Bemedalled NorthCot cop to face administrative charges

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/15 January) —  A bemedalled cop in North Cotabato who was charged for allegedly stealing the issued firearm of his provincial director will be facing administrative charges which might lead to his dismissal from service, the provincial police chief said.

Sr. Supt. Cornelio Salinas, director of the North Cotabato police, said they already submitted to the Police regional office No. 12 (PRO-12) in General Santos City the investigation report of the offenses allegedly committed by Sr. Insp. Erwin Tabora since he was assigned as  operations section chief of the PRO-12 in August 2010.

Tabora, however, denied Salinas’ allegations.

“The gravity of the offenses that he (Tabora) committed is within the ambit of the power and authority of our regional police director in Southwest Mindanao.   The report is already there,” said Salinas adding, “These are serious administrative charges.   And these might lead to his dismissal from public office.”

Salinas cited  Tabora’s alleged perennial absences without official leave (AWOL).  Before is arrest on January 5, Tabora reportedly went on AWOL for 20 days since December 8.

“He was also rated poorly in terms of his performance as our operations officer,” said Salinas.

Salinas also told media here to look into Tabora’s career and performance as a police officer since his assignment as a police precinct-4 commander of the Cotabato City PNP in 2007.

“When I visited Cotabato City last Friday, I was told that Tabora was once suspended for committing offenses against his men there,” he said.

Reports reaching Salinas said that in 2007, Tabora, allegedly under the influence of liquor, went wild and started to fire shots inside his office.   No one, though, was hurt but Cotabato City police director, Chief Supt. Wilfredo Dangane, relieved Tabora from post and was suspended for months.

Tabora has denied the allegations. He said the charges filed against him were all baseless. He said the unlicensed firearms which Salinas and his men recovered from him on January 5, were planted.

He also denied having stolen Salinas’ baby armalite on December 28.

“Salinas sought my help to recover his stolen firearm.   And when I was able to present the armalite to him, instead of getting a pat on my shoulder, he accused me of taking his firearm and later charged me for robbery,” said Tabora.

Tabora had earlier been charged of two counts of illegal possession of firearms and robbery.  He posted bail of P104,000 last Tuesday.

Tabora is considered by many of his peers as a “well-trained” policeman having specialized on special weapons and tactics.

“He was once a member of the elite Special Action Forces while he was still in Luzon,” a colleague said.

In January 2007,  while a commander of Precinct 4 in Cotabato City, Tabora nabbed four kidnapping suspects.

On December 8, 2009, North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza commended him for having convinced five suspected members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) Front 72 to surrender to authorities. Days later, a spokesperson of the NPA’s Front 72 issued a statement saying the rebels who surrendered to Tabora were “bogus” as they were not in their roster of members.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)