Charges vs Garins proceed

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Western Visayas Police Chief Supt. John Bulalacao on Thursday announced that Guimbal Mayor Oscar Garin and Iloilo Rep. Richard Garin have already complied with an order to surrender their firearms and release their police escorts after attacking a law enforcer.

“They followed the instructions of our higher-ups,” said Bulalacao on radio, adding that despite the compliance by the Garins, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will still file charges against father and son before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Bulalacao also said that the former police chief of Guimbal, Senior Insp. Antonio Monreal, who allegedly did nothing while the Garins assaulted Macaya, is also facing administrative investigation expected to be completed this week.

“Macaya’s comrades were reassigned to other areas on their own request and were replaced by officers from the provincial mobile force,” Bulalacao said.

The Garins allegedly confronted the policeman last December for failing to file charges against the son of a councilor who figured in a scuffle. The lawmaker allegedly handcuffed, punched, kicked and spat at PO3 Federico Macaya at the Guimbal town plaza.

The politicians surrendered their police escorts and 16 firearms after the Philippine National Police cancelled their gun permits after the mauling incident even as Rep. Garin — the husband of former health Secretary Janette Garin — said he will take full responsibility for his actions.

“I sincerely ask for your forgiveness of what I did. I reiterate my apologies for my actions, which I take full responsibility. However, I just would like to clarify that my actions are not directed to the PNP as an institution, or against its officers and personnel,” he said in a statement.

Meantime, the PNP is urging the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to strip the Guimbal mayor of power over his town’s police force.

Aside from the charges, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he will also endorse the case to Congress “and let them apply sanction against their colleague.”

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