I was appointed as Police Officer 1 on temporary status at the Philippine National Police in January 2015. While undergoing training for the Public Safety Basic Recruit Course, I committed unauthorized absences for more than 15 days; hence, I was terminated from training and returned to my unit. My unit conducted pre-charge evaluation and I was eventually charged for Grave Misconduct (Absence Without Official Leave) under the provisions of the NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 2007-001. Is this correct?
Since you are in temporary status, the provisions of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) Memorandum Circular No. 2007-009 applies to your situation instead of the provisions of the NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 2007-001, which is applicable to police officers in permanent status.
NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 2007-009 prescribes the procedures and guidelines for the recruitment, selection and appointment of the PNP uniformed personnel and termination of service of newly appointed Police Officer 1 (PO1) still in temporary status.
The services of the PNP personnel so appointed may be terminated at any time due to any or combination of the following grounds (Letter A, Section VIII, Ibid.); grave administrative offenses, lack of aptitude in the service, failure to complete the required Field Training Program within the prescribed period of twelve (12) months from the time he/she was issued an appointment under temporary status and failure to attain or satisfy the weight required within six (6) months from appointment if admitted due to waiver.
Also included as grounds for termination are those provided under Section X (B (2)) of the said NAPOLCOM circular, which are as follows: pregnancy of an unmarried female PO1 recruit, absence without official leave or unauthorized long absence, resignation and serious injuries which are not training-related and attributable to his/her intentional act or negligence.
The termination procedure has been provided under Letter C, Section VIII, Id.:
1. Termination from Police Service of PO1 under temporary status may be initiated by any individual, police officer or police unit based on sworn complaints or statements and documents;
2. The Police National Training Institute shall issue a return to unit order with the case folder pertaining to the trainee’s inability to complete the required Field Training Program;
3. The respondent shall be furnished with a copy of the complaint and shall answer the same within three days from receipt, attaching therewith supporting documents or evidence;
4. Termination authority shall order the conduct of summary hearing within three days after receipt of the respondent’s answer and shall be completed within five days from its commencement;
5. If respondent fails to answer within the prescribed period, Summary Hearing Officer/Board shall proceed with the hearing ex-parte;
6. Being summary in nature, direct examination of witnesses shall be dispensed with and the sworn statements of their witnesses or their affidavits shall take place of their oral testimonies;
7. Within three days after the completion of the hearing, the Termination Authority shall render decision;
8. The decision shall contain the name of the respondent and his unit assignment, brief statement of the material facts, findings as established during the hearing, applicable laws, rules and regulations, jurisprudence and disposition thereof;
9. Decision of the appointing authority shall be immediately executory by the issuance of appropriate orders terminating the concerned PO1 from the police service.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com