Front-runner for PNP chief asks CA to reverse dismissal order
Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, one of the frontrunners for chief of the Philippine National Police, has asked the Court of Appeals to stop the implementation of the Ombudsman order dismissing him from service for his alleged involvement in an anomalous contract with a courier service for the delivery of gun licenses.
In a 41-page petition, Petrasanta also asked the appeals court to reverse the findings of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and order the dismissal of the administrative case filed against him.
Petrasanta, through his lawyer Alex Avisado Jr., said the Ombudsman committed a “serious and reversible error” when she assumed that Petrasanta accredited Werfast Documentary Agency despite its failure to meet the criteria set under the rules and accommodated it as the sole courier service provider.
Avisado said that when Petrasanta approved the accreditation of Werfast, it had submitted documents to prove it was qualified to provide the needed courier service.
Aside from submitting documents like business permits, proof of tax payments, certificate of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it has also submitted proof of payment of all income taxes and documents showing its “extensive network all over the Philippines.”
Still, he said, Werfast was given only a year of accreditation instead of two to give them opportunity to submit lacking documents.
In his petition, Petrasanta said it was not him but former PNP chief Alan Purisima who wanted to accommodate Werfast to be the sole courier service provider.
The memorandum of agreement dated Feb. 12, 2013, which ordered that all deliveries of firearms licenses by Werfast should be mandatory, was issued by Civil Security Group (CSG) Director Gil Meneses and signed by Purisima.
But Avisado said it was Petrasanta who, as then chief of the firearms explosives and ordinance (FEO) unit, issued Resolution No. 2013-027 stating that the delivery of firearms licenses should be merely an added service for the convenience of the applicants and not mandatory.
“Instead of heeding to the mounting pressures from the PNP chief, Petitioner [Petrasanta] chose to disregard him and follow the legal opinion of the director of legal service dated 30 June 2011 which states that ‘courier service proposed by Werfast must only be optional.’ Public respondent Honorable Ombudsman surely cannot close her eyes on this glaring fact,” the petition stated.
“If only public respondent Honorable Ombudsman had taken a closer look at these facts, she could have easily concluded that all the actions of petitioner in accrediting Werfast were in fact in accordance with law,” the petition further stated.
Petrasanta was supposed to return to work on July 5, after his six months suspension.
Avisado, in a statement, said the release of the dismissal order “was obviously designed to derail his appointment as the next PNP chief.
The petition added that Petrasanta “took active part in ensuring that Werfast complied with the conditions of the accreditation.”
Petrasanta sent notices of violations to Werfast indicating complaints received by the service they were providing.
However, Avisado said Petrasanta was relieved from his position.
“Had he only stayed a little longer in office as chief of FEO, surely, petitioner would have already ordered the revocation of their accreditation,” Avisado said.
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