BAGUIO CITY — The dismissal of the administrative charges against two members of the San Juan Municipal Police Station accused of sexually assaulting and killing a teenager would not affect the murder and rape charges filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ), said the lawyer of the victims.
Attorney Rex Morales, lawyer for Fabel Pineda’s family and cousin, said the legal proceedings in the past months were on the administrative cases filed against PSSgts. Randy Ramos and Marawi Torda. He explained that the murder case for the death of 15-year-old Pineda and rape charges filed by her 18-year-old cousin are still pending resolution with the DOJ.
“Ti naidaras a [nasango] ket diay administrative case. That was an internal problem of the [Philippine National Police] isunga isuda ti nangi-provide ti prosecutor for the victims, and in a span of 60 days ket nalpasdan,” he said.
(They immediately started the administrative case. That was an internal problem of the PNP, so they provided the prosecutor for the victims. In a span of 60-days, they completed the process.)
The PNP filed three counts of grave misconduct against Torda and Ramos for rape and acts of lasciviousness. Besides the administrative proceeding, the two are also facing murder charges for Pineda’s death. Her cousin also filed rape complaints against Ramos.
The police report said the two officers flagged Pineda and her cousin in San Juan town for quarantine violations and offered them a ride back home. However, the PNP personnel brought them to the beach where the sexual assault happened. On July 2, motorcycle-riding men killed Pineda hours after filling acts of lasciviousness complaint against Torda.
Just days after the killing, then PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa immediately ordered Torda and Ramos dismissed. According to him, there was sufficient evidence in their involvement in the crime. According to him, the Internal Affairs Services will implement the directive within 15 days.
On September 6, a local station reported the dismissal of the Grave Misconduct charges for rape and acts of lasciviousness. The decision stemmed from a motion for reconsideration filed by the suspects. The news said the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence against the two.
Ramos appealed the Disciplinary Authority’s August 14 decision, dismissing him from service for conduct unbecoming of a police officer. The same ruling cleared him from the grave misconduct charges related to the rape and acts of lasciviousness filed by the victims.
According to Morales, the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) handled the case’s investigation. The unit is responsible for receiving complaints and investigating erring police personnel.
He said that he had not seen the resolution on the reported dismissal of the administrative case. The lawyer explained that he is not the attorney in record for the proceeding but closely coordinates with the one handling the case. The last time they spoke, he said, the prosecutor informed him that the PNP dismissed Torda while Ramos has a pending motion for reconsideration.
While he believes that the chances of reversing the earlier decision were small, he said it is not impossible. However, he reiterated that the administrative case is different from the criminal proceedings, stressing that the evidence against the police officers before the DOJ is strong.
“No i-file-ton ti DOJ, awan pay met ti pleading a ma-change ti venue, umayton ditoy RTC Cabugao a matratar,” Morales added.
(If DOJ files the case, since there are no pleading for a change of venue, the trial will be at the RTC Cabugao.) ●