Court upholds dismissal of cop in Luneta hostage case-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
MANILA -- The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld with finality the decision of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez in firing a veteran cop who held hostage a busload of tourists and killed eight Chinese nationals at the Luneta Park in Manila in 2010.
Penned by Associate Justice Francisco Acosta, the CA Former 13th Division stood by its December 14, 2011 decision affirming the Ombudsman ruling on February 6, 2009 that sacked Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza and four others in connection with the extortion of a hotel chef in 2008.
Denied by the Court are the motions for reconsideration filed by the group of Mendoza, along with Police Inspector Nelson Lagasca, SPO1 Nestor David, PO3 Wilson Gavino and PO2 Roderick Lopeña
Concurring were Associate Justices Magdangal De Leon and Angelita Gacutan.
"After a careful perusal of the aforesaid motions reveals that the grounds and reasons relied upon by the movants had already been extensively considered, evaluated and passed upon by this Court in the assailed decision. In view of the foregoing disquisition, the motions for reconsideration are hereby denied," the resolution dated November 23, 2012 stated.
In a decision nearly four years ago, Mendoza and four others were denied to receive retirement benefits after the Office of the Ombudsman found them guilty of grave misconduct for allegedly extorting money from certain Christian Kalaw.
Kalaw said he was apprehended by policemen on April 9, 2008 in Manila for illegal parking, driving without license and use of illegal drugs.
Kalaw, a chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City, said he parked his car along Vito Cruz and was accosted by Mendoza and four others.
Mendoza and his men reportedly tried to extort P200,000 from him at the headquarters of the Mobile Patrol Unit of the Manila Police District (MPD) in exchange for his freedom.
But Kalaw refused as this allegedly forced the policemen to have him swallow a sachet full of shabu.
Mendoza was slapped with administrative charges on April 25, 2008 and, at the same time, sacked as head of the Manila Police District’s (MPD) Mobile Patrol Unit.
The Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on October 17, 2008 recommended the dismissal of the case when Kalaw failed to attend three consecutive proceedings.
The case eventually reached before the Ombudsman, which rendered its decision on February 6, 2009.
The anti-graft body on September 1, 2010 denied the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. This came nine days after Mendoza’s protest on his dismissal led to a bloody hostage crisis. The case was then elevated to the CA. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)