PNP officers unhappy over De Lima’s order on ‘rapist cop’

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has distanced itself from the move of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to place under its protective custody a Manila policeman accused of raping a vendor last Dec. 31.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima over the weekend ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to place under its custody PO3 Antonio Bautista Jr., who is being sought by the Manila Police District (MPD).

But several police officers in Camp Crame have expressed dismay over the move of De Lima to place the accused under the NBI protective custody.

“This is purely internal matters to the police and Bautista is subject of disciplinary measures of the PNP – the least she could have done is to turn him over to the PNP so Bautista may face the music,” said a senior police official.

But PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said the PNP leadership respects the move of the justice secretary to have Bautista under their protection, noting it will not affect the case filed against the policeman.

“We respect the move of the DoJ… but the MPD will still file the case against him whether administrative or criminal ones,” Cruz told reporters during a chance interview in Camp Crame.

Earlier, National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Nicanor Bartolome said Bautista is not yet off the hook from the administrative cases he may face despite being under NBI custody.

“Even if he (Bautista) is with the custody of the NBI, this will not stop us from continuing the administrative case against him and we will send to him summonses,” Bartolome said in an interview.

The NCRPO chief quickly added. “I have no problem with that… we have already communicated with the NBI and told them our intention to pursue the case against him.”

A 30-year-old vendor alleged that Bautista arrested, robbed and raped her inside the MPD headquarters on United Nations ave., Manila last Dec. 31. Anthony Vargas

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