IT’s truly answered prayers for a number of police officers who will be really having a merry Christmas this year with their families after being reinstated into the force they really love most after being pilloried for years only to be found not guilty by the court.
They include the seven former key officers of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group who were ordered dismissed from the service by the Ombudsman in 2015 in connection with the alleged anomalous procurement of 16 police coastal crafts worth P4.5 million but were ordered reinstated to the police force with full back salaries and other benefits due them.
Last November 15, PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde issued General Orders Number 4053 and 4054 which cancelled the dismissal of Chief Superintendents Asher Dolina and Ferdinand Yuzon and Senior Supts. Thomas Abellar, Rico Payonga, Cornelio Salinas, Michael Amos Filart and Nepomuceno Corpus Jr.
Dolina and Yuzon, both members of PMA Class 1983, and Payonga and Corpus have already retired from the police force while Filart, Salinas and Abellar are now with the PNP Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit getting their necessary clearances before returning to active police duty.
It may take quite some time before the seven can get back all their pays and other benefits due them but it would be worth the wait since the Sandiganbayan acquitted them of the charges filed against them prompting the PNP leadership to return them to the force.
I have been privy to the case of the seven former members of the PNP-MARIG Bids and Awards Committee who were ordered dismissed from the police force by the Ombudsman on November 4, 2015 in connection with the bidding on November 27, 2009 of 16 police coastal crafts worth P4,542,842.00.
I learned that the accused even asked the PNP leadership to order an investigation into the failure of the proponent to deliver all the materials in time. However, trouble came when the proponent got the payment for the supplies after a former official of the PNP Logistics Support Service, Senior Supt. Job Marasigan signed the necessary papers. Marasigan was also dismissed from the PNP in connection with the same case.
Gen. Albayalde ordered the reinstatement of the seven following two Court of Appeals decisions issued on May 25, 2016 and January 30, 2018 which reversed and set aside the findings of administrative liability against the officials. “The complaint for grave misconduct and dishonesty are all dismissed. All the accessory penalties attached to the dismissal of petitioners are likewise recalled and lifted. Petitioners are ordered reinstated and the salaries and benefits withheld from them are restored,” the Court of Appeals said.
On a personal note, I would like to congratulate seven newly-promoted police generals who took their oath of office before PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Gen. Jojo Mendez who represented Gen. Albayalde last Thursday.
They are newly-promoted Police Director Daniel Macatlang and newly-promoted Chief Superintendents Noli Bathan, Eli Cruz, Ernesto Flores, Jerry Linsagan, Sotero ‘Jong’ Ramos Jr. and Eugene Paguirigan.
Macatlang is a member of PMA Class 1985 while Cruz, currently the Southern Police District director and Ramos, the current Police Attache in Washington DC became the latest members of PMA Class 1990 to become a one-star police general.
Bathan is a long-time friend from the PNP Academy who is known among Peemayers as very tough when it comes to fighting drugs, criminality and insurgents. Cruz is a fellow Rider from the Highway Patrol Group who gained prominence while fighting criminals in Central Luzon particularly in Nueva Ecija before joining the Northern Police District and later as SPD director.
Jong Ramos and Paguirigan are former teammates from the PNP Executive Basketball Team. Ramos is a veteran anti-crime operator who used to be the Isabela police director before being transferred to the PNP Directorate for Intelligence. Paguirigan, a former Quezon police director is one of the workhorses’ of the PNP Directorate for Operations. My congratulations to all.
Before I end, my family and I are praying for the repose of the soul of a PMA Class 1991 member, Senior Supt. Richard ‘Osang’ dela Rosa who passed away due to grave illness in a Quezon City hospital last Friday.
Since last Monday, I have joined members of PMA Class 1991 led by Chief Supt. Filmore Escobal, the director of the Police Security and Protection Group and Senior Supt. Yoyong Agnila in offering a healing mass for Dela Rosa at the Camp Crame chapel.
Last Friday would be our last healing mass for Osang, one of the youngest members of PMA Class 1991. Nearly two hours after attending that mass, we were told that Osang had passed away. My prayers to a good officer and a gentleman. May your soul rest in peace.