Sunday, May 21, 2006

Fake policeman rises to colonel in 16 years

By Romie Evangelista

IN AN effort to save the National Police from “a big embarrassment,” Chief Arturo Lomibao has ordered the investigation of a high-ranking police officer who is said to have falsified his papers to get into the force more than 16 years ago.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Lomibao identified the officer as Supt. Napoleon Cauyan, chief of the Traffic Management Group in Central Luzon.

“I have ordered an investigation against Supt. Cauyan since two months ago because of what I heard that he falsified his absorption papers. If this is true, the PNP had been paying the salary of a fake officer for more than 16 years,” Lomibao said.

“It would be a big embarrassment to the officers corps and to an institution if it was found that Supt. Cauyan’s absorption papers were faked.”

Acting on Lomibao’s orders, the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management ordered Cauyan’s relief pending the outcome of the investigation.

Chief Supt. Marcelo Ele Jr., chief of the directorate, said Senior Supt. Napoleon Estilles, a lawyer, would handle Cauyan’s case.

This is not Cauyan’s first administrative investigation.

In 2001, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group probed Cauyan on similar charges, but the case was shelved when investigators failed to provide the courts with his supposedly fake absorption papers.

When he hurdled the charges before a Quezon City court, Cauyan was “absolved” from the case by former police director general and now Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

Chief Supt. Rodolfo Mendoza Jr., deputy chief of the directorate, is said to be reluctant to act on Cauyan’s case due to pressure from his “peers and superiors.”

Sought for a reaction to Cauyan’s case, Mendoza replied: “No comment muna ako diyan.”

Other officers sympathetic to Cauyan interviewed by the Standard Today said the case could again be “whitewashed” because of Lomibao's impending retirement on July 5.

Those seeking Cauyan’s ouster said the officer’s supposed illegal absorption, if true, would affect the morale of the PNP officers corps.

“If Cauyan’s case is not acted upon within Lomibao’s term, he would likely again go scot-free and clear his name,” a source who requested anonymity said.

The source added that based on his information, Cauyan was a former Constable 2nd Class during his stint with the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police. He migrated to the United States some time in the late 1980s.

When Cauyan surfaced in the early 1990s, at the time the Constabulary was detached from the Armed Forces and the National Police was formed, “he was able to enter the force with the rank of second lieutenant.”

“At the time, those who knew Cauyan personally were shocked to learn that he was already a PNP officer,” another source said.

Standard Today’s efforts to contact and seek the reaction of Cauyan, who is stationed at the Central Luzon PNP headquarters in Camp Olivas, Pampanga, went unanswered.

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