Senate joint panel suggests IAS be separated from PNP
MANILA, Philippines — A joint Senate committee has recommended to separate the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) from Philippine National Police (PNP).
Presenting the Senate blue ribbon and justice and human rights committees’ findings on its probe on the so-called “ninja cops,” committee chair Senator Richard Gordon said that this is to avoid the giving of favors to erring policemen.
“IAS should not be under the PNP. It should not be even under the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Gordon said in a press conference on Friday.
“Ang mga pulis, kapag inimbestigahan, mga eminent persons ang nag-iimbestiga para hindi masamahan ng paki-usap o ka-baro (Eminent persons are the ones who investigate police officers so that they could not be coerced),” he added.
Pursuant to Republic Act 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, the IAS was created to serve as the watchdog of the country’s police force. It handles investigations on police accused of violating police procedures and regulations.
IAS, after thorough investigations, can recommend “appropriate criminal cases against PNP members before the court as evidence warrants.”
It can also initiate motu propio investigations on certain types of cases without waiting for a complainant.
Aside from making the IAS an independent institution, Gordon said the joint panel has recommended to immediately suspend or dismiss rogue policemen and not only reassigned to other posts.
“Gusto ko any officer who transfer somebody who is under investigation to Mindanao or any other place in the country, kapag trinansfer mo yan, kasama ka dapat sa parusahan (Anyone who transfers somebody who is under investigation to another post should be included in the punishment),” he said.
“Dapat alam ng pulis kung ano ang aabutin niya kapag siya ay nagkamali, hindi ‘yung tatakutin siya na itatapon siya sa ibang lugar (Policemen should know the consequences of their actions and not only be threatened with reassignment),” the senator added.
Service firearms and badges of policemen who were dismissed or suspended or even facing criminal and administrative charges should also be immediately confiscated, the panel recommended.
Gordon said the joint panel will also be looking into amending the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Under the committee report, “persons of good repute” such as retired judges, lawyers, teachers, should “monitor if the procedures on chain of custody and drug buy-bust were followed.”
The review of administrative cases filed against rogue policemen should also be shortened as it currently takes months to years, Gordon said.
A training program should also be created which provides for mandatory training on values, character formation, and leadership for all policemen.
“A very very strong point in training the future soldiers or the military is ‘yung character formation and values. Mayroon naman yan, dadagdagan lang nang kaunti sa atin (We have that, but we will just intensify it),” Gordon said.
Gordon said the panel is studying the possibility of requiring police officers to take a 4-year college course not taken with the PNP Academy (PNPA) and then they will undergo training under the PNPA for two years. /je
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