BAGUIO CITY: THE Court of Appeals (CA) has indefinitely halted an order of the Office of the Ombudsman suspending an officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in connection with his alleged involvement in the anomalous buying and licensing of 1,004 AK47 assault rifles last year.
A resolution of the CA Special 10th Division through Associate Justice Isaias Dicdican extended the 60-day Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the preventive suspension slapped by the Ombudsman’s office against Chief Supt. Regino Sy Catiis.
“Wherefore, let a writ of preliminary injunction be issued in this case, ordering the respondents or anybody acting in their behalf to refrain from enforcing the order that was issued by the respondent Office of the Ombudsman dated November 26, 2014,” the CA ruled.
In the meantime, Catiis was ordered to put up of a bond of P100,000 on condition that petitioner will pay all damages that the respondent may suffer by reason of the TRO if the court should finally decide in the respondent’s favor.
Concurring with the resolution were Associate Justices Elihu Ybañez and Carmelita Salandanan-Manahan.
Also named respondents in the case are the Ombudsman’s Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (Moleo) and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd.
On October 12, 2010, Catiis was assigned as Chief of the Licensing Division of the Firearms and Explosives Division of the PNP up to February 10, 2012.
On February 11, 2012, he was transferred to the PNP’s Directorate for Controllership where he works at present.
In mid-2014, the allegedly anomalous purchasing and licensing of the AK47 assault rifles by Caraga Security Agency, JTC Mineral Mining Corp., Claver Mineral Mining Corp. and Isla Security Agency were uncovered.
An investigation was conducted by the Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau (FFIB) of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Moleo.
On November 12, 2014, the FFIB filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against, among others, Catiis for serious dishonesty and grave misconduct.
On November 26, 2014, the Ombudsman issued an order preventively suspending, among others, the petitioner from office for a period of six months, prompting him to seek redress with the appellate court by way of a petition praying for issuance of a TRO.