Cop nabbed for drugs faces dismissal from service

A POLICEMAN who was arrested in Cebu for alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade stands to be dismissed from the Philippine National Police (PNP) service if found guilty.

Senior Superintendent Henry Biñas, acting provincial police director of Negros Oriental, warned Friday, March 17, the same fate will happen to other members of the PNP in the province if they persist on engaging in the illegal drugs trade.

Biñas said he will personally handle the investigation and if proven guilty, the subject policeman, Senior Police Officer 1 Cielo Bonite, who was assigned to the Dumaguete City police station, will definitely be dismissed from service.

“I will ensure that he will be separated from the service. I will personally prepare the pre-charge evaluation,” said Biñas.

“If proven guilty, he does not deserve to stay in the service any longer,” he added.

Bonite was arrested along with three civilians during a police operation in an alleged drug den in Tabunok, Talisay in Cebu province early Thursday, March 16.

Bonite, 47, and the other suspects, Frederick Go, 46, Arnold Leceña, 44, and Jaime dela Cerna, 59, are now under detention and are facing illegal drugs possession charges, as well as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and other drug paraphernalia.

Police authorities in Cebu said Go was the primary target of that police operation, which yielded 45 grams of suspected "shabu" worth over half a million pesos, dried marijuana leaves, a KG9 submachine gun, a shotgun, a caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade, cellular phones and assorted “drug paraphernalia.”

Dumaguete City Police Chief Jovito Atanacio confirmed that Bonite was an organic member of the Dumaguete City Police Station but had a record of being transferred from one assignment to another.

Bonite, who hails from Guadalupe, Cebu, was a member of the CIB in Cebu before he was transferred to the PNP provincial police office, then to Sibulan police, and back to the provincial headquarters prior to his assignment in Dumaguete, said Atanacio.

According to Atanacio, Bonite has been issued several delinquency reports due to habitual absences.

At one time he was about to be declared Absence Without Official Leave but he reported back to duty three days after.

Bonite was last seen at the Dumaguete police station on March 2, 2017 when he was directed by Atanacio to report even if he was off duty, as a sort of community work to cover for his delinquency.

Since then, he never reported back to duty, Atanacio said, adding he only heard from the news that he was among those rounded up during a drug raid in Talisay.

Atanacio added that Bonite's delinquency reports had accumulated and even reached 20 points, and so the police station was in the process of pre-charging him prior to the recommendation of dropping Bonite from the roll.

Atanacio could not remember if Bonite has undergone the surprise drug test, which was conducted four times in Dumaguete.

Following Bonite’s arrest, the Dumaguete police chief ordered a strict monitoring of police personnel while on duty to allay insinuations some of them are moonlighting.

Biñas has directed all police stations to submit to the provincial command their respective Daily Personnel Accounting Report (DPAR) to make sure each policeman is performing and doing his daily task.

Aside from the DPAR, officers of the day of every police station have to check on the whereabouts of the every policeman in view of reports that after signing in the logbook, some of them disappear and return to the station only when it is time to log out.

Atanacio is also monitoring one police officer whom he observes is absent during scheduled inspections or similar police activities, and the usual alibi is that he is sick.

Biñas reiterated his warning to members of the PNP in Negros Oriental to stay away from the illegal drugs trade or else face strict sanctions.

Biñas, a lawyer, said he has already caused the dismissal of a number of police personnel involved in the illegal drug trade while he was still assigned at the PNP-Central Visayas office.

He said earlier that a number of police personnel in Negros Oriental are under close monitoring for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, but some of them have already been reassigned elsewhere. (PNA)