By Miguel Gil

ZERO TOLERANCE. Brig. Gen. Paul Kenneth Lucas (center), director of the Calabarzon police, during a press briefing on March 6, 2024. On Wednesday (May 29, 2024) he ordered the relief of nine Quezon police officers over a home invasion incident. (Photo courtesy of PRO4A)

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Calamba City – Eight lawmen assigned to the Lucena City Police Station’s (LCPS) intelligence unit were relieved of duty and placed under restrictive custody for their alleged involvement in a recent home invasion incident, while the city’s police chief was also sacked for leadership failure.

In an online post on Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Paul Kenneth Lucas, who heads the Police Regional Office in Calabarzon (PRO4A), said he ordered the sacking of the eight policemen after formal charges were filed against them over alleged domicile, grave threats and unjust vexation during the conduct of a police operation.

The incident took place on May 24 when unknown armed men, who turned out to be policemen, barged into a house in Barangay Ransohan in Lucena City in Quezon province.

Homeowner Renelyn Torres Rianzales quickly reported the incident to the LCPS, upon which an investigation was launched.

Rianzales was recently a resource person at a House Committee on Public Order and Safety hearing, where she testified about her knowledge of election-related violence.

It is not yet clear whether the incursion into the complainant’s home was connected to her testimony.

Lucas said he was surprised when the investigation revealed that police intelligence operatives were behind the apparently unsanctioned entry into a private residence.

All involved police personnel were immediately relieved from their posts and were taken under the custody of the LCPS, according to the regional police chief.

The police chief was removed from his post under the doctrine of command responsibility, he added.

“The police officers were reassigned to the Regional Headquarters Holding Accounting Section for restrictive custody. The Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division in coordination with the Regional Internal Affairs Service were also ordered to conduct a parallel administrative investigation,” the Police Community Affairs and Development Group (PCADG) reported online.

“I reiterate my clear stance against misconduct by any member of our force. We condemned such actions in the strongest terms and assure the public that these officers, if found guilty, will meet the full (force) of the law,” said Lucas. (PNA)