DILG affirms dismissal of cop who fired gun outside Quezon City bar
(Updated, 1:25 a.m., Nov. 30, 2023)
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) affirmed on Wednesday the dismissal from service of Lt. Col. Mark Julio Abong, a police officer who was recently arrested for firing his gun outside a Quezon City bar and allegedly involved in a hit-and-run case in August 2022.
As a result, early on Thursday, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos directed the Philippine National Police chief, General Benjamin Acorda Jr., to issue an order implementing the dismissal.
In its 10-page decision, the DILG denied on Wednesday Abong’s second appeal “for lack of merit” on his 2022 hit-and-run case — thus upholding the Aug. 24 decision and Sept. 22 resolution of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) – Regional Appellate Board.
LOOK | Read the DILG's Official Decision to the Appealed Case of Plt. Col. Mark Julio Abong affirming the Decision of…
Based on the DILG document, the RAB decision came after it denied Abong’s first plea and affirmed the same ruling made by the Quezon City People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) on the hit-and-run case. The ruling was released in March this year.
Homicide, damage to property complaints
In August 2022, Abong was involved in a hit-and-run case near Anonas Street, where he was charged with the death of tricycle driver Joel Larosa and the injury of his passenger.
Reports revealed that the driver’s family lodged homicide and damage to property complaints against Abong, accusing him and three other police officers of trying to whitewash the case by reportedly using a certain Ronald Centino as a scapegoat.
Subsequently, the QC-PLEB found him guilty of “the grave offenses of misconduct, grave neglect of duty, and conduct unbecoming of a police officer with aggravating circumstances of employment of fraudulent means to conceal an offense.”
Reports on Abong surfaced again online after he was collared by authorities last Nov. 26 for allegedly assaulting a bar server and harassing a customer by firing his gun twice.
The police report described him as an active member of the police force, raising questions on the side of the QC-PLEB, which had already released a dismissal order against him.
‘Final and executory’
QC-PLEB emphasized in an earlier interview that although Abong filed an appeal its decision was still “final and executory” as stated in the DILG Act of 1990, the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, and Napolcom Circulars 2016-002 and 2019-005.
Abong is facing charges of illegal discharge of firearms, alarm and scandal, and violating the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act in relation to the Omnibus Election Code, which was filed before the city prosecutor’s office on the day he was arrested.
Regarding this new case, the Philippine National Police said that the director of its Legal Service department had already endorsed an administrative case against Abong before the Internal Affairs Service.
Meanwhile, the QCPD also said on Wednesday that the resolution on Abong’s bail petition will be released by Thursday, Nov. 30, since all charges against him are bailable.