[G.R. No. 149293. October 15, 2001]
PO1 EDGARDO O. TRINIDAD vs. JESSICA PALUSTRE SANTOS
hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated OCT 15 2001.
G.R. No. 149293(PO1 Edgardo O. Trinidad
vs. Jessica Palustre Santos.)
Petitioner assails the decision of the Court of Appeals
affirming the decision of the Third Division of the Regional Appellate Board
(RAB) of the National Police Commission which in turn affirmed that of the
People's Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) finding petitioner guilty of grave
misconduct and oppression, which latter board, insofar as pertinent, disposed
WHEREFORE, considered in the light of the foregoing,
this Board renders judgment:
A. Finding the respondent, EDGARDO
0. TRINIDAD GUILTY of the offenses of Grave Misconduct and Oppression, with
aggravating circumstance cited in the body of this Decision and with no proven
B. Ordering his DISMISSAL from the
service, which shall carry with it the cancellation of his eligibility,
forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits and disqualification for
re-employment in the police service, effective upon his receipt of this
Decision, despite timely motion for reconsideration or appeal that may be taken
The present controversy
stemmed from a shooting incident which occurred on the morning of February 10,
1994 wherein a certain Pedro L. Palustre, Jr., brother of private respondent,
was shot and mortally wounded by petitioner PO1 Edgardo O. Trinidad, prompting
private respondent to file a complaint before the PLEB for grave misconduct.
Petitioner was therein found guilty of grave misconduct and oppression and his
dismissal from service with forfeiture of benefits was accordingly ordered.
On appeal, the National
Police Commission Regional Appellate Board affirmed. However, acting on a
motion for reconsideration, the penalty of dismissal was later modified to
forced resignation with entitlements.
Still not satisfied, petitioner
elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals which rendered the above assailed
decision. Petitioner contends that the appellate court erred when it did not
order his reinstatement to his former position pursuant to Section 48 of
Republic Act 6975.
Said law provides:
Section 48. Entitlement to Reinstatement and Salary -
A member of the PNP who may have been suspended from office in accordance with
the provisions of this Act or who shall have been terminated or separated from
office shall, upon acquittal from the charges against him, be entitled to
reinstatement and to prompt payment of salary, allowances and other benefits
withheld from him by reason of such suspension or termination.
Petitioner argues that
when the separate criminal charge against him under Case No. 94-137675 was
dismissed, said dismissal was an acquittal in accordance with the above
provision which necessitates his immediate reinstatement.
Petitioner is in grave
error. There is nothing in the provision relied upon which indicates that once
an accused is acquitted in the criminal case, he shall be automatically
entitled to reinstatement which is tantamount to an exoneration in the
administrative case wherein petitioner was repeatedly found guilty. The
acquittal spoken of by Section 48 is exoneration in the administrative case,
which circumstance of course will entitle one to reinstatement and payment of
WHEREFORE, petition is denied due course.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.) JULIETA Y. CARREON
Clerk of Court