Philippine National Police

DILG dismisses Quezon City cop for indiscriminately firing his gun in public

Jairo Bolledo

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DILG dismisses Quezon City cop for indiscriminately firing his gun in public

PNP. Camp Crame Headquarters in Quezon City on February 27, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

Prosecutors also find sufficient evidence to file criminal charges against Police Lieutenant Colonel Mark Julio Abong and hold him for trial

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the agency which oversees the Philippine National Police (PNP), said it had formally dismissed the erring police officer who was arrested early this week for indiscriminately firing his gun.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, in a statement on Thursday, November 30, said the National Police Commission denied Lieutenant Colonel Mark Julio Abong‘s appeal of his dismissal. The police officer was ordered dismissed early this year after his involvement in hit-and-run and drunk driving incidents on August 6, 2022 that killed one person and injured another. This was the dismissal that the DILG had affirmed.

“We find that his Appeal is bereft of merit. The evidence points out to his guilt for grave misconduct, grave neglect of duty, and conduct unbecoming of a police officer when he concealed his culpability in the said hit-and-run incident,” Abalos said.

Abong of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) made the headlines after he was arrested for firing his gun indiscriminately in front of a restobar in Quezon City on November 26. He was arrested after the shooting incident and is now under police custody.

Since the DILG had already upheld the dismissal, Abong can no longer appeal the decision removing him from the police service, the interior department explained. As to the criminal charges, the QCPD said on Thursday that the Quezon City prosecutor’s office already issued a resolution finding sufficient evidence to hold Abong for trial.

The cop faces the following charges, with total bail amounting to P177,000:

  • Illegal discharge of firearms, bail set at P120,000
  • Violation of Omnibus Election Code, bail at P36,000
  • Maltreatment, bail at P3,000
  • Direct assault upon an agent of person in authority, bail at P18,000

Abong faces an election-related offense due to the gun ban, which was still in effect on November 29. The incident happened on November 26. On Wednesday, the DILG also announced that the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office revoked the licenses of the guns owned by the suspect.

Aside from the recent gun-firing incident and the hit-and-run case, Abong also faced a long list of cases previously, the DILG said. The previous cases were:

  • Kidnapping
  • Serious illegal detention
  • False testimony
  • Perjury in solemn affirmation
  • Robbery
  • Grave threats
  • Reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property and physical injuries with homicide
  • Violation of code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees

Abong is the latest cop to be dismissed from service after committing a crime witnessed by the public. In the past, specifically under former president Rodrigo Duterte’s term who empowered the police, several cops faced criminal charges and were dismissed for committing offense like murder and homicide.

This was exemplified in the case of Jonel Nuezca, who killed unarmed Sonya and her son, Frank, in 2021. Most recently, the six cops tagged in the killing of 17-year-old Jemboy Baltazar in August this year, were also ordered dismissed and face a murder complaint. — Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.