P/Supt. Leonardo Felonia, the alleged “mastermind” in the killing of businessman Richard King, has been slapped with a preventive suspension.
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In a five-page Order, Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices Cyril Ramos directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to implement the suspension of Felonia, a police officer assigned at the PNP Regional Intelligence Unit in Ecoland, Davao City.
The Order cited police reports that King was fatally shot by Paul Dave Molina Labang while King was in his office in Davao City. Labang, together with accomplices Rommel Dela Cerna and Rodel Dela Cerna, later positively identified Felonia as the “mastermind” who plotted the killing of King in Davao City on June 12, 2014.
In his Order, Ramos stated that “given the power and authority attached to P/Supt Felonia’s position as Head of the Regional Intelligence Unit, there is a strong probability that he may influence witnesses or tamper with any evidence material to the case.”
Felonia is facing administrative charges of Grave Misconduct and Conduct Unbecoming a Police Officer before the Office of the Ombudsman. A separate criminal case for murder filed by the Department of Justice is pending with the Regional Trial Court of Davao City.
Under Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989), the Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend any officer or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is strong, and (a) the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression, or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b) the charges would warrant removal from the service; or (c) the respondent’s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him.