Navigating procedures on administrative cases filed vs policemen

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am a police officer here in Ilocos Sur. In one fiesta celebration, two drunkards fought at the town plaza. I was the policeman on duty at the time so I was dispatched to verify the incident. I have to use reasonable force in order to pacify the brawlers. One of them filed an administrative case against me for physical injuries. This is the first time that I have been charged for an offense. I received the summons last week, and I do not know what to do next. Please advise me as to the procedure that I need to follow in administrative cases.        
Paldo

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Dear Paldo,
The rule that governs administrative cases filed against policemen is the National Police Commission (Napolcom) Memorandum Circular No. 2007-001 or the Uniform Rules of Procedure Before the Administrative Disciplinary Authorities and the Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police.

You have to file your answer within five days (5) from receipt of the summons. The answer must be in writing, under oath and must contain material facts, which may either be a specific denial or affirmation of the allegations in the complaint. It shall be accompanied by documentary or other evidence, if there be any, in support of the defense, copy furnished the complainant. It shall contain a list of witnesses and their individual addresses, whenever appropriate. The answer shall be filed in three (3) copies either personally or by registered mail, with proof of appropriate service to the complainant. If the answer is sent by registered mail, it is deemed filed on the date and hour of receipt stamped by the post office on the envelope. The envelope shall be kept and made an integral part of the answer and records of the case. No motion to dismiss, motion for bill of particulars or any other motion shall be allowed, and the filing of the same shall not interrupt the running of the reglamentary period for filing an answer (Section 2, Rule 17, Ibid.).

Within ten (10) days from receipt of the answer, the disciplinary authority or Internal Affairs Service (IAS) shall conduct the pre-hearing conference for the purpose of: a) defining and simplifying the issues of the case; b) entering into admissions and/or stipulation of facts; c) limiting the number of witnesses to be presented; d) scheduling the dates of hearing; e) marking of exhibits; and f) threshing out other matters relevant to the case. Witnesses not included in the pre-hearing stipulations shall in no case be allowed to testify. The parties may agree that summary hearing be dispensed with, instead, memorandum or position papers be submitted xxxx (Section 5, Rule 17, Id.).

Within five (5) days from the pre-hearing conference, the summary hearing of the case shall proceed (Section 6, Rule 17, Id.).

The hearing officer shall have thirty (30) days to submit the report of investigation accompanied by the complete original records from the date the case is submitted for resolution. The report of investigation shall contain the findings of facts and the corresponding recommendation (Section 18, Rule 17, Id.).

The disciplinary authority shall decide the case within thirty (30) days from receipt of the Report of Investigation, or IAS resolution: Provided, that failure of the disciplinary authority to decide on the IAS recommendation within the above-prescribed period shall render the same final and the disciplinary authority is mandated to implement the decision (Section 19, Rule 17, Id.).

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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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