A lawmaker “condemned in the strongest terms” the assault on a police officer by Iloilo First District Representative Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. and his father, Guimbal Mayor Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr.
Pangasinan Representative Leopoldo Bataoil, in a privilege speech yesterday, said his “heart bleeds” for Police Officer III Federico Macaya of Guimbal Police Station.
The Garins were accused of mauling Macaya on Dec. 26, 2018. According to police reports, the cop was allegedly “disarmed, handcuffed, kicked, slapped, spat at, and threatened” by the two politicians while being held at gunpoint.”
“PO3 Macaya and many others who, like him, are all but nameless men and women in uniform quietly serving, and even dying, albeit some of them being subjected as well to assault, disrespect and abuse by persons in high elective office—the so-called mighty and powerful,” Bataoil said.
The police officer turned congressman reminded his fellow public officials that they are “not high and mighty.”
“What we have is merely an illusion of power,” he stressed.
“We are subject to the law. We are subject as well to the renewal of our mandate to serve through the ballot. But our actions must be guided by both the letter of the law, and the wishes and aspirations of our constituents. One cannot take the place of the other, nor can one hold ascendant over the other,” Bataoil said.
The legislator expressed support to the order of Director General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, to provide legal assistance to Macaya.
The Garins were slapped with seven criminal and four administrative cases.
The criminal charges were for direct assault, grave coercion, grave threats, physical injuries, slander by deeds, serious illegal detention, and alarm and scandal.
The administrative complaints include grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming, oppression, abuse of authority, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the public.
The incident also resulted in the cancelation of Richard’s security detail, and the revocation of Oca’s authority over the local police.
The PNP likewise cancelled the licenses of the Garins to own and possess firearms.
Macaya, Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) Director Senior Superintendent Marlon Tayaba, and hundreds of other police officers were at the Batasang Pambansa to listen to Bataoil’s privilege speech.
“This podium and our platform here in Congress has always been, and will always be, for those who have no voice or for those who sentiments are hardly heard in our venerable halls,”Bataoil said. IMT