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Woman ‘escorted’ by HPG may face raps

MANILA, Philippines — Saying it will not tolerate people besmirching the Philippine National Police with malicious statements, the PNP said it is eyeing to charge a woman who claimed that she was assisted by a Highway Patrol Group (HPG) officer “hired” by her husband to get out of monstrous traffic.

Col. Jean Fajardo, the PNP’s chief information officer, said the HPG is planning to file a case against Mary Joy Santiago for violating Republic Act 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

Fajardo said the supposed HPG officer mentioned by Santiago in her viral post is not assigned with the unit.

“According to the HPG, hindi nila tao yun,” Fajardo said at a press briefing.

Santiago, in her social media account, posted a photograph of a police officer whom she said is detailed at the HPG.

Santiago posted that the HPG officer escorted her “to get out of traffic along an expressway.”

Her post earned negative reactions from the public.

Fajardo said Santiago was initially cooperative when the HPG reached out to her, but has since refused to talk with investigators.

A probe by the HPG also showed that the police officer in the picture is not from the HPG as he is not wearing the unit’s new uniform with serial numbers.

The side boxes of the motorcycle also had no HPG markings.

In Quezon City, two police personnel who allegedly caused panic among residents of Multinational Village in Parañaque were sacked from their posts.

S/Sgts. Roland Mansibang and Elmer Potoy were relieved from their posts at the Quezon City Police District’s criminal investigation and detection unit.

They were placed on floating status while a probe is ongoing about their unauthorized presence in Barangay Moonwalk.

Police said Mansibang and Potoy claimed that they were in Parañaque together with three civilians to conduct surveillance against an alias Mac Mac, a suspect in illegal drug deals and loose firearms.

However, the target of the operation got wind of the presence of the police and contacted his relative, an executive officer of the barangay, who went to the scene and fired warning shots.

The incident caused panic among residents of Multinational village, the PNP said.