Negros town police chief relieved over sleeping men, stinky station

PHOTO CAPTION: A surprise NAPOLCOM inspection found the EB Magalona police station ‘deserted’ and devoid of any alert activity as the cops were asleep on the job and the chief OIC, P/Lt. John Paul Tabujara, was MIA./iNEWS (Photo from Atty Joseph S. Celis Facebook page)

BACOLOD CITY–Personnel on duty at the EB Magalona Police Station in Negros Occidental are in hot water after NAPOLCOM Regional Director Joseph Celis caught them sleeping while on duty in a surprise inspection Friday night, May 14.

EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon confirmed that P/Lt. John Paul Tabujara, the designated officer-in-charge of the police station, was relieved.

P/Col. Romy Palgue, provincial police director, appointed P/Capt. Erik Doronila to replace Tabujara.

Palgue also said they will conduct an investigation over the incident, adding that appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken if the involved cops are found guilty.

Celis posted on his social media account the narrative of the dismal sight that greeted him at the EB Magalona Police Station.

“Arrived at EB Magalona Police Station, Negros Occidental, at 11:03 p.m. There is no Desk Officer and Sentinel. It took five minutes for one policeman to wake up. The other three are still fast asleep. Literally, they are not performing their duties. There is no Official Duty Detail Order issued,” Celis posted on Facebook.

The regional NAPOLCOM director also noted the less than impressive state of the station and the stinking smell inside.

“The smell of the station stinks of pee, and the premises, dirty. Moreover, an old service police vehicle blocks the passageway, and the gates are just open,” he recounted.

After 15 minutes of waiting, Celis said the police officers inside the station finally woke up and changed to their uniforms.

He noted that the police chief and his deputy were “nowhere to be found”.


A ‘fuming’ Celis waited for 15 minutes for the officers on duty to wake up from their slumber./iNEWS (Photo from Atty Joseph S. Celis Facebook page)
The passageway, Celis noted, was blocked by an old patrol vehicle./iNEWS (Photo from Atty Joseph S. Celis Facebook page)
The ‘pièce de ré·sis·tance’ was the comfort room that reeked of the smell of urine, which permeated the entire station./iNEWS (Photo from Atty Joseph S. Celis Facebook page)

Malacon said that the concerned policemen should face whatever sanctions will be imposed by the PNP hierarchy despite the fact that the municipal government has been extending its “all-out support” to them.

“This incident is not only a lesson to PNP personnel but to all of us. We’re given our mandate, and we have to perform our obligations,” Malacon said.

He added that the problem is not with the organization itself, but only with some PNP members, and that there is a need to discipline them.

Meanwhile, Celis said that he did not find any problems at the city police stations of Silay and Talisay, which he also visited after stopping by EB Magalona.

The sentinel and desk officers were performing their duties, including police chiefs Lt. Col. Robert Petate and Maj. Jigger Gimeno, he said.

In fact, Petate has been staying at the Silay City Police Station, rendering duty for three straight months, Celis said.

Police officers caught sleeping while on duty face administrative charges. Penalties include withholding of their mid-year and year-end bonuses, as well as their replacement clothing allowance. Their chance for promotion can also be affected.

Celis also checked the police stations of Don Salvador Benedicto and Manapla as well as the cities of Victorias, Cadiz, and Sagay. (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNEWS-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)

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