Home General Court of Appeals Rejects Leyte Representative’s Complaint Against Police Officers

Court of Appeals Rejects Leyte Representative’s Complaint Against Police Officers

MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed an administrative complaint by Leyte 4th District Representative Richard Gomez, which accused police officers of falsely linking him to the illegal drug trade of the Espinosa family in Albuera town.

According to Philippines News Agency, the decision, spanning 12 pages and shared on Monday, supports the June 28, 2019, verdict by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) en banc. This initial ruling had dismissed the charges of grave misconduct, dishonesty, and conduct unbecoming of a police officer filed by Gomez against Jovie Espenido, Leo Laraga, both of whom were Chief Inspectors at the time, and then-Police Officer 3 Hydie Yutrago.

The CA elaborated that in administrative proceedings, appeals can only be pursued by the government employee facing the disciplinary action or the authority questioning the decision. Highlighting that Gomez's position as the then Mayor of Ormoc City does not affect the procedural aspects of administrative cases, the court emphasized that a complainant in such cases acts merely as a witness with no personal stakes, as offenses are considered to be against the government itself.

Furthermore, the CA referenced Supreme Court rulings to underline that private complainants in administrative cases do not possess the right to appeal the decisions made by disciplinary authorities. Given that the Inspection, Monitoring, and Investigation Service (IMIS) of Napolcom, which conducts thorough inspections and audits of the Philippine National Police personnel and operations, found probable cause to formally charge the officers, the CA concluded that Gomez lacks the legal standing to appeal or seek the reversal of the decision exonerating the accused officers from the administrative charges.