Friday August 17, 2018

`Scalawag cops’ back in service

THE two Cagayan de Oro policemen sacked from service over extortion charges have been reinstated after the Office of the Ombudsman reportedly reversed its decision.

In fact, Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said that Superintendent Michael John Deloso and Police Officer 3 Ernest Galleto started reporting for duty about three weeks ago.

The two were made to report to the Regional Holding and Accounting Office (RHAO) at the regional headquarters in Camp Alagar.

"Atong election ato na silang gi-deploy for work (They were deployed during the elections),” Gonda said of Deloso and Galleto who were made to report at RHAO’s (Regional Holding and Accounting Office) regional headquarters in Camp Alagar.

It can be recalled that the two were charged in connection with the alleged extortion activities against a jeepney drivers and operators' association last 2014.

Lawyer Ernie Palanan, then president of the Xavier Heights-based transport group, filed the charges against the “scalawag cops” before the Ombudsman.

But Palanan said the Ombudsman took cognizance of the motion for recognition filed by the accused and rescinded its decision thereby dismissing the two cops.

Palanan added the Ombudsman also argued that he has committed forum shopping.

However, Palanan maintained that there had been no forum shopping since the administrative case faced by the two in Camp Alagar was filed by the PRO-10.

"Walay forum shopping kay katong complaint sa Alagar dili man ako nag file and una ko nag file sa Ombudsman," Palanan said.

(There is no forum shopping because I did not file the complaint in Alagar. Besides, I filed the complaint before the Ombudsman first.)

Palanan also said he would question why the Ombudsman took cognizance of the respondents’ motion for reconsideration when it was filed beyond the period allowed by law.

Supposedly, Palanan said the two accused must have filed their MR within 10 days after the dismissal order was out. Instead, they took the matters to the Court of Appeals where the case had been dismissed for `wrong remedy’.

"Among i-question ngano nga gi-take sa Ombudsman ang MR nga nag lapse naman ang 10 days kay didto man sila nidagan sa CA unya gi-dismiss sa CA kay wrong remedy kay dapat MR ilang i-file sa Ombudsman,"Palanan said.

(We will question the Ombudsman decision to consider the MR since the 10-day period has lapsed. The respondents went to the CA first, but their appeal was rejected because they were supposed to file the MR before the Ombudsman.)

Already, Palanan had submitted his MR to the Ombudsman early this month.

Palanan argues that the criminal aspect of the case must remain.