By Dominique Gabriel Bañaga
A police officer from Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) was arrested in Hinigaran town for suspected involvement in illegal gambling.
NOCPPO spokesperson Lieutenant Abegael Donasco identified the suspect as Police Master Sergeant Bebzie Nicor.
Donasco said Nicor was assigned as secretary to the office of NOCPPO director Colonel Romy Palgue.
She said the cop had been relieved from the post and is being investigated.
A criminal case for violating Presidential Decree No. 1602 that outlaws illegal gambling has already been filed against Nicor.
Donasco said the incident happened last week, but the information only surfaced after the village chief of Barangay Quiwi, Hinigaran told a radio station that the police raided a residence in his barangay where the supposed illegal gambling operation took place.
In an interview with DYHB RMN-Bacolod, barangay captain Edwin Gavilanga revealed the raid, although he didn’t have additional information as to who was/were arrested in the operation.
According to Gavilanga, the illegal gambling activity – alleged card games – was discovered by an undercover police officer posing as a food vendor.
When the local media tried to contact NOCPPO for further information, a small misunderstanding took place as they have yet to receive the blotter report of the incident from Hinigaran.
The issue was later resolved after Marchel Espina, chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Negros Occidental Chapter, stepped in and asked the NOCPPO Public Information Office to answer the media’s questions.
In a follow-up press conference, Palgue said he ordered the Hinigaran Police Station to investigate Nicor thoroughly.
Palgue added Nicor had already been the secretary to the office of the provincial police director (for 14 months) and had previously served former NOCPPO director Police Colonel Rodolfo Castil./DGB, WDJ