Kidapawan traffic enforcer to file complaints vs SOCO officer for abuse of authority

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 7 July) – A traffic enforcer is bent on filing criminal complaints against an officer of the Scene of the Crime Operative (SOCO) assigned here for allegedly hitting him Monday morning for no apparent reason, a claim denied by the accused.

Junrel Candia, of the city’s Traffic Management Unit (TMU), said that when Lt. Edwin Sumale saw him enter the SOCO office to get a micro etching of his motorcycle for registration renewal, the officer approached and told him: “I have long hated you.”

Candia said the SOCO officer then pulled his mask, choked him, hit him in the abdomen, then left the office immediately.

The traffic enforcer said he got the shock of his life hearing those words from Sumale, and for the beating he got.

“At first, I didn’t remember him. Second, there was no incident that I had a violent encounter with him that could be his reason for hitting me back,” said Candia.

“But looking back, in 2016 I issued a temporary operator’s permit (TOP) to a certain police officer who violated traffic rules. I believe it was him. I remember his face, although I didn’t get his name. But I was just doing my job then as a traffic enforcer,” Candia said in an interview.

Candia said he reported Sumale’s alleged physical harassment to the police immediately after, around 12 noon on Monday.

The police, however, recorded it in their blotter book at 3:23 p.m.

Also in the blotter is the account of the SOCO officer, posted 23 minutes earlier.

Based on Sumale’s statement, it was Candia who allegedly caused the ruckus inside their office.

He told police that Candia acted aggressively and was very arrogant when he approached them for the micro etching of his vehicle.

Sumale even accused Candia of challenging him to a fist fight.

Candia said he will file criminal and administrative complaints against Sumale.

“I want justice. I don’t deserve this. Why would a police officer hit a government employee like me inside an office, which we all consider a safe place for civilians?” lamented Candia.

Sumale, however, said he is also bent in filing complaints against Candia for his alleged display of disrespect to a police officer when he acted arrogantly while doing a transaction inside their office. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)