Ombudsman orders Philippine National Police official to answer publisher’s allegations of corruption, unexplained wealth and other various crimes
by Tirso N. Paglicawan, Jr.
In a two – page directive issued recently by the Office of the Ombudsman, a Philippine National Police (PNP) official is given instructions to answer the several severe accusations hurled against him by a certain publisher who allegedly became a woman – ‘captive’ and fell victim of violence of the said official.
The incumbent Ombudsman now is Conchita Carpio – Morales while Director General Alan La Madrid Purisima is at present the PNP chief.
The order which was signed by Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO) director Dennis L. Garcia gives PNP Police Chief Inspector (PCI) Resty E. Soriano, the respondent in this instant case ten days from receipt of order, to submit his counter affidavit and those of his witnesses, copy provided the complainant, a certain Erika Jones (not her real name).
Soriano is currently the officer-in-charge chief of police of Pililla town police station in the province of Rizal. He was accused of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 [Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act], R. A. No. 9262 (Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004), R.A. No. 6713 [An Act Establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees] and of committing the crimes of technical malversation, grave coercion, grave threat; and of having unexplained wealth.
Jones, the complainant is a long time widow who is a publisher of a weekly provincial newspaper and a weekly national publication. Her 37 – page complaint affidavit sworn to before Ombudsman prosecutor Atty. Fe Q. Palmiano – Salvador was lodged at the Ombudsman December of last year.
The Ombudsman order, in part states, “It appearing that affidavit complaint dated December 13, 2012 and its supporting documents filed by complainant, are sufficient in form and substance, you are hereby directed to file within ten days from receipt thereof, your counter affidavit and those of your witnesses, if any duly subscribed and sworn to before a notary public or any authorized officer and such other controverting evidence, copy furnished the complainant.
Failure of respondent Soriano to file counter affidavit or submit all the requirements of this order shall be construed as a waiver of the right to preliminary investigation. Likewise, failure of the complainant to submit a reply shall be construed as a waIver of the right to present rebuttal evidence. Consequently, the instant case shall be deemed submitted for resolution on the basis of evidence on record without further notice.
Only one Motion for Reconsideration or Reinvestigation of an approved Order or Resolution in a criminal case shall be allowed, the same to be filed within five (5) days from notice thereof, with the Office of the Ombudsman or the proper Deputy Ombudsman, as the case may be (Sec. 7, Rule II of AO No. 07, as amended by AO No. 15).
Issued pursuant to R.A. No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989).”
Per complainant’s narration, the chronological sequence and circumstances of her case started on March 15, 2011 when she personally met Soriano at the Office of then Rizal Provincial Director Senior Superintendent (SSupt) Manuel Cesar Prieto at Hilltop, Taytay, Rizal Province during her scheduled meeting with ABS CBN Television Station Channel 2 and Radio Station DZMM “Scene of the Crime Operative” (SOCO) program anchor Gus Abelgas and PNP Antipolo City (Rizal) chief Police Superintendent (PSupt) Rodino D. Elfa. On that meeting, she was accompanied by her publication’s editor and an elder sister. That meeting was requested by her sister in relation to her sister’s “missing” son.
That immediately after their first meeting in Prieto’s office, they had been frequently sending text messages and or calling each other, first in relation to the “missing son” of her sister, then later, regarding the supposedly annulment case Soriano allegedly would be filing against his wife, a certain Maricar Quiseo – Soriano.
That having been a publisher of two long running newspapers, the complainant reportedly has several lawyer – friends who patronized her publications and had their legal notices published in said newspapers.
That Soriano told her he needed her help and the professional relationship she has with her lawyer – friends because per his “confession” to the complainant, his relationship with his wife then was getting sour, that he “approached” and secured her assistance to have his annulment case facilitated and hopefully filed at the soonest time possible.
That while they were waiting for the release of Soriano’s alleged loan to be expended in his annulment case, he started courting the complainant, allegedly sending her text messages of greetings, concerns and romantic notes.
That eventually, according to the complainant, they became lovers sometime in June 2011, and in fact, they reportedly celebrated their first monthsary somewhere in Antipolo City, Rizal province.
The complainant said, “I remember that from May to June 2011, we were just like any other lovers who were happy partners who were then dating, lumalabas kami, watching movies in Greenhills theatres, most of the time. That we frequently went to nipa houses and restaurants in overlooking sites along Sumulong highway in Antipolo City as lovers and that the most favorite restaurant we often visited was Kare-kare house bar and grill restaurant along Sumulong highway.”
