CA affirms dismissal of 3 cops

Published July 17, 2019, 3:37 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Rey Panaligan

The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the ruling of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) on the dismissal of three Pasay City policemen who extorted P550,000 from a couple in a supposed anti-illegal drugs operation in 2013.

Court of Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)
Court of Appeals (MANILA BULLETIN)

Aside from the money taken from spouses Aleasar Makaundas and Zinaida Haddisalem Laoon, the policemen also carted away pieces of jewelry and forced the couple to sign a blank document for the sale of their 2010 model Mitsubishi Montero for P1.05 million.

Affirmed was the dismissal from the service of police Master Sergeants Ronaldo David and Christopher Torres, and Patrolman Bonifacio Tagcos.

The OMB ordered their dismissal in 2017 for grave misconduct.

The CA decision written by Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta said several pieces of evidence pointed to the guilt of the policemen with one of them even accompanying Laoon to withdraw money from the bank.

It rejected the allegations of the policemen that they merely conducted a follow-up operation in the house of the couple in Parañaque City upon orders of their superior.

It pointed out that there was no search warrant presented to justify the raid in the couple’s residence and there were no records or reports on the operation in violation of the 2010 Manual on Anti-Illegal Drugs Operation and Investigation.

At the same time, the CA said OMB investigation showed that the policemen even threatened the couple to keep quiet otherwise criminal charges would be filed against them.