Town police chief justifies delay in arrest of drunk cop

Police Major Ronnie Brillo, police chief of Pototan (Photo Courtesy of Pototan PNP)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

IT COULD have been worse.

This is how Police Major Ronnie Brillo, police chief of Pototan, Iloilo, justified their decision not to immediately arrest Patrolman Joerick Ace Ilisan who allegedly went drunk and threatened the former.

Assigned at the Pototan PNP’s Highway Police Assistance Desks or HI-PADs, the 32-year old Ilisan was caught drinking liquor inside the police station.

“We just want to do away with possible violence,” Brillo said.

He explained that only a handful of officers were on duty that time. If they tried to subdue the unruly Ilisan, it could have resulted in armed violence.

While Ilisan was provoking him to a fight, Brillo said he chose not to give in to his personnel’s trap.

Basi nagtiniruhay pa didto. Either way, I don’t want any fatality among my personnel,” Brillo said.

The incident prompted him to call the Iloilo Police Provincial Office -Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT-IPPO) team for assistance.

Brillo and the IPPO-SWAT team later arrested Ilisan at his house in Pototan town.



Ilisan’s woes started when an inspection team led by Police Major Nazer Canja, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 camp duty officer, inspected the Pototan Police Station at around 1:15 a.m. of July 18, 2019.

Canja himself saw Ilisan and Police Corporal Esil Penarubia drinking liquor inside the police station. The two tried to hide the bottles of beer when they saw the inspection team.

The two officers were wearing their white undershirts instead of the standard blue PNP uniform.

At that time, Brillo was not around, as he visited the wake of the late Staff Sergeant Jessie Pamado at Barangay Lumbo, Pototan.

Canja allegedly ordered Ilisan and Peñarubia to wear their complete police uniform and to unload their firearms.

Ilisan, who was believed to be heavily drunk, wore his upper shirt inside-out.

Canja then went back to the police camp and called up Brillo about the incident.

After Brillo learned of his cops’ actions, he confronted Ilisan.

But instead of being remorseful, Ilisan allegedly held on to his service firearm – a caliber Taurus pistol.

The PRO-6 did not go into details but Ilisan reportedly attacked, harassed, and threatened Brillo.

He even went outside the station and fired his gun.

Peñarubia, on the other hand, chose to enter one of the offices.



Following what happened, criminal charges for grave threats, alarm and scandal, and illegal discharge of firearm were filed against Ilisan before the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.

The PNP Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS) also conducted a motu propio (on its own) investigation on Ilisan for indiscriminate gun firing.

But other administrative charges might be filed against him and Penarubia before the National Police Commission.



In February 2019, Brillo said he has reprimanded Ilisan because he was also caught reeking with liquor.

But the penalty imposed was only verbal.

“I was thinking that it should warn him not to do it again,” Brillo said.

But months before that, there was also an instance where Ilisan challenged his superior to a fight.

That superior, who was already retired, was the the chief of the Pototan PNP Intelligence Section.

The retired intelligence section chief accepted the challenge provided they don’t use guns.

Brillo said he is not in the position to determine if Ilisan is suffering from psychological problems.

But he is not discounting the possibility that he could be an alcoholic.

“Kung indi sya makainom, daw wala man sya gani gahambal gid. Hipos man lang sya,” Brillo said.

Presently, Ilisan is behind bars and his firearm already subjected to ballistic examination.

He will also undergo neuro-psychiatric examination, blood tests to determine the alcohol content in his body, and a drug test.

Even Police Colonel Marlon Tayaba, Iloilo police chief, is not discounting the possibility that Ilisan is psychologically troubled.

“When I went there several hours after the incident, he was still reeking with liquor. Ang layo ng sagot nya sa mga tanong ko,” he said.



Following what happened, Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan ordered Ilisan and Penarubia’s immediate relief, the swift conduct of the investigation and immediate filing of the administrative and criminal cases.

Pamuspusan said he wanted to see Ilisan dismissed from the service.

He earlier ordered the investigation of the team leader and the squad mates of the subject personnel to also face charges for tolerating and not properly supervising their squad mates/comrade.