Rasuman father-in-law loses kidnapping case versus cops for filing wrong petition

Rasuman father-in-law loses kidnapping case versus cops for filing wrong petition

The Court of Appeals (CA) has thrown out the petition of one of the suspects behind the multibillion-peso Coco Rasuman investment scam to hold several Pasay City policemen liable for his alleged abduction.

In a recent 5-page resolution, the CA Former 15th Division sustained its October 15, 2019 decision to dismiss on procedural grounds the petition of Sultan Yahya “Jerry” Tomawis contesting the Ombudsman’s May 18, 2016 ruling in favor of the policemen.

Tomawis argued that the CA should overlook his filing of a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court and relax the procedural rule “in the greatest interest of substantial justice.”

But, the CA refused to treat his case as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.

It noted that the petition explicitly invoked the court’s “appellate jurisdiction over the decisions, final orders and/or resolutions of the Office of the Ombudsman in the administrative disciplinary aspect” under Rule 43—which does not apply when the Ombudsman exonerates the public officers of administrative liability.

On the other hand, a Rule 65 petition is limited only to the correction of errors of jurisdiction. Tomawis failed to raise any.

“Clearly, Tomawis committed a fatal procedural defect not even the liberal interpretation of the rules will be able to salvage,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Elihu Ybañez.

“The right to appeal is not a natural right nor a part of due process; it is merely a statutory privilege and may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of the law,” it added.

Cleared of grave misconduct allegations were P/SSupt. Rodolfo Llorca, P/CInsp. Ernesto Eco, Jr., P/Insps. Fernando Ferrer and Cesar Teneros, SPO1 Benedict Sajorda, Charlie Abayon, Rico Sumaway and Alrakib Aguell, PO3 Leorque Taytay, Mesac Campos, Jr. and Jonas Rico, PO2 Jeoffrey Cionelo, Darwin Allan Jeff Pazguyo and Wilfredo Muros, PO1 Angelo Laxa, Omar Sarahan, Janille Glaiza Lazarte and Sajid Anwar Naser, and PO Sohayle Macadatar and Alyaser Serad.

Tomawis is the father-in-law of alleged scam leader Jacob Rasuman, a son of former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Basher Rasuman. Tomawis had also served in the government as chairman of the board of Marawi Resort Hotel, Inc., a corporation under the Southern Philippines Development Authorty (SPDA).

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