SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija -- Mayor Arvin Salonga on Wednesday filed graft and corruption and grave abuse of authority charges against Police Regional Office 3 director Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia before the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City.
The criminal and administrative complaints filed by Salonga before the Anti-Graft Body against Sermonia stemmed from the police official’s July 15 order relieving Maj. Roderick Corpuz as the town's chief of police and re-assigning him to the Tarlac Police Provincial Office.
In a complaint filed for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Salonga said that Sermonia’s move to immediately and abruptly transfer Corpuz to Tarlac City was in violation of Section 63 of Republic Act 8551 or “The Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998.”
The mayor said as a result of Corpuz’ relief, Maj. Ador Depnag was subsequently designated as police officer-in-charge effective July 22.
Salonga described Corpuz as an exemplary police officer, having been appointed initially as an OIC until his designation as a full-fledged police chief during this period of Covid-19 pandemic.
The mayor credited Corpuz for his accomplishments in barangay drug-clearing operations and the implementation of strict border patrols and vital programs of the town government related to containing the spread of the coronavirus-19 disease.
Salonga noted that R.A. 8551’s Section 63 on the participation of local government executives in the administration of the PNP, provides that "city and municipal mayors shall have the authority to choose the chief of police from a list of five eligibles recommended by the provincial police director, preferably from the same province, city or town..."
However, the mayor pointed out that his right to choose Corpuz's replacement was intentionally disregarded and ignored by Sermonia because there was no existing emergency to justify the latter’s order to abruptly transfer Corpuz to the Tarlac PPO.