ILOILO CITY — For accusing the Office of the Ombudsman of corruption, two Ilonggo cops offered their apologies.
No less than Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Dionardo Carlos presided over the January 26 press conference at Camp Crame in Metro Manila when Captain Charlie Sustento Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Pinuela faced the national media.
“It was never my intention to tarnish the Ombudsman as an institution that is considered as the defender of rights and protector of truth,” said Sustento in what is a joint statement.
To recall, it was Pinuela who called for a press conference in Iloilo last January 20 following his six-month suspension by the Ombudsman. The suspension stemmed from an incident while he was conducting a checkpoint in Dumangas town prior to the May 2019 elections.
Sustento, Pinuela’s classmate, was also present during the press conference and made emotionally-charged statements against the Ombudsman. Sustento even uttered “p-t--ng ina”.
Sustento was just recently reinstated as a police officer after he was dismissed from the PNP in October 2017 after the Ombudsman found him guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming for a separate incident in Dumangas town that occured in 2014.
At that time of his 2017 dismissal, Sustento held the rank of police major and was awarded as best junior police commissioned officer for Western Visayas region by then PNP chief and now Senator Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa.
Both Sustento and Pinuela have publicly decried that their Ombudsman cases were forms of harassment by former congressman Ferj Biron.
The incidents the Ombudsman investigated occurred when they were police chiefs of Dumangas, a town belonging to a congressional district that is known as the bailiwick of the Biron political clan. Biron, on his part, denied any links to the cases involving Pinuela.
After the Wednesday apology, Sustento urged the Ombudsman to review cases involving cops who are just doing their jobs but are bombarded with administrative cases.