pulled out from the training camp on July 17 on orders of Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, head of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), pending investigation.