Further, the complainant stated in her affidavit that “Of all places we oftentimes stayed, our favorite was to frequent in Bougainville Resort, also in Antipolo City. That in this resort, every time we were together, he immediately turned on the radio station and kept on playing our theme song entitled “God gave me you!” byand that our favorite foods we kept on ordering every time we went in that resort were Hototay and Chopsuey.”
That after a year, specifically on the 2nd week of June 2012, the complainant declared in her affidavit that “I text told respondent Soriano that “Delay ang period ko Dear” of which the respondent allegedly advised her, “Pa check up ka baka... katulad naman ng dati false alarm…”
That on June 21 2012 at 12:45 pm, respondent reportedly sent her a message saying, “Hwag natin pagsisihan at pagtalunan yang nangyari po kundi magtulongan tau para di tau malagay sa escandalo…”
That the complainant premised her cases against respondent by saying that “considering that one of the privileges of respondent Soriano as officer-in-charge chief of police of Pililla, Rizal is the provision for living quarters, free of charge, in the very same headquarter of the police. That the same headquarter is a government property used for governmental purposes and that in these particular circumstances and consequences, respondent has another quarter for his use in PNP Pillilla, Rizal and that respondent allegedly also used the same quarter as the starting place to commence a trysting affair with a woman – captive.”
The complainant farther stated in her sworn statement that it is in the PNP headquarter in PNP, Pillilla, Rizal, specifically the “Kubo” which is located inside the compound of said police station where she and respondent had an almost husband – and – wife relationship. And of course, that sexual encounter and relationship were the fruit of lies and falsehood or deception or false promises at winning the heart, the trust of such a woman.
That these respondent Soriano’s various acts have prompted the complainant to lodge against the respondent numerous cases of crimes of omission and commission and proclaim that those are clearly, continuous and repeated violations of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 [Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act]; of subsection (a) Causing physical harm to the woman or her child; (b) Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm; (c) Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm; (d) Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm; (f) Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions; (h) Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. (This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts: (5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence); and (i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children or denial of access to the woman’s child/ children of Section 5 of of R. A. No. 9262 (Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004); and of R.A. No. 6713 [An Act Establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees].
The complainant further alleged that Soriano is also guilty of committing the crimes of grave coercion and grave threat against her person and also of crimes of technical malversation and unexplained wealth against the state or the Filipino taxpayers.
The same complainant asserted that the evidence of guilt of respondent is sturdy and tough. The matters involve the use of his position and of the government personnel, funds, properties and facilities/ instrumentalities and there being a prima facie showing commission and or omission of crimes, there is the urgent necessity for preventive suspension, to restrain his propensity. The wickedness that the respondent has shown, according to the complainant, is appalling. Here, she said that all the indispensable components for preventive suspension to be appropriate are present as cited in Section 9 of Administrative Order No. 17, amending Rule III of Administrative Order No. 7 with concurrence of the following requisites: The charges against such officers or employees (specifically, this respondent Soriano) involve dishonesty, gross misconduct and gross neglect in the performance of duty; the charges would warrant dismissal from service; and the respondent continued stay in office may prejudice the just, fair and independent disposition of cases filed against him.
The widow/ publisher – complainant most respectfully prayed, after conduct of preliminary investigation, that a recommendation in a resolution be issued with the filing of Information for the crimes above enumerated by the said complainant.
The same respondent Soriano, according to the complainant should be recommended in a resolution with the filing of Information for the crimes of committing grave coercion, grave threat and against respondent Soriano along with crimes of technical malversation and unexplained wealth against the state or the Filipino taxpayers.
In a related development, the same widow/ publisher – complainant is also contemplating to lodge separate several administrative cases against Soriano before the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) soon.
She disclosed that the charges she would be filing against Soriano at the NAPOLCOM are violations of Section 46 of Chapter 7 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 such as Dishonesty, Oppression, Misconduct, Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct, Being Notoriously Undesirable, Receiving for personal use of a fee, gift or other valuable thing in the course of official duties or in connection herewith when such fee, gift or other valuable thing is given by any person in the hope or expectation of receiving a favor or better treatment than that accorded other persons, or committing acts punishable under the anti – graft laws; Improper or unauthorized solicitation of contribution from subordinate employees (and by teachers or school officials from school children), violation of existing Civil Service laws and rules or reasonable office regulations, falsification of official documents; Disgraceful, immoral or dishonest conduct prior to entering the service; Engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities by one holding a non – political office; and Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
TIRSO N. PAGLICAWAN, JR.
mobile no. 09288624238