DBM v Manila’s Finest
DBM v Manila's Finest Case Digest by Earl Reyes...
DBM v Manila’s Finest G.R. No. 169466, May 9, 2007 I. Facts • 1975- PD 765 was issued constituting the Integrated National Police (INP) to be composed of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) as the nucleus and the integrated police forces as components thereof • 1977- PD 1184 complemented PD 765, which was issued to professionalize the INP and promote career development therein • 1990- RA 6975 (An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior And Local Government, and For Other Purposes or PNP Law) was enacted o Under Sec. 23, the PNP would initially consist of the members of the INP, created under PD 675, as well as the officers and enlisted personnel of the PC • 1998- RA 6975 was amended by RA 8551 (Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998) o Amendatory law that reengineered the retirement scheme in the police organization o It enabled the PNP to have higher retirement benefits that the INP and PC • 2002- Manila’s Finest Retirees Association, Inc. (consisted of INP retirees) filed a petition for declaratory relief against DBM, PNP, NAPOLCOM, CSC, and GSIS o MFRAI’s petition stated that they are absorbed and equally considered as PNP-retirees and thus, entitled to enjoy the same or identical retirement benefits bestowed to PNPretirees by virtue of the PNP Law (RA 6975), as amended by RA 8551 o GSIS moved to dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and cause of action o CSC, DBM, NAPOLCOM, and PNP replied that the petitioners are not entitled to have equal retirement benefits as PNP-retirees because the former have already retired prior to the enactment of RA 6975 • • • •
2003- RTC ruled that RA 6975 did not abolish the INP but merely provided for its absorption of its police functions by the PNP April 2003- RTC granted GSIS’s motion to dismiss 2005- CA affirmed RTC’s decision that the INP should have equal or identical retirement benefits as the PNP under RA 6975 Petitioners filed a petition w/ the SC assailing that the CA committed a serious error in law in affirming the decision of the RTC notwithstanding that it is contrary to law and established jurisprudence
W/N the INP should have equal or identical retirement benefits as the PNP under RA 6975, as amended by RA 8551 III. Ruling • Yes o
The court stated that during Martial Law, the PC-INP had a military character, being then a major service of the AFP, but was subsequently moved by a fresh constitutional mandate, after the Marcos regime, for the establishment of one police force which should be national in scope and, most importantly, purely civilian in character The court mentioned Sec. 2 of RA 6975 which stated: §
Section 2. Declaration of policy - It is hereby declared to be the policy of the State to promote peace and order, ensure public safety and further strengthen local government capability aimed towards the effective delivery of the basic services to the citizenry through the establishment of a highly efficient and competent police force that is national in scope and civilian in character. xxx.
The police force shall be organized, trained and equipped primarily for the performance of police functions. Its national scope and civilian character shall be paramount. No element of the police force shall be military nor shall any position thereof be occupied by active members of the [AFP]. Sec. 23 of RA 6975 also states that the PNP is initially consisted of the members of the police forces who were integrated into the INP by virtue of PD 765 Sec. 86 of RA 6975 likewise states:
“Phase I…… At the end of this phase, all personnel from the INP, PC, AFP Technical Services, NACAH, and NAPOLCOM Inspection, Investigation and Intelligence Branch shall have been covered by official orders assigning them to the PNP, Fire and Jail Forces by their respective units.” Phase II….. Any PC-INP officer or enlisted personnel may, within the twelvemonth period from the effectivity of this Act, retire and be paid retirement benefits corresponding to a position two (2) ranks higher than his present grade, subject to the conditions that at the time he applies for retirement, he has rendered at least twenty (20) years of service and still has, at most, twenty-four (24) months of service remaining before the compulsory retirement age as provided by existing law for his office. Phase III….. Upon the effectivity of this Act, the [DILG] Secretary shall exercise administrative supervision as well as operational control over the transferred, merged and/or absorbed AFP and INP units. The incumbent Director General of the PC-INP shall continue to act as Director General of the PNP until replaced .
Based from the provisions above, it is clear that RA 6975 does not abolish the PC-INP, but absorbs, transfers, and merges it with the PNP The court also stated that the legislative intent in the passing of RA 6975 was to remove the police force under the control and supervision of military officers and it likewise seeks to restore and underscore the civilian character of police work – an otherwise universal concept that was muddled by the martial law years Regarding those that were already retired by the time of the passing of RA 6975, based on the statement made by the CA, they are still entitled to claim such benefits because their membership in the INP was an antecedent fact that nonetheless allowed them to avail themselves of the benefits of the subsequent laws and RA 6795 considered them as PNP members It was also explicitly stated in RA 8551 (amended RA 6795) that the rationalized retirement benefits schedule and program shall have retroactive effect in favor of PNP members and officers retired or separated from the time specified in law