Cop accused of using impounded car-A A +A
Friday, August 22, 2014
PUNTA Princesa Police Chief Insp. Noli Cernio, who used to head the Theft and Robbery Section (TRS), may face charges for allegedly using an impounded vehicle as his personal service.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Noli Romana said he will ask Cernio to explain today.
The report stemmed from a concerned citizen, who wrote Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita columnist and GMA 7 broadcaster Bobby Nalzaro, accusing Cernio of using a green Mitsubishi Lancer, which is reportedly being used as evidence for a case.
According to an entry on the blotter of the TRS last October 2013, the vehicle was abandoned at the corner of Molave and Apitong Streets in Barangay Lahug.
The vehicle was suspected of having been used by robbers.
Romana said if the report is true, Cernio committed a violation. But to be fair, he said, he will talk to the latter about the matter.
Under police rules, he said, abandoned, recovered or seized vehicles should remain in the impounding area and cannot be used by any police personnel.
“Kahit na masira yan dyan, hindi yan dapat gamitin nang kahit sino (Even if it rusts in the impounding area, it should not be used) because it is an evidence,” Romana said.
If the vehicle is not claimed, the court will decide where it will be turned over but it still should not be used by any police personnel, he said.
Cernio, for his part, said that almost three months ago while he still headed the TRS, the vehicle was already being used by TRS personnel to run errands or to ferry police personnel to court to file cases.
He also clarified that the green Mitsubishi Lancer is not an evidence vehicle. It was abandoned, he said.
The vehicle was found during Chief Insp. William Alicaba’s stint as TRS chief.
Cernio said no one showed up to claim it even after Alicaba published its discovery in the newspaper.
Cernio also denied taking the vehicle when he was transferred to the Punta Princesa Police Station.
He said the vehicle developed engine problems last June and since it was being used by the TRS, he decided to bring it to a repair shop.
He said the vehicle was only fixed last Sunday. He said he returned the vehicle to the impounding area at the CCPO headquarters yesterday morning just as the concerned citizen reported the matter to the radio station.
Cernio’s successor at TRS, David Señor, said he was surprised to hear about the report.
“Wala ko kahibaw ana nga duna ba diay impounded vehicle nga gigamit (I was not aware of an impounded vehicle being used). Kay wala paman ko kacheck (I haven’t checked) so far,” Señor said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2014.