Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Puerto Princesa deputy police chief vs BK 16 U.S. Marines in night club brawl

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 13): Puerto Princesa deputy police chief vs BK 16 U.S. Marines in night club brawl

The deputy chief of the City Police Office (CPO)here and two other cops are in hot waters after getting involved in a night club brawl on the morning of April 2 with U.S. Marines soldiers participating in the Balikatan 2016 (BK 16).

Sr. Supt. Redentor Marañon, director of the CPO in Puerto Princesa, said Tuesday that his deputy police chief, Supt. Ariel Celino, and two others identified as S/Insp. Winner Paguia and SPO2 Jimmy Dalupines, might be liable for violation of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) gun ban for figuring in a brawl at Club 54 with U.S. Marines, who were participating in BK 16.

Marañon said this after a video of the April 2 incident came out, where a gun was seen being brandished during the fracas that happened inside the bar located at Malvar Street here.

He said Celino and the two others have been relieved pending the result of the investigation that is now being handled by PSI Mervin Immaculata, the CPO’s chief investigator.

The incident, which was not immediately known, only came out Tuesday when a copy of a CCTV footage was posted on Facebook by local radio channel Bandera News Philippines.

Marañon said that if the investigation could prove Celino’s group had taken out a gun, he and the others could be sued for violating the election gun ban.

At about 2:30 a.m. on April 2 , the video clip showed Celino’s group inside Club 54. One of the policemen was even seen dozing off on the table allegedly due to consuming too much alcohol.

At around 2:40 a.m., someone from a nearby table, assumed to be from the group of U.S. Marines, was seen tapping the bottle of one of the policemen causing beer bubbles to come out.

Paguia, who was seen sitting with a woman, got up from where he was sitting and confronted a partially shown individual.

Employees of the bar were also seen approaching to pacify him and the people on the other table.

Moments later, Paguia was seen putting on a bag and taking out a gun wrapped in what appears to be white cloth or paper.

Celino, a burly-built tall policeman, came into the scene being stopped by employees of the bar from further confronting the clients on the other table. Shortly before three in the morning, fight ensued between the policemen and the U.S. Marines.

A U.S. Marines was shown too, in the video, going to Paguia in an alleged attempt to take the gun that was in his bag. Then Celino hit him.

In the video, the deputy police chief was also seen grabbing a bottle he attempted to hit another U.S. soldier. He was however, stopped in doing it.

Paguia, was on the other hand, on the floor with U.S. Marines trying to retrieve the gun from him. The scene was only partially shone in the CCTV footage.

A U.S. soldier in green sleeveless shirt was seen instants later holding Paguia’s gun while the skirmish between Celino’s group and the others was going on in the background.

The footage ended with the U.S. soldiers going out of the bar and a woman wiping the nose of Celino.

It was only on April 6, according to Marañon, that the owner of Club 54 filed a complaint at the CPO, claiming they lost profits that night about a hundred thousand.

The police chief said that when asked, Celino’s explanation was that they were in the bar because they were on monitoring and surveillance duty against a drug user and pusher.

Marañon assured that their investigation of the incident will be fair for all parties involved. Necessary cases will also be filed if the inquiry will prove there is cause against Celino’s group.

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