I WON AGAIN vs PNP GENERALS
The Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 117, handed me another victory.
This time, it granted my application for preliminary injunction against Police Director (2-star general) Marcelo P. Garbo, Police Chief Supt. Jaime H. Morente of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
A copy of the Order of the court is attached here below.
The RTC ordered them to stop and desist from arrogantly insisting to reassign nine (9) police officers from Metro Manila to Tacloban City, a place a thousand kilometers away from the homes of the said subordinate policemen, most of whom live in Tondo, Manila and Pasay City.
I can feel the culture among police officials: they do not want to respect the rule of the courts if the cases involved are ones filed by their subordinates questioning their actions.
To these police generals, as well almost all of them, in my observation, it is the biggest sin of their subordinates to come to the court to seek help against abuses and arrogance of police generals and full colonels.
This I say because Police Chief Supt. Camba, the current acting director of PNP PRO 12, even wrote my client policeman reprimanding for going to court to challenge the obviously abusive order of a police senior superintendent. The shallow reason of General Camba is the court interference will break the chain of command. According to General Camba, what my client did was a "taboo" to the police chain of command. By the way, I won a preliminary injunction for this policeman and two others when I challenged the order of the General Santos City Police Chief, Sr. Supt. Froilan Quidilla before the RTC of Koronadal, Branch 25, when Quidilla ordered three cops (PInsp. Rafael Banggay Jr., PO2 Jorge Jabat and PO1 Alberto Alberto) transferred to the "freezer" assignment after the three busted three drug peddlers in General Santos City. Obviously humbled by their defeat in the court, and to circumvent the law, General Labador as the predecessor of General Camba issued special orders transferring Banggay, Jabat and Alberto to the Regional Police Office No. 12 "PHAU." Banggay requested for the nullification but Camba responded with a reprimand, telling him that the act of coming to court is a taboo to the PNP chain of command tradition.
What chain of command was he talking about?
Oh my God!
To my mind, THERE IS NO SUCH A THING AS CHAIN OF COMMAND IN THE POLICE SERVICE. It is only in the military.
If there is anything that should hold the PNP units together and ensure obedience by subordinates, IT IS RESPECT OF THE JUNIORS OR LOW-RANKED COPS TO THEIR OFFICIALS.
And respect cannot be earned by means of ruling with the power of fear, but by respecting the dignity of the subordinates.
The superiors have all the right to demand from the subordinates uprightness. But to be effective the superiors must display their full respect to their men and fair treatment of their subordinates.
Judgment calls of the superiors may be wrong, but it can be respected if the error was fairly and respectfully arrived at.
By the way, I cannot blame these police generals because they are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) where the culture of "chain of command" is a must and where they were trained to carry this through their lives.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is not far from the PNP. If NBI officials have no problem with their subordinates coming to courts, why should PNP generals take offense when a Police Officer 1 cop comes to court?
In addition, the police full-fledged colonels and generals can invoke the disciplinary machinery of the PNP by means of following the procedures laid down in Napolcom Memorandum Circular 2007-001.
The Rule of Law does not exempt graduates of the PMA and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) from complying with the laws.
These generals, in my opinion, want LAW OF FORCE rather than FORCE OF LAW to reign in the PNP organization.
The most common tool used by these self-aggrandizing officials is the wrongful or abusive use of the power to transfer their subordinates from one unit to another or to the "freezer" unit they invented as "Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit."
The law that created the PNP, which is RA 6975, and its amending act that is RA 8551 do not authorize the PNP to create a unit to hold their subordinates in "freezers" doing nothing. It is a sin of malversation to give salaries to policemen who are doing nothing, the people paid them to serve and protect.
To the contrary, Section 63, Paragraph iii of RA 8551 makes it as a general rule to assign policemen in their place of recruitment or place of residence. In implementing this provision, Napolcom Memorandum Circular 2002-007 commands that ONLY IN EMERGENCY SITUATION or AS A LAST OPTION that a policeman can be transferred outside the region of his assignment.
This is the reason that I detest to the thought of allowing PMAers to serve in the police service that is basically CIVIL SERVICE. It is difficult to readjust the characters of a PMA lot to fit in the attitudes required in the civil service.
I am hoping that the PNP chief, Director General Alan La Madrid Purisima, a PMAer, would rise from his chair to be an agent of change in the PNP leadership mentality for them to kick off that culture of "chain of command" and embrace the "culture of respect" for each other.
Anyway, the first victory given me by the RTC of Pasay was a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining the PNP from throwing my nine clients to Tacloban City.
These policemen clients of mine who I call as "The Lucky Nine" are:
1. PCI JOSELITO STA. TERESA;
2. PSI FERANDNO FERRER;
3. PO3 FERDINAND ABANTO;
4. PO3 BOUCHARD RAMOS;
5. PO2 AURELIO STO. TOMAS;
6. PO2 JULIUS MALINDOG;
7. PO1 EDUARDO SANTOS JR.;
8. PO1 WILBERTO MUROS; and
9. PO1 ELIZALDE LAGMAN JR.
I hope the God of Justice will reign over the minds of these generals, whose egos must have now been ticked up to the hilt.