Himagan v People; G.R. No. 113811; 07 Oct 1994; 237 SCRA 538

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The trial court issued an order suspending petitioner until the termination of the case on the basis of Section 47, RA 6975 (DILG Act of 1990) which suspends a member of the PNP with complaints for grave felonies where the penalty imposed by law is 6 years and one day or more from office until the case is terminated.

Whether or not the imposition of preventive suspension of over 90 days is a violation of petitioner’s constitutional right to equal protection of laws.

NO. The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons charged criminally or administratively insofar as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned is that policemen carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or intimidate witnesses against them, as succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions. If a suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his case is pending, his victim and the witnesses against him are obviously exposed to constant threat and thus easily cowed to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in uniform and armed. The imposition of preventive suspension for over 90 days under Section 47 of R.A. 6975 does not violate the suspended policeman’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.

Petition is DISMISSED.

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