La Castellana councilor, Baecoleña tagged in ‘police recruitment scam’

La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Mangilimutan and Maj. Nelson Amsiwen Jr. during a press conference in La Castellana on Friday.*

Complaints have been lodged against the No. 2 councilor of La Castellana and a Bacolod resident who have been tagged in an alleged police recruitment scam involving millions of pesos.

Maj. Nelson Amsiwen Jr., La Castellana police officer-in-charge, said on Friday, September 15, that the complaints made before his office were against La Castellana Councilor Donato Dumaguit, alias Nat-Nat, and a certain Mary Jun Tagua Delos Santos for allegedly offering to facilitate applications to the Philippine National Police for a fee.

Complaint-affidavits of the applicants are being prepared for the filing of charges against the two next week, he said.

The two allegedly recruited 45 applicants, the bulk of whom are from La Castellana, while six are from Moises Padilla and two are from Bacolod City.

Two policemen are also being investigated for possible involvement, Amsiwen said.

The complainants named two policemen allegedly seen in the company of the councilor when he collected the recruitment fees, La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Mangilimutan said.

Mangilimutan said the complainants claimed that they were each asked to pay a package fee of P247,000 and in some cases even more in exchange for their being able to join the PNP even if they were not eligible, or are not college graduates.

She said that would mean that up to P15 million could have been collected from all of the applicants.

They were told that if they paid the package fee they would not have to go through a screening process and would directly take their oaths as members of the PNP and start training, the complainants said.

The complaints said their parents mortgaged their property, sold their farm animals and borrowed money to pay the fee. Some of them also resigned from their jobs in Manila to wait for the oath taking rites

Mangilimutan said she did not know if there were others involved in the scam that allegedly has also been going on in other parts of Western Visayas.

The mayor has written to PBGen. Sidney Villaflor, PNP Western Visayas regional director, to inform him of the alleged police recruitment scam.

Mangilimutan, who is a former policewoman, told Villaflor that the complainants claimed that “in exchange for a sum of money, they were promised outright slots in the Philippine National Police – a promise that, tragically, could not be fulfilled”.

“The gravity of these allegations cannot be overstated. They cut deep into the fabric of trust and accountability within our community and strike a blow at the very heart of the PNP’s integrity,” she said.

The mayor asked Villaflor to intervene in the case.

“The victims seek justice and redress for their grievous experience, and it is our collective duty to ensure that justice prevails. I implore you to expedite the investigation process, deploying all necessary resources and expertise to uncover the truth behind these allegations,” the mayor said.

She said the La Castellana local government is ready to play its part in supporting this investigation.

“We will provide full cooperation and extend any resources required to facilitate the process of justice,” Mangilimutan said.

The mayor said she has also sought legal assistance from the provincial government to attain justice for the victims.

She said Dumaguit has not appeared at two SB sessions. Mangilimutan called on him to return to La Castellana if he wants to clear his name.

The mayor assured that she would not take the councilor’s side and would pursue justice for the victims of the recruitment scam Dumaguit could not be reached for comment.*

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