Customs police officer’s suspension reversedBy Gil Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Ombudsman has reversed a six-month suspension on Customs Police Major Ramon M. Policarpio after investigation showed that the sexual harassment charge filed by a masseuse against him was fabricated.
In his order, Ombudsman graft investigation and prosecution officer Avelino Macamus Jr. said he found no “substantial evidence” to pin down Policarpio for sexual harassment and misconduct upon reinvestigation of the case filed by Liberty Felipe. The order was approved by overall deputy Ombudsman Orlando C. Casimiro last November 6.
Policarpio was slapped by the Ombudsman with a six-month suspension last July for allegedly asking Felipe to massage his sex organ for a fee, which the therapist turned down. Policarpio made an appeal claiming that he was not given his right to due process since the decision was handed without him being summoned to any hearing to give his side.
In his order, Macamus said he gave more weight to Policarpio’s claim that the incident never happened as Felipe “merely concocted the story to get even and harass him for disallowing their entry to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) premises, which was previously free and unhindered.”
Macamus said Felipe not only failed to comment on Policarpio’s appeal, her charges were also “bare and uncorroborated not even by her husband who is always with her when she enters the customs premises to ply their massage trade.”
Macamus also noted that Felipe filed her complaint five months after the incident, which supposedly happened in July 2011.
“She (Felipe) did not even have the alleged incident recorded on the police blotter nor filed it with the police but opted instead to go to the tabloids which feasted on her sex story. All these cast doubt on the veracity of the complaint and bolster the respondent’s claims of harassment and vendetta as a result of the strict performance of his job at the BOC,” said Macamus.
Policarpio said he barred all unauthorized vendors and service providers like Felipe from entering the BOC premises in compliance with the new BOC management’s order to implement Memorandum Order 14-2003, which limited entry to the customs zones to individuals with official business in the area.