Gun-toting cop in QC bar dismissed from service

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

January 15, 2024, 1:36 pm

<p>PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The police officer who had been charged with firing his handgun during a confrontation with another customer in a bar in Quezon City last November has been dismissed from the service, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda said on Monday.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City, Acorda said he has already signed Lt. Col. Mark Julio Abong's dismissal order last Dec. 18 in relation to a hit-and-run case in August 2022.

“It is his right to appeal but based on the provisions of existing policies, the decision is executory, meaning while he may render his appeal or submit his appeal, the decision should stand. He is dismissed from the service. With regard to benefits if you are dismissed, you are not entitled to benefits,” he said.

Abong was a member of the PNP under the Legal Service department who was arrested in November last year for firing his gun outside a Quezon City bar.

Abong grabbed a waiter by his necktie and argued with a customer outside the establishment in Barangay Laging Handa, according to the police report.

The establishment’s manager said Abong fired his handgun twice outside.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) earlier filed charges of illegal discharge of firearms, alarm and scandal, and violating the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act in relation to the Omnibus Election code, as well as physical injury and slander by deed against Abong.

Last November, the Department of the Interior and Local Government junked the appeal of Abong who has been ordered dismissed by the Quezon City People's Law Enforcement Board for his involvement in the hit-and-run case.

Inventory of erring cops' cases

In the same press briefing, Acorda ordered all regional directors to conduct an inventory of all case folders of erring police officers, following a report that some case folders at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) went missing.

“I am encouraging all other regions to review and check on their system or in their records if there are similar incidents. It's sad to note that there are some other police officers that are involved in drugs, but what I want to emphasize is we are active in pursuing this internal cleansing and we are not letting up in running after them,” he said.

Since NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez took over as NCRPO chief in July 2023, some 300 erring cops have been dismissed from the service.

Nartatez has ordered an investigation into the matter, focusing on the possibility that the errant cops are in cahoots with some police officers handling administrative matters in the NCRPO.

Following Nartatez’s revelation, Acorda said they are not discounting the possibility that the same modus also happened in other regional offices.

“We are assuming that there are similar incidents in other regions. Those record holders should be held accountable because documents such as these are important and no document should be missing or even the entire case folders,” he said.

Acorda also tasked regional directors to come up with a system that comes with monitoring the transfer of documents from one person or office to another to come up with the best paper trail in worse case scenarios. (PNA)