CCPO to probe rob suspect cop, ‘drunk’ officer

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

TWO policemen may face administrative charges, one for allegedly punching a waiter in a bar and the other for being a suspect of a robbery in Cebu City.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, PO1 Joseph Tabotabo, who is assigned to the traffic division, allegedly punched waiter Aljoe Bajamonte inside the Dark Planet bar on Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.

Tabotabo was having drinks with friends and was drunk when he got angry that Bajamonte accidentally spilled a drink on him.


Both men were brought to the Parian Police and Tabotabo was made to pay a fine for violating a city ordinance on drunkiness.

Tabotabo and Bajamonte later agreed to settle the case.

Still, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Noli Romana said he ordered an investigation against Tabotabo, who was off-duty when the incident happened.

“Even when not in uniform or when off-duty, you are still a policeman and must always abide by the rules,” Romana said.


In the other case, PO2 Ronilo Manuel went to the Fuente Police Station yesterday dawn to clear his name in relation to a holdup on R. Landon St. He was accompanied by Benito Abear.

Manuel, who was assigned to the Cebu City Public Safety Batalion, and Abear were handcuffed and detained.

Fuente Police Chief David Señor said they had no choice but to detain Manuel since he and Abrea were identified by the alleged victim.

“We will have to wait for the victim to file a complaint. If she won’t, (the suspects) will have to be released after 36 hours,” said Señor.

Señor said the descriptions given by victim, Rochel Cueco, matched Manuel’s features.


Abear was identified through the police rogues’ gallery. He was arrested earlier in relation to an illegal possession of firearm case.

According to the police, Cueco and her friends were standing along R. Landon St. when two men on a motorcycle approached them and pointed a gun at them.

The men declared a holdup and took Cueco’s bag, which contained a cellular phone and P4,000 cash. The suspects quickly left after the incident.

Señor said Manuel had been absent without leave (AWOL) since November.

Manuel said he went on AWOL for personal reasons. He admitted that he hocked his firearm because he did not have money.

Manuel said he was supposed to report to the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 to clear his AWOL but he got arrested instead.

Romana ordered an investigation on Manuel. “An act like this should not be tolerated in the police force,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 13, 2014.

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