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PNP OIC vows probe on phone incident involving cop, GMA reporter

Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa on Friday vowed investigation on the incident where the chief of the Southern Police District (SPD) seized the cellphone of a GMA News reporter during the Black Nazarene feast.

“Inamin naman ni General [Nolasco] Bathan na siya ‘yung kumuha ng cellphone. I think during a press briefing sinabi niya ‘yun but all of these things will be assessed,” Gamboa said in a radio interview.

“Kung may kailangan imbestigahan, then we will investigate para mapakita sa tao na ang sa amin lang naman is implementation of the security [measures].”

Earlier reports said SPD chief Police Brigadier General Nolasco Bathan took the cellphone of Jun Veneracion when the former saw the latter capturing an incident where a policeman was arresting a Black Nazarene devotee along Ayala Bridge.

After 20 minutes, Veneracion’s phone was returned to him but the video he had captured was already in the “Recently Deleted” album.

According to Gamboa, he will let the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) look into the matter.

“Within the powers naman ni NCRPO to take the appropriate disciplinary measures at kung ano ang dapat gawin and then he will recommend to me kung ano din ang mga dapat gawin,” he said.

Asked if Bathan explained to him the incident, Gamboa said: “Hindi nagpaliwanag si Bathan sa akin. Sinasabi ko nga it’s the NCRPO who is in charge of this.”

On the other hand, Gamboa still believes that the Traslacion 2020, which was attended by tens of thousands of Catholic devotees, was generally peaceful and orderly. 

“Successful naman tayo in controlling and putting up security measures para walang masamang mangyari sa mga deboto,” he said. —Anna Felicia Bajo/KBK, GMA News