Caloocan police chief sacked over 'unsolved' cases

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Metro Manila police chief Director Oscar Albayalde announced on Monday, March 26, that Caloocan police chief Senior Superintendent Jemar Modequillo has been sacked from his post.

"Sa Caloocan kasi may mga series of shooting incidents na hindi na-solve eh. Mahigpit na ayaw 'yung mga riding-in-tandem, lalong lalo na yung mga 'di naso-solve na riding-in-tandem na palaging na-a-attribute sa PNP (Philippine National Police)," Albayalde told Rappler in a phone interview.

(It's because there are a series of shooting incidents in Caloocan that haven't been solved. Riding-in-tandem [shootings] are not tolerated, especially unsolved riding-in-tandem [shootings] always attributed to the PNP.)

Albayalde did not specify which incidents led to the relief, but there have been a few Caloocan shootings that hit the headlines since Modequillo assumed his post in September 2017.

Among these killings are that of a couple last November, a former drug user in December, a pregnant woman in February, and even a motorcycle-riding suspect just early March.

Deja vu for Caloocan

The abrupt conclusion of Modequillo's leadership feels all too familiar for the Caloocan City Police Station.

Just 6 months ago, he replaced Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna, who was also fired by Albayalde after he failed to solve a controversial killing — 17-year-old Kian delos Santos.

Not long after Bersaluna was relieved, Albayalde ordered the entire Caloocan City police force overhauled, after the unsolved slaying of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz drew public outrage.

Is the problem of unsolved killings already systemic to Caloocan? Albayalde admits so, but he argued that there was no better cop to alter the flawed system than the city's chief of police.

"That is why they have been named chiefs of police, for them to react to what they see on the ground," Albayalde said.

Modequillo was replaced by Superintendent Restituto Arcangel, who headed the Manila Police District Public Safety Battalion. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.