Narcolist probe to expand to sources of ‘wrongful info’ on cops — PNP
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will expand its investigation to include informants who caused the possible wrongful inclusion of some of the 356 cops in the so-called “narcolist,” if proven that the officers were maliciously accused of having drug links.
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said Wednesday that the police agency is just completing the adjudication process for the accused police officers, and after that comes the investigation on sources of false information.
The PNP plans to submit to President Rodrigo Duterte on March 5 their recommendation on the fate of the 356 cops who are allegedly involved in the drug trade.
“Matapos lang itong 30 day period (of adjudication), ‘yun naman ang titingnan ng PNP kung paano nagsimula (ang pagkasama nila sa listahan). Titingnan natin kung sino ang dapat habulin din sa pagpapakalat ng maling impormasyon,” Banac said in an interview with reporters at Camp Crame.
(We will just hurdle this 30-day period [of adjudication], and then we will see how they were included in the list. We will look at who we should run after for spreading false information.)
The narcolist is a consolidation of intelligence reports coming from different law enforcement agencies.
If the source of the false information was not a member of the PNP, the accuser may be held liable for libel or slander, according to Banac.
If the source is a police unit, those responsible may face an administrative case of misconduct, or the more serious grave misconduct tantamount to dismissal from the service, added Banac, noting that providing malicious information about someone should not be taken lightly.
“Definitely sasailalim din sila sa pag-aaral at imbestigasyon kung saan naman nila kinuha or ano ang naging basehan ng mga impormasyon na ‘yun (they will be investigated on where they got that information and its basis),” said Banac.
He said police officers proven to have tipped false information out of malice or ill-intent would have to answer to the internal disciplinary system of the PNP.
Those who relayed information without sufficient grounds may, meanwhile, be guilty of inaction or lack of due diligence, according to the PNP spokesman.
As for Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, Banac explained the controversial officer would still have to be adjudicated by the national unit of the PNP despite the Western Visayas regional police office clearing him of any drug links.
Banac, however, clarified the PNP does not want to “unnecessarily discourage” tipsters from giving information to the police since it is vital in battling crime, particularly illegal drugs.
Edited by EDV
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