Lacson: Marcos-era decree on obstruction of justice needs to be revisited
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said the Congess needs to revisit the presidential decree issued during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos that penalizes obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal defenders.
Lacson made the remark after Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde asked for the Senate to draft a law which seeks to compel banks and other establishments to give immediate access for police personnel responding to robbery incidents.
The request came after the robbery incident of the Metrobank branch in Binondo, Manila wherein police personnel were reportedly not immediately allowed to enter the bank premises.
“May batas, natandaan ko may Presidential Decree si former President Marcos, alam ko hindi pa repealed yan, PD 1829, nagpe-penalize sa nag-o-obstruct o nagpe-prevent,” Lacson said in an interview over radio station DZBB.
This decree, Lacson said, needs to be revisited and converted into a law.
“Dapat i-revisit ang batas dahil Presidential Decree ito. Mas magandang mai-convert ito into a Republic Act na pinagtibay ng Kongreso, at bigyan pa ng matinding pangil,” Lacson said.
The senator also noted that the investigation of the robbery incident should not have been hindered if the responding law enforcers were aware of their rights.
“Kung alam lang ng mga pulis ang karapatan o authority nila, dapat hindi na-hinder ang kanilang investigation noong hindi sila pinapasok kasi meron namang kaukulang batas dito,” Lacson said.
Lacson explained that a field manual on crime investigations was issued in 2011, which states that the first 72 hours following the crime is considered as the “golden hour.”
“Malinaw roon na sinasabi ang first responders within 72 hours, ito ang tinatawag na golden hour ng investigation, kung saan ang first responders, not necessarily mga imbestigador; kung sino ang law enforcement officers na pinakamalapit sa crime scene, dapat agad-agad sila magreresponde papasok at hindi sila pwede awatin dahil may parusa sa pipigil sa kanila,” Lacson said while underscoring that the law enforcers still have to introduce themselves properly.
“Kailangan lagyan nila ng boundaries, ang crime scene, lubid, etcetera. At agad-agad ire-record nila ang appearance walang gagalaw sa nakakalat na papeles doon, anong bagay sa loob ng crime scene or within the crime scene itself, ang perimeter, i-establish nila ang boundary in this case ang bangko mismo,” the senator added.
In the case of the robbery in Manila, Lacson said the first 72 hours is important to check if the robbers left incriminating evidence or any forensic evidence that may lead to the identification of the suspects.
“Napakaimportanteng unang nagresponde na talagang makasagawa agad ng preservation of crime scene at di ma-contaminate ang ebidensya. Yung original form pagkaalis ng suspect, walang nagagalaw. Walang puwedeng gumalaw kundi altering yan. Pag alter mo may kaukulang parusa yan sa PD 1829,” Lacson said. /jpv
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