A police officer is now facing administrative and criminal charges for allegedly using buy-bust money for online cockfighting or e-sabong.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo identified the police officer as Police Lieutenant John Kevin Menes, 24, assigned to the PNP Drug Enforcement Group–Special Operations Unit–4 (DEG–SOU4) of Police Regional Office-4A (PRO-4A).
Fajardo said Menes is facing charges of estafa and illegal gambling over the alleged disappearance of some P500,000 in cash allocated to the DEG in Calabarzon.
“Maliban pa dito sa criminal case niya for illegal gambling na estfa, ay may kakaharapin pa siyang isang kaso na admin na tinatawag natin malversation of government funds – ‘yung buy-bust money supposedly na sa kanyang pag-iingat,” Fajardo stated in a radio interview on Saturday.
(In addition to his criminal case for illegal gambling and estafa, he will also face an admin case that we call malversation of government funds for using the buy-bust money supposedly in his custody.)
“Ito (pera) ay supposedly ay ginagamit po sa ating mga police operations lalo na sa ating anti-illegal drugs operation. At sa kasamaang palad nga po dahil sa kanyang pagkakalulong sa sabong ay pati itong pera na sa kanyang pag-iingat ay nadispalko niya at hindi niya ma-account,” she added.
(This [money] is supposedly used in our police operations especially in our anti-illegal drugs operation. And unfortunately, because of his addiction to cockfighting, this money was also misappropriated while in his custody and he could not account for it.)
Menes was first restricted at the headquarters of the PRO-4A in Calamba, Laguna after he failed to present P500,000 in operational funds for anti-narcotics operations.
However, Menes escaped on March 27 and left the camp using a car that he borrowed from his subordinate, Patrolman Melvin Bojocan Barbo.
He refused to return the car, prompting authorities to launch a search and recovery operation.
After two days, police received a tip that Menes was spotted at an online betting station in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
When the cops arrived at the scene, they found out that Menes was being held by the employees of the facility for his unpaid debts amounting to P15,000, according to Fajardo.
Investigation further revealed that the suspect pawned the car to a certain Angel Robert Maximo for P170,000.
Fajardo said Menes is currently detained at the Manila Police District. —KG, GMA News