Young crocodile caught at Crame
- Christina Mendez () - September 25, 2001 - 12:00am
Beware of crocodile, the real reptile.

Police were caught by surprise yesterday when a crocodile was found wandering near the official residence of Philippine National Police chief Director General Leandro Mendoza inside Camp Crame.

Police and civilian personnel lost no time in cornering the crocodile, measuring about three feet, and locking it up in a cage.

The stray reptile was found wandering at around 8:30 a.m. at the creek which is just a few blocks away from the "White House," the residence of the PNP chief, and a security area that houses the quarters of ranking police officials.

Chief Inspector Juanito Ancheta said it was not the first time that base policemen caught a crocodile at the same creek.

"The base policemen caught a crocodile of the same size and color about a month ago. But it escaped because the ropes we tied on it loosened," Ancheta said.

Ancheta surmised that the second crocodile could not have been the same one caught last month because the first one supposedly had a bullet wound in one eye after it was shot by a policeman. Unless, of course, the animal had mysterious self-healing powers.

Roy Navales, of the Public Information Office, recalled that he and his friends used to play at creekside during their childhood days.

According to Navales, the creek goes through a tunnel that reaches Camp Aguinaldo, headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The "news" about the reptile quickly spread throughout the PNP, whose officials quickly became the butt of jokes.

"Maybe it was going to make a courtesy call on the PNP chief, or perhaps attend the flag ceremony," a reporter quipped.

In police parlance, erring policemen are referred to as "buwaya" for being greedy and their alleged involvement in extortion activities.

PNP community relations chief Director Thompson Lantion was astounded when he heard about the incident. But he said comparing policemen to crocodiles is no laughing matter.

ANCHETA ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CAMP AGUINALDO CAMP CRAME CHIEF INSPECTOR JUANITO ANCHETA DIRECTOR GENERAL LEANDRO MENDOZA DIRECTOR THOMPSON LANTION PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE ROY NAVALES
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