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MOP, Bk 7, v.5, 187

[ ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 108, March 08, 1955 ]


This is an administrative case against Chief of Police Pedro Z. Claravall of Baguio City, for alleged misuse of a government vehicle (a police jeepster) assigned to him for his official use.

It is alleged that since the year 1951 up to his suspension on September 6, 1954, the respondent had been using the police jeepster assigned to him for his official use in bringing his children to and from the St. Louis School every school day; that he used the same jeepster in going to church every Sunday with his wife; that on one occasion he was seen driving the same jeepster along Trinidad road with three women passengers; that on another occasion, he was seen driving the same jeepster with an elderly woman and two boys until the Pines Theater; and that still on another ocassion, the respondent drove his wife in the same jeepster to the Baguio General Hospital for medical consultation with Dr. Emiliano Ramirez preparatory to her giving birth.

The evidence shows that sometime in August 1953, a series of robbery cases committed in the St. Louis School were reported to the police force and that sometime also in October 1953, the Mother Superior of said school reported a “sex gang” case to the police. Acting on these reports, members of the Police Department conducted on-the-spot investigations, utilizing the police jeepster in going to the premises of the said school for almost every day up to January 1954 when a suspect in the “sex gang” case was apprehended. The evidence also shows that except his daughter Consolacion who was enrolled for the first time in said school in June 1953, the respondent did not have a child enrolled therein since 1951. On one occasion, however, during a rainy day, when the members of the police force were conducting one of the series of investigations aforememtioned at the school premises, they picked up the said Consolacion at the Session road and brought her along with them.

The respondent admitted that he used to go to the premises of the Baguio Cathedral every Sunday for the main purpose of checking his men posted there to apprehend pickpockets victimizing churchgoers, claiming, however, that if he brought along with him his wife, it was only incidental with no loss to the Government as he would have spent the same amount of gasoline even if he were alone.

The respondent also admitted that there had been occasions when he drove the police jeepster with civilian passengers, both male and female, but these passengers were either suspects in cases under investigation by the police being brought to the police headquarters, or wives of public officials invited to social government functions. This admission is corroborated by witnesses.

The charge that sometime in the latter part of 1952 or the early part of 1953, the respondent brought his wife to the Baguio General Hospital for pre-natal consultation with Dr. Emiliano Ramirez, has not been proved. The records show that Dr. Ramirez was at the Quezon Institute in Quezon City during these periods and that the wife of the respondent at that time gave birth at the Notre Dame Hospital attended by Dr. Josefina Gorospe.

The records likewise show that the police jeepster was not exclusively used by the respondent during the periods of time in question. Some officers of the said police force also used the same jeepster during their tours of duty and that other members of the police department used the same jeepster in conducting investigations during the said periods.

From the foregoing facts alone, I cannot conclude that the respondent is guilty of deliberately misusing a government-owned vehicle. However, I find him wanting in that proper decorum expected of a chief of police of a city like Baguio, when he used to allow members of his family to ride in the government vehicle assigned to him for official use, for such accomodations, although merely incidental, would subject his office and the government to criticism. For this reason, I am inclined to relieve the respondent as Chief of Police of Baguio City.

WHEREFORE, Mr. Pedro Z. Claravall is hereby considered resigned as Chief of Police of Baguio City effective upon receipt of notice hereof, without prejudice to receiving whatever rights and benefits he may be entitled to under existing laws.

Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and fifty-five, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the ninth.

President of the Philippines

By the President:
Executive Secretary

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