CA affirms Bato’s suspension of cop who missed flag rehearsal to get mom’s medical test results

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The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the decision of then-Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa’s order to suspend for 30 days a policeman who claimed to have missed the rehearsal for the flag-lowering ceremony because he had to receive the results of his mother’s diagnostic examination.

In a recent 4-page resolution, the CA Former 12th Division denied the appeal of PCInsp. Alfred Arturo, saying he should have questioned Dela Rosa’s October 27, 2017 decision before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) first under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Even if Arturo’s appeal were tackled, the court said Dela Rosa “did not err, much less commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction, when he found petitioner guilty of less grave neglect of duty.”

It found that Dela Rosa’s decision sufficiently discussed Arturo’s failure to submit evidence that he personally received the test results when he missed the rehearsal on January 21, 2016.

The court quoted Dela Rosa’s decision as saying Arturo could have asked for the logbook entry and could have asked another relative to get the test results instead of him.

“There was no hint of whimsicality, no gross and patent abuse of discretion as would amount to an evasion of positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of law,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Ramon Garcia.

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