5 cops in Nueva Ecija charged before Ombudsman

Five police officers from Nueva Ecija are facing criminal and administrative charges filed by an individual whom they arrested after serving search warrant for illegal possession of hand grenade occurred at the latter’s house in Barangay San Fernando Norte, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija.
The cases was filed on March 1, 2024 before the Office of the Ombudsman in Diliman, Quezon City by Noel Montano, resident of Purok 4, Barangay San Fernando Norte, Cabiao, NE  against the respondents Police Major Shariel C. Paulino, Police Captain Sherwin O. Veloria, Police Corporal Arvin Rove P. Velasco, Police Corporal Jordan F. Talavera, Police Staff Sergeant Joy Kristine S. Villar and John Does; all assigned in Cabiao Municipal Police Station.
In his five pages complaint affidavit, Montano charged the 5 police officers of  Violation of Sec. 4 (a) Republic Act 9516 (Planting of Evidence), Grave Misconduct, Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and other violations.
Montano in his given statement, he said that on February 21, 2024 in the afternoon while he was taking care of his seriously ill mother who had just underwent a surgery, a group of policemen bearing search warrant came over to their house headed by PCapt. Noel Manalastas.
Manalastas whom was the team leader informed Montano about the Search Warrant issued by the Gapan City Regional Trial Court upon the request of Cabiao Police Station for reportedly keeping firearms of high caliber.
The Search Warrant was served by the police operatives composed of the said defendants and were accompanied by barangay officials Councilors Jacinto Santos and Aaron Manalad.
Montano said that the team searched their kitchen, living room and house’ cabinets but no firearms or any weapon were found. 
The last place they searched was the loft of the house where the rooms of Monatano’s nephew, sister and his ailing mother are located.
The complainant was shocked when after searching the loft, the policemen declared a grenade found under the pillow of his sick mother.
“I protested the finding because first, I never owned any explosive especially a grenade that may put our lives in peril and, second, no one in his right mind would hide a grenade under the pillow of his ailing mother that had just went under the knife,” Monatano said in his sworn statement.
It was at this point that he realized that he was being setup and suspected that someone had placed the grenade in his mother’s bed before or during the search for a caliber 9MM pistol and ammunitions which the police officers never found
Montano was arrested and held custody inside the Cabiao Police Station but the next day February 22, 2024 during inquest procedure, Lawyer Susan Apolonio, Senior Assistant Provincial Prosecutor dismissed the charges against Monatano, citing that “there is nothing enumerated in the search warrant that was recovered from the possession of the respondent.” 
“My predicament has caused so much injustice, public humiliation, anxiety and undue persecution as my rights were directly violated,” said the complaint.
In his text message, Police BGen. Jose Hidalgo Jr, regional director of Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) said that the alleged victim has the liberty to file a case against the police officers who implemented the search warrant.