A LETTER asking for the immediate implementation of the Ombudsman’s dismissal order against two former Cagayan de Oro City policemen has been sent to Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Lawyer Ernie Palanan said he sent the letter on Thursday, May 11, to press for the dismissal of Superintendent Michael John Deloso and Police Officer 3 (PO3) Ernesto Galleto from the police service.
Palanan said a copy of the letter was also sent to President Rodrigo Duterte so the latter would know the situation.
The letter cited the facts of the incident, the Ombudsman's findings, and his request addressed to concerned agencies to serve the order within the prescribed period.
The Ombudsman has ordered both Deloso and Galleto dismissed from service and both officials’ retirement benefits forfeited, as well as the perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service of both officials for grave misconduct and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the alleged extortion activities against a transport group in 2014.
Palanan, who was then president of the association Xavier Heights-route jeepney drivers and operators, said the DILG and the PNP must be informed of the Ombudsman order as part of good governance.
Palanan also downplayed the threat to have him disbarred for allegedly forum shopping.
Lawyer Dale Mordeno, Deloso's legal counsel, earlier said the latter would assert his right and will run after the erring lawyer by filing a disbarment case against Palanan before the Supreme Court.
Mordeno claimed that while Deloso is facing administrative charges for grave misconduct before the PNP, similar cases are also being heard by the Ombudsman.
But Palanan said he has not resorted to forum shopping since he was not the complainant of the administrative case faced by the two law enforcers in the PNP.
Forum shopping is the practice of hearing legal cases in the court thought most likely to have a favorable judgment.
Palanan said the police's internal affairs service acted as the complainant of the administrative case and said he was summoned only as a witness.
Palanan added if the other party has found grounds for forum shopping, it should have been raised when the respondents were asked by the Ombudsman for their comments on the complaint.
"Kanang disbarment klaro man nga harassment nana kay after napildi na sila ug naa nay findings ayha pa dayon nila gi-raise ang forum shopping. Sauna pa unta nila gi-raise na dihang gipatubag sila sa ombudsman pero wala man sila mag-submit (The disbarment case is clear harassment because they raised the issue of forum shopping after they were defeated and the findings came out. They should have raised it when the ombudsman asked for it. They did not submit)," Palanan added.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 15, 2017.