By Alex San Juan
The Quezon City Police District chief has relieved the head of the two Novaliches rookie policemen who were involved in another “sex-for-freedom” case, along with three other officers involved in the arrest.
QCPD Director Chief Superintendent Joselito Esquivel Jr. has ordered the relief of Police Inspector Ronaldo Sergio, chief of the Tactical Motorcycle Riders (TMR) of Novaliches Police Station (PS-4) where PO1 Jayson Portuguez and PO1 Severino Montalban III were assigned.
Three other young officers involved in the arrest of the female suspects who complained of sexual abuse, identified as PO2 George De Leon, PO1 Benjieson Pablo, and PO1 King Ogalesco, were also removed from their posts and were placed under restrictive custody pending the filing of administrative charges against them.
Portuguez and Montalban were tagged by the victim “Maria” as those who sexually abused her in exchange for her liberty after she was arrested.
A police report showed that “Maria” and five other women were nabbed by TMR personnel and Mobile Patrol Unit of PS-4 for illegal gambling while at Plaza Nova last November 3.
The women were brought to the Quezon City General Hospital for medical examination but “Maria” stayed inside the police mobile and pleaded to be released as her husband was still at the detention cell for the same violation.
In exchange for her freedom, the two policemen allegedly asked sexual favors from her. She said she obliged, claiming that this happened at a dim area outside the hospital.
The victim was dropped-off on Buenamar Street, Novaliches while her companions were brought to the police station.
Two days after the incident, “Maria” complained to the National Capital Region Police Office-Regional Special Operations Unit, which immediately coordinated with PS-4 commander Superintendent Rossel Cejas.
Portuguez was arrested on Tuesday morning while Montalban voluntarily surrendered to Cejas hours later.
The QCPD chief said he immediately ordered the disarming and confiscation of the PNP badges of the two policemen, who will be charged with violation of RA 8353 or the New Anti-Rape Law, pending an investigation.
Portuguez and Montalban entered the police service in 2012 and trained for their basic recruit course at the National Capital Regional Training Center (NCRTC) in Camp Bagong Diwa.
They were assigned at QCPD in 2015 particularly at the Novaliches Police Station as Tactical Motorcycle Riders.
Esquivel expressed dismay over the incident and condemned the acts of the two young officers. “We will never tolerate such acts that bring dishonor to the QCPD’s good name. We assure the public that this incident does not speak of the culture of the police,” he said.
Esquivel also encouraged similar victims to speak out and identify these “very few rotten eggs and bring them before the bar of justice.”