BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The six Negrense policemen involved in the arrest of Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo and her husband at a checkpoint in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental more than three years ago for alleged illegal possession of firearms, explosives, and drugs, were dismissed by the National Police Commission for grave misconduct and irregularities in the performance of duty.
The 13-paged Napolcom order, signed by its chairman, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, said, “The Commission finds respondents Police Capt. Allan Javelosa Reloj, P/MSgt. Ricardo Campos Dingcong, P/Cpl. Nobel Lodrico Perante, P/Cpl. Felix Corejado Pesales Jr., Patrolman Michael Eboseo Mondido, and Patrolman Darryl Dacay Dormido culpable for grave misconduct and grave irregularity in the performance of duty, and metes upon them the maximum penalty of dismissal from service, in view of the aggravating circumstance of being found guilty of two more charges or counts.”
The accessory penalties of cancellation of their police eligibilities, forfeiture of retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office, are likewise imposed, the Napolcom order added.
The dismissal of the six policemen stemmed from the complaints filed by Yulo, then the vice mayor of Moises Padilla, and her husband, Felix Mathias Segundo Feria Yulo III, who accused them of conducting an illegal checkpoint, performing an unlawful arrest, and illegal search and seizure on their vehicle on Dec. 19, 2017, along Brgy. Crossing Magallon, Moises Padilla.
The Napolcom said “it was established, based on records, that the area where the checkpoint was placed, was not well-lighted, and that no signage bearing the name of the PNP unit, and the participating organizations were visibly displayed”.
“The search performed by respondents upon complainants was unlawful because, aside from the POP (Police Operational Procedure) violations they committed, the former failed to prove that the area where the checkpoint was placed was within their immediate control,” the Napolcom order said.
“The items seized from the vehicle of the complainants are inadmissible as evidence because they were products of an illegal, warrantless search and seizure, otherwise known as the exclusionary rule, or the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine,” it added.
The testimonies of the complainants and their witnesses were clear and straightforward, narrating in detail the act done by respondents, thus accorded greater weight as opposed to the defense of alibi and denial of respondents, the Napolcom said.
From the foregoing facts and pieces of evidence presented, the Commission rules that the prosecution was able to prove, by substantial evidence, the culpability of the respondents, who all acted in conspiracy in conducting the illegal/improper checkpoint upon the complainants’ vehicle and the seizure of their properties, the Napolcom order, that was also signed by five other commissioners dated October 21, 2020, added.*