• CA clears police general in firearm license ‘scam’

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    The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied for lack of merit a motion for reconsideration of the Office of the Ombudsman over its dismissal of a general linked to an alleged scam at the Philippine National Police (PNP).

    The CA Special 15th Division, in a three-page resolution dated August 4, 2016, and penned by Associate Justice Jhosep Lopez, reversed and set aside findings of the Ombudsman’s office that Supt. Raul Petrasanta, former PNP Firearms and Explosives Office chief, was guilty of grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

    Associate Justices Socorro Inting and Renato Francisco concurred in with the ruling of the appellate court.

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales had ordered that Petrasanta, along with PNP officers Napoleon Estilles, Allan Parreno, Eduardo Acierto, Melchor Reyes, Lenbell Fabia, Sonia Calixto, Nelson Bautista, Ford Tuazon and Ricardo Zapata Jr., be sacked from the service with forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from employment in the government.

    Werfast Documentation Agency offered to the PNP its service on May 25, 2011 for the Online Computerized Renewal System and Courier Delivery Service.

    Despite previous recommendations that the courier delivery service be made optional. then-PNP chief Alan Purisima ordered that firearm licenses be delivered through courier on February 17, 2013.

    Petrasanta defied Purisima’s order via Resolution No. 2013-027, which stated that the delivery of the licenses should be merely an added service for the convenience of applicants.

    “Let it be emphasized that despite the pressure and coercion exerted by Purisima, the members of the FEO-CSAB [Firearms and Explosives Office-Civil Service Accreditation Board] actually ruled against the exclusive and mandatory nature of the courier service when they issued Resolution No. 2013-027 mandating that the courier service is not a mandatory requirement,” the Court of Appeals said.

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