MANILA — The Court of Appeals (CA) has found probable cause for the filing of administrative complaints against two Quezon City police officers for allegedly committing illegal acts in connection with the warrantless arrest of several persons in 2009 after the death of the spouse of broadcaster Ted Failon or “Mario Teodoro Failon Etong,” in real life.
In a nine-page ruling written by Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario and made public on Monday, the CA’s Special Former Fourth Division partially granted the motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by Failon.
The CA modified its Feb. 18, 2014 ruling.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Florito Macalino and Leoncia Real-Dimagiba.
Failon’s wife, Trinidad Etong was rushed to hospital on April 15, 2009 after sustaining a gunshot wound in the head, however, she died later due to her injuries.
Failon was arrested allegedly for tampering with the crime scene although he was able to leave police custody the next day.
The family driver and three housemaids of the Failon family, namely Pacifico Arteche Apacible, Glen Polan, Pamela Arteche-Trinchera and Maximo Arteche, were arrested and charged by the Quezon City police for obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying important evidence in the case.
The NBI ruled that Trinidad’s death was a suicide due to depression and cleared Failon and others of the charges in March 2010.
In turn, Failon and his helpers charged Chief Supt. Roberto Rosales and several others for the same.
Citing the doctrine of command responsibility, the CA said in its latest ruling that it found enough evidence to hold Rosales and Chief Supt. Elmo San Diego administratively liable for the warrantless arrests of the helpers on April 16, 2009.
The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) dismissed on June 7, 2011 the administrative complaint filed by Failon, et al., against Rosales and others, for violation of Executive Order No. 226, citing the absence of any final finding that their subordinates have committed unlawful acts.
The Ombudsman exonerated all respondents on the charges of violating E.O. No. 226 because of the timely appeal filed by Police Insp. Erlinda L. Garcia.
This prompted Failon, et al. to seek redress before the CA.
In its new ruling dated Dec. 4, 2014 and made public on Monday, the CA said that Rosales and San Diego “failed to take preventive or corrective action when their subordinates performed an act which later was adjudged to be irregular.”
“Given this finding, and considering that they can be charged with knowledge of said unlawful act of their subordinates, we submit that there is cause to hold them for trial for violation of the provisions of EO 226,” the CA ruling added.