SUPPORTERS OF MANILA mayoral candidate Lito Atienza, who were detained Tuesday following a brawl with followers of Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso over campaign posters, filed a complaint on Thursday against a police officer and one of his men who arrested and filed charges against them.
Charged in the Office of the Ombudsman with illegal arrest, arbitrary detention, grave misconduct, discrimination and gross neglect of official functions were Chief Insp. Marcelo Reyes, head of the General Assignment Section of the Manila Police District, and case investigator PO3 Abelardo Aguilar.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Perlito Paler, Aaron Paul dela Cruz, Geraldo Makahasa, John Dave Peralta, Arman Dulay, Mark Anthony Correa, Eduardo Ramos, Andrew Madina, Benjamin Santos Jr., Eric Bautista, Al Casimiro and Jomar Ramos, supporters of Atienza.
The complainants claimed they were about to put up Atienza’s posters on Quirino Avenue and Pedro Gil Street between 2 and 2:30 a.m. on April 6 when they caught Domagoso’s supporters in the act of placing posters of the vice mayor and his running mate, Mayor Alfredo Lim, over that of Atienza’s.
Domagoso’s men left but came back later and pelted them with stones, leaving some of them injured, the complainants added.
Paler said one of them even trained his gun on him before firing a shot in the air.
But an investigation conducted by Aguilar showed that the complainants were the ones who attacked the followers of the incumbent city officials.
The complainants said they intended to file a complaint against Domagoso’s men but Aguilar did not even bother to takedown their statements.
They said they were taken instead to Ospital ng Maynila for a medical checkup and were subsequently subjected to inquest proceedings for charges of physical injury and damage to property.
The complainants said they later found out that Aguilar executed an “Affidavit of Apprehension,” which they claimed was baseless.
“It was clear that they were biased against us. They did not even bother to get our side of the story,” the complainants said.
“They should have listened to all the parties concerned. We were the ones attacked, but we ended up behind bars, ” they added.
At the same time, they said Reyes was also liable because he had approved Aguilar’s move, adding that Reyes signed the document for their inquest proceedings sent to the Office of the City Prosecutor.
Atienza’s son and campaign manager, Ali Atienza, said they will endorse the case to National Capital Region Police Office Director Roberto Rosales.
The young Atienza also reminded policemen to refrain from meddling in politics and to just do their job maintaining peace and order in the city.
Reyes said he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint, but added that he welcomes the move.
“Filing a complaint is their right, and I guess it comes with our profession. We’re only doing our job,” he told Inquirer.
Former Manila Assemblyman, General Manager of the National Housing Authority, Manila Vice-Mayor for 6 years, Mayor of Manila for 9 years, and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources