The Quezon City People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) has suspended a policeman for one year for oppression and grave abuse of authority.

In a seven-page decision in Administrative Case No. 17-005, the PLEB District III of Quezon City found PO2 Rick Tanguilan guilty of inflicting bodily harm on a tricycle driver in 2017.

After serving his suspension, the PLEB also ordered Tanguilan to undergo Focused Reformation/Reorientation and Moral Enhancement Seminar before his reinstatement

“While it is true that the police are our partners in law enforcement in maintaining peace and order, we leave no room for erring cops in this city,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte, who recently strengthened the PLEB and appointed Atty. Rafael Calinisan as its Executive Officer last July 2020.

“I have ordered Atty. Calinisan and the PLEB Board to act on all cases with dispatch, and weed out Quezon City of abusive policemen,” she added, saying the city government and PLEB both advocate the protection of its citizens and upholding the rule of law.

The case stemmed from the complaint of tricycle driver Jerry Jermina, who accused the policeman of hitting him with the butt of his gun several times when he accosted him last last Jan. 11, 2017.

In its decision, the PLEB stated that Tanguilan “inflicted bodily harm upon the person of the Complainant by hitting the latter’s head with the butt of a gun. And he was able to do this because Respondent gravely abused his authority as police officer.”

As defined by the Supreme Court, “oppression is the grave abuse of authority, which is a misdemeanor committed by a public officer, who under color of his office, wrongfully inflict upon any person any bodily harm, imprisonment or other injury,” the PLEB’s decision further cited.

“Three years is just too long a wait for administrative cases against abusive policemen. Justice delayed is justice denied. Under my watch, we will resolve all cases within sixty days. This is our job, and we intend to do it well,” Atty. Calinisan vowed.

According to PLEB records, there are 40 cases awaiting resolution as of July 2020.

“The current PLEB is working double time to hear and resolve these inherited cases. The QC PLEB targets a zero-case backlog by January 2021,” Atty. Calinisan promised.