Bato wants review of PNP disciplinary mechanism after killer cop incident
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday pushed for giving the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) the power to immediately dismiss an erring policeman, saying the bureaucratic process could drag the removal of officers from their ranks for long periods of time.
The former PNP chief-turned senator made the remark after Police Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca shot and killed 52-year-old Sonia Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony, 25, pointblank following an altercation.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Dela Rosa underscored the need to take another look at Republic Act 8551, which deals with reforms and reorganization of the PNP, saying that the disciplinary mechanism of the police force should be revisited.
Dela Rosa noted the difference between the disciplinary mechanism of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“Sa sundalo, pag military, nagkakasala ang sundalo, pwede ikulong agad ‘yan ng kanyang commander. Sa PNP hindi mo pwede ikulong kung walang kaso… Hanggang walang kaso na i-file, hindi mo pwedeng ikulong ‘yung tao na yan,” Dela Rosa said.
(In the military, if a soldier is at fault, they can be jailed immediately by their commander. In the PNP, you cannