THE SUPREME Court (SC), reversing a Court of Appeals (CA) decision, has backed the order of the Ombudsman to dismiss the policemen who were involved in the controversial purchase of helicopters in 2009. In a statement issued yesterday, the Ombudsman said it received a copy of the SC decision last Jan. 15. Former police director George Piano, one of the officials found guilty in the case, filed a petition before the CA questioning the Ombudsman’s 2012 ruling. The SC, however, ruled that “the CA erred in exonerating [Piano] of the charge,” noting Mr. Piano’s major role in the acquisition of the helicopters. The others involved in the case are: former police director Leocadio Santiago, Jr.; officers Job Nolan Antonio, Edgar Paatan, Mansue Lukban, Claudio Gaspar, Jr., Herold Ubalde, Luis Saligumba, Ermilando Villafuerte, Roman Loreto, Maria Josefina Reco, Ma. Linda Padojinog, and Avensuel Dy; and non-uniformed personnel Ruben Gongona. Aside from dismissal from the service, they are meted perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits. — Minde Nyl R. dela Cruz