Sarangani police probes alleged gun pointing by town top cop

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Police authorities in Sarangani are investigating the alleged pointing of gun by a police official in Kiamba town to violators of the face mask policy.

Col. Michael Lebanan, Sarangani police director, said Wednesday they are currently gathering the necessary information regarding the incident involving acting Kiamba police station chief, Maj. Rolan Catoburan, in an operation last July 10.

He was referring to a complaint from civilian June Comanda, a resident of Tual in Barangay Poblacion, who claimed that the police official pointed a handgun at him and several other persons after they were rounded up for not wearing face masks.

Lebanan said he instructed their investigators to look into the incident and gather statements from witnesses.

Comanda, a fisherman, said in a phone interview that he was returning to his home around 3 p.m. last July 10 when he was accosted by policemen led by Catoburan for failing to wear a face mask.

The police team came to Purok San Francisco, Barangay Poblacion over a reported gambling activity involving a basketball game, he said.

After being rounded up on orders from Catuboran, Comanda admitted questioning the official for apprehending them over the face mask violation when he was not wearing one himself.

“That was when he fumed, pulled out a handgun, and pointed it to us,” he said, alleging that the police official reeked of liquor at that time.

Comanda said they were then brought to the Kiamba municipal police station and given a choice to either pay a fine or perform a song and dance number.

He said they chose the performance option and were released after singing four songs.

Lebanan said that based on a spot report from the police station, the enforcement team responded to the area over a complaint from concerned residents regarding an illegal gambling activity.

He said three persons were arrested during the operation and already charged through inquest in Alabel town.

The police official said Catoburan and his team reportedly came from an outreach activity and not under the influence of alcohol.

“We can presume that the said operation was legitimate,” Lebanan said in an interview.

But, he assured that they will investigate the other circumstances of the incident and would not tolerate any abuse or wrongdoing by their personnel if eventually proven.

Lebanan urged residents to immediately report to their hotlines any abusive act committed by their officials and personnel so they can properly act on them. (PNA) 


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