‘Ninja cops’ mess should prompt creation of an independent IAS — solon
MANILA, Philippines — With the “ninja cops” controversy hounding the Philippine National Police (PNP), Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Rep. Jericho Nograles on Tuesday said Congress should expedite passing a bill upgrading the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to an independent body under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
In filing House Bill 3065, Nograles seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8551 or Philippine National Police Reform Reorganization Act of 1998 to create an IAS outside of the PNP chain-of-command, which would have prosecutorial power instead of just recommendatory.
“As the office that oversees the conduct of the uniformed personnel, the IAS should be free from influence, pressure, and intervention from the Chief PNP, and other high-ranking PNP officers in adjudicating administrative cases,” Nograles said in a statement.
In a separate press conference, the party-list representative said the present set up makes IAS officers resort to “politicking” because it is dependent on the budget of the PNP. He added that the powers and functions of the office would not duplicate that of the Office of the Ombudsman and the National Police Commission since the IAS would be more well-versed with the procedures and culture of the PNP.
Apart from investigating and adjudicating administrative wrongdoings of PNP personnel, the proposed bill also seeks to empower the IAS to have recommendatory powers in the selection and promotion of PNP personnel.
Nograles said the IAS could also provide assistance to the Ombudsman and other PNP Disciplinary Offices in cases involving PNP personnel and recommend the admission to the witness protection program of the Department of Justice of witnesses who are vital to the prosecution of PNP personnel involved in criminal cases.
It would also have its own organizational hierarchy which would be headed by an inspector general, with established regional, provincial, city and municipal offices nationwide, and a separate staffing pattern and mode of recruitment for its personnel.
The congressman made the call in light of the ongoing Senate inquiry into so-called “ninja cops,” which tagged former PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde of intervening in the case of the 13 Pampanga police officers who were his subordinates when he was chief of Pampanga PNP. The officers were allegedly involved in the stashing of shabu and accepting bribes in an irregular anti-illegal drug operation in 2013.
“Ninja cops” was the term used to refer to rogue cops involved in the reselling of seized illegal drugs from legitimate police operations.
Albayalde, who was accused of benefiting from the questionable 2013 drug sting, resigned from his post last Monday. The top cop, who is retiring on November 8, had denied protecting the policemen and vowed to refile the criminal and administrative cases against the police officers if needed. /jpv
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