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MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 2 - 3:14 p.m.) A Quezon City policeman was relieved for refusing to give way to the convoy of President Benigno Aquino III Tuesday.
The President's convoy was on its way to La Mesa Dam near Batasan when the policeman, identified as Police Officer 2 Ricardo Pascua of Quezon City Police Station 4, ignored the Presidential Security Group's signal for him to give way.
Pascua, who was driving a private vehicle and was in civilian clothes when the incident happened, was relieved effective today as summary investigation proceedings are underway.
In Malacanang, Presidential Security Group chief, Brig. Gen. Mateo Dizon, said Pascua's action may constitute "gross disrespect to the commander-in-chief."
The Presidential Protection Unit will be filing a report on the incident with the Quezon City Police District.
Dizon said Pascua was "about one to two cars away from the President when he tried to make a U-turn at around 9:35 a.m.
"He seemed oblivious to the convoy," Dizon said. "Even when one of our motorcycle riders already told him to give way, he refused to move, insisting that he be allowed to make a U-turn because he is a policeman."
Pascua denied intentionally blocking Aquino's convoy or being arrogant when the PSG spoke to him. He also claimed he was not aware that it was the presidential convoy behind him.
The Philippine National Police has launched an investigation into the matter. Quezon City police director Chief Supt. Mario dela Vega said pending their findings, Pascua will be reassigned to the QCPD headquarters in Camp Karingal.
Pascua was in civilian clothes and on board a private vehicle, a Tamaraw FX, when the incident occurred.
PNP chief Nicanor Bartolome said there was no excuse on not giving way to the presidential convoy.
"Maybe he didn't notice because the convoy was not using 'wang-wang' but that is not an excuse given that he is a policeman," Bartolome said.