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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 26, 2016
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Peña vs.Espino


I had serialized here the case of planting of evidence in Siquijor. Despite efforts of the police there to incriminate their victim,the truth came out and now the involved PNP officials are in hot water and may soon be brought to court to account for their misdeeds.

In Negros we also had a case of alleged planting of evidence. It involves several police officials and men and even civilians. That happened three years ago but the effect continues to haunt the police officers in this case filed by the victim, former Mayor Magdaleno Peña who was then mayor of Pulupandan.

If this new case filed by Peña against Police Senior Superintendent Jose Mario Espino is to be believed, Espino tried to manipulate evidence to pin Peña in a case of illegal possession of firearms through a falsified neuro-psychiatric test results. This can have links to the Pulupandan raid where the police claimed Peña was in possession of illegal weapons. This charge against Peña was dismissed by the court, but Peña retaliated by filing cases against Espino and other PNP officials. This case is pending in the Office of the Ombudsman.

The new case has been given publicity in local and national media so that this column might appear just as duplication. However, this case comes in timely with the report that the Chief of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office and 14 others were charged for irregularities in the issuance of licenses “despite spurious documents particularly neuro-psychiatric (NP) test results.” Falsification of the test results is therefore not alien or stranger in the FEO.

The case filed by Peña is for falsification of public documents but in the reverse. Peña was charged by the police for filing a fake or falsified neuro-psychiatric test results when he applied for the licenses of hisseveral firearms last year.

Last November 23, Peña was informed by the FEO that he had filed a fake NP clearance because it does not bear a genuine signature of the authorized NP personnel. Peña found this unusual because he was already issued a License to Own and Possess a Firearm, had paid the fees and even if had not yet taken the NP. He thought that the other documents he submitted were sufficient as he intended to take the NP later on. He would not have been asked to pay the fees or issued the LTOPF if one document was missing.

Then the PNP delivered the blow. It claims that Peña submitted a false or fake NP. So Peña's question: how could he have a fake NP when he was not able to undergo the test and submit the results?

After months of asking, he finally got a copy of his supposed NP and discovered several erroneous and inaccurate details in the application that raised suspicion that the NP that the PNP claimed Peña submitted was a fake. Let's cite the erroneous details.

The application says his name is “Magdelano M. Peña”. He could not have misspelled his name. The letter sent to him says his first name is “Magdaleno” while his marital status in the spurious NP is “Married” when he had been a bachelor for 25 years. This supposed NP clearance was issued on August 6, 2015.

Finally in December 2015 Peña took the NP in Camp Olivas, Pampanga rather than in Camp Crame for fear of physical harm considering that he made enemies of top PNP officials who held office there. He passed the examination and the clearance issued by Camp Olivason December 22, 2015 gives the right personal data: his name is Magdaleno and he is single.

Indeed one cannot have a result prior to taking the examination.

Peña claimed he discovered only that he had taken that NP test from a national paper where he was reportedly accused of falsifying it. He asked for a copy but got a negative reply until months later and when he got it he discovered these discrepancies.

Peña claimed that Espino took personal interest in this case. As we know Espino is involved in the raid on Peña's house in Pulupandan and among those that the former mayor had sued. Peña said that the “fake” NP “surfaced” when Espino asked for verification and allegedly “found” the “faked” NP.

Thus Peña charged Espino with falsification of public documents but this is also planting of evidence.

If Espino wants to, he can send in his response.*



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