Talisay policeman faces dismissal

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


A TALISAY City policeman is facing dismissal from service for allegedly failing to attend court hearings that resulted to the dismissal of a drug-related case.

The Cebu Provincial Police Office’s Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Branch (PIDMB) has recommended to charge PO2 Roy Lofranco for serious neglect of duty over his non-appearance as a prosecution witness.

Insp. Julius Ompad, head of PIDMB, said the case will be forwarded to Police Regional Office (PRO) for a summary hearing because it is beyond the jurisdiction of CPPO.

He told Sun.Star Cebu that Regional Trial Court (RTC) 7 Branch 13 Judge Meinrado Paredes sent a letter to Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) in Camp Crame to investigate Lofranco.

In their inquiry, Ompad said Lofranco failed to attend three court hearings as witness in the case of Felex Caballero, who was arrested for illegal possession of drugs.

The policeman was summoned by the court to testify in the hearings last Oct. 19, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7.

Lofranco failed to attend the first two hearings. He failed to attend the third hearing again because he was reportedly out serving a warrant.

Ompad, during the interview, said the court said the trial of the case is more important than serving a warrant.

“The warrant can be served anytime of the day or night,” he said.

Hernia

Lofranco, in his defense, said he was suffering from hernia.

He said he was advised by the doctor to rest for one month.

Sun.Star Cebu tried calling Talisay City Police Station several times to get Lofranco’s side but he was not around.

Ompad said Lofranco failed to justify the reason for his court absences and has violated the National Police Commission (Napolcom) Memorandum Circular 2007-001.

The law penalizes any police officer who fails to appear and testify in court, at the prosecutor’s office, the PNP disciplinary authorities, appellate bodies, the IAS or any other quasi-judicial body when duly notified or subpoenaed as witness.

If his non-appearance resulted in the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of the accused, or when he is the principal witness or the arresting officer, the penalty of dismissal from the service shall be imposed.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 22, 2013.

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