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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

3 Baguio City police relieved for unprofessional conduct

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Baguio City, Philippines — Three police officers in Baguio City were recently relieved for irregularity in the performance of their duty after a foreigner raised concern on the way they handled his complaint.

The complainant was a US Navy officer Michelot Joseph, who claimed having experienced racial discrimination at a bar in the city on October 21 this year.

Joseph, in his Facebook post last October 22, wrote that he and his companions were denied entry at a bar because he was black. He claimed that the establishment’s management does not allow ‘black and Arabs’ inside the bar.

He reported the incident to the police but said there was a lack of action from them, citing that a desk officer even laughed at the situation as if the case was not serious.

The US Navy officer related that when they went back to the police station the day after the incident to get a copy of the police report, they found out that the initial inquiry was incomplete. He recounted that the investigator failed to take a formal statement from the management of the bar and sign the inquiry form.

This November 17, Baguio City Public Information Office reported that the three police officers who handled Joseph’s case were relieved and were subjected to a refresher seminar on first responders and phraseology.

Likewise, Baguio PIO said the establishment was ordered last October 24 to stop operating as a bar and to stop serving liquor after Mayor Benjamin Magalong recommended an investigation into the case.

The establishment was also commanded to comply with its existing business permit to only operate as a restaurant.

The bar’s operator later issued an apology to Joseph, which the latter accepted. The foreigner expressed his appreciation to Mayor Magalong and the BCPO for addressing the issue.

Meantime, Acting City Police Director of BCPO PCol. Francis Bulwayan issued a memorandum to all Baguio City police, reminding them to abide by the provisions of Memorandum Circular 2016-002 and Republic Act 6713 to ensure respect for diversity.


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