QC court junks plea of 5 cops dismissed by Ombudsman
MANILA, Philippines—A Quezon City court threw out an injunction plea of five policemen who were ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for the wrongful arrest of a man accused of being a terrorist.
Citing lack of jurisdiction, Judge Charito B. Gonzales of Regional Trial Court Branch 80 dismissed the petition for temporary restraining order and injunction lodged by Superintendent Roger James Brillantes et al.
Brillantes, filed the civil complaint with Police Officer 3 Noel Fabia and Police Officer 3 Peter Paul Pablico, Police Officer 2 Reynaldo Yap and Police Officer 1 Dante Yang.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome were named respondents in the injunction case.
The Office of the Ombudsman in January ordered the policemen’s dismissal from the service over the wrongful arrest of Allan Almoite in 2003 on suspicion of being a terrorist. He was later released.
They cited a pending motion for reconsideration on the January 20 order which sided with Almoite, who lodged a case for oppression, grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police office.
The Ombudsman said it found sufficient evidence to hold respondents liable for grave misconduct.
The policemen asked for a stay of the order, saying they have a pending motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman and that they are law-abiding police officers in danger of suffering irreparable injuries and damages.
In its order, the Quezon City court pointed out that appeals regarding orders of the Ombudsman should be lodged before the appellate court under the agency’s rules of procedure.
Citing section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Procedure, the court said decisions may be appealed in a petition for review before the Court of Appeals.
The same rule added that a pending appeal shall not stop the decision from being executed.
The court also cited three previous cases before the Supreme Court which ruled that the Ombudsman’s decision is immediately executory pending an appeal and may not be stayed by an injunction.
“It is the court’s position that jurisdictions over petitions for prohibition involving decisions of the Ombudsman likewise lies with the Court of Appeals,” Gonzales said.
The court added, citing the jurisprudence: “It bears emphasizing that in these cases, the parties who sought to stay the execution of the decision of the Ombudsman questioned the same before the Court of Appeals and not before the Regional Trial Court.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.