CA reverses Ombudsman ruling dismissing Petrasanta
THE Court of Appeals has reversed the Ombudsman decision dismissing former firearms and explosives Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta for his alleged involvement in an anomalous contract with a courier service for the delivery of gun licenses.
In a 15-page decision, the appeals court Special 15th Division, through Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez, granted Petrasanta’s bid to reverse all penalties imposed against him.
Petrasanta, in his petition, said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales 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.
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.
Petrasanta who was 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.
The appeals court said Petrasanta was merely a subordinate of Purisima, therefore he cannot be in the same footing with the dismissed PNP chief who was also penalized by the Ombudsman on the same case.
“Let it be emphasized that despite the pressure and coercion exerted by Purisima, the members of the FEO-CSAB (Firearms and Explosives Office-Civil Service Accreditation Board) actually ruled against the exclusive an
mandatory nature of the courier service when they issued Resolution No. 2013-027 mandating that the courier service is not a mandatory requirement,” the appeals court said.
“It cannot be denied that petitioner never intended to accommodate Werfast as the sole courier service provider. To reiterate, it was Purisima who directed that the courier service be made mandatory and despite his insistence, the FEO-CSB chose to defy his order and followed the Legal Opinion of the PNP LS that the courier service proposed by Werfast must be made optional,” the appeals court said.
The appeals court said “the complaint for Grave Abuse of Authority, Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty against petitioner Petrasanta is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. All the accessory penalties attached to his dismissal from service are likewise Recalled and Lifted.”
The Decision was concurred by Associate Justices Socorro Inting and Renato Francisco.
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