Lawmakers now want their own police force
After earlier seeking immunity from traffic offenses for lawmakers, House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas now wants Congress to have its own police force.
Fariñas has proposed the creation of a Philippine Legislative Police (PLP) to ensure lawmakers’ safety and enforce Congress’ subpoena powers.
In his explanatory note for House Bill No. 6208, Fariñas pointed out that Congress currently relies on law enforcement agencies under the executive branch of government to protect lawmakers and execute contempt orders.
He cited the case of Sen. Leila de Lima’s driver and lover Ronnie Dayan, who was arrested by the Philippine National Police for failing to appear before the House inquiry on the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons.
“The reliance of Congress on the law enforcement agencies … impairs, to a large extent, the independence of Congress from the executive department,” he explained.
“The system of checks and balances fundamentally requires the independence of the branches of government and only through such independence that the ends of government are better achieved,” he added.
Fariñas added that Congress did not have enough manpower and capability to protect legislators when they perform duties and consult constituents outside their offices.
The PLP will be governed by a PLP Board — chaired by a retired military or police general jointly appointed by the Speaker and the Senate President.
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