Corruption in CDO police force probed

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 18 March) – City officials here are launching an investigation to know the extent of corruption in the Cagayan de Oro Police Office after one of its highest ranking officers and his aide were arrested Monday for alleged extortion from jeepney operators.

National Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Supt. John Michael Deloso, city traffic director, and his aide, PO3 Ernesto Galeto, inside a local hotel in an entrapment operation.

Recovered from the two policemen were two marked envelopes containing P2,000 and P4,000 given to them by lawyer Ernie Palanan, Butuan City election officer and legal counsel of the Xavier Heights Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association.

Deloso and Galeto have refused to grant interviews to reporters at the NBI Region 10 office where they were brought after their arrest.

“Their arrest is very disturbing. I want to know the extent of police corruption in the local police force,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said.

He said he already received numerous complaints from jeepney and taxi operators about how Deloso conducted traffic enforcement.

“As early as two months ago, I have already sought his transfer because of the complaints from jeepney and taxi operators. They said he was very unfair on conducting arrests,” Moreno said.

But the mayor said the complaints did not involve extortion as alleged by Palanan.

Interviewed by a local radio station, Palanan said Deloso and Galeto allegedly demanded money so they will not arrest drivers of jeepneys plying the SM Mall and Xavier Heights.

Sensing that the two police officers would grow bolder in their demands, Palanan said he sought the assistance of the NBI regional office to conduct an entrapment operation.

Palanan said NBI agents marked the money and envelops with ultraviolet powder to ensure the arrest of the two police officers.

Councilor Ramon Tabor – chair of the committee on police, fire and safety of the city council – said he would summon top city police officials led by City Police Director Graciano Mijares to his committee hearing on Thursday.