No automatic return for Dumlao in PNP

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Former lieutenant colonel Rafael Dumlao is not going to be automatically reinstated into the Philippine National Police (PNP) even if he was acquitted by a Pampanga court for the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo at Camp Crame in 2016.

Dumlao, a former official of the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group who was tagged as the mastermind in Jee’s kidnap-slay, was acquitted by the Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 60 after prosecutors failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Although the court has dismissed the charges against him, Dumlao will still face an uphill battle should he decide to seek reinstatement in the police force, according to PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo.

Records from the PNP showed that Dumlao was dismissed from the service in January 2018 for grave misconduct in connection with Jee’s killing.

Speaking to reporters in a phone interview, Fajardo said that unlike in court proceedings, where guilt should be established beyond reasonable doubt, only substantial evidence is needed in an administrative case.

“Dismissal of his criminal case does not mean that it will result in the dismissal of his administrative case,” Fajardo said mostly in Filipino.

The PNP spokesperson added that they would review Dumlao’s records if he had previously filed an appeal of his dismissal from the PNP.

Should Dumlao decide to appeal using the court’s ruling, it will undergo proceedings at the National Police Commission’s appellate board, according to Fajardo.

Fajardo said the appeal might even reach the Civil Service Commission, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and even the Supreme Court.

“It will take years before his administrative case could be reversed,” she said.

Jee’s widow Choi Kyung-jin has yet to issue a statement on the court’s ruling.

Dumlao refused to talk to the media after the promulgation of his case, according to an ABS-CBN News report.

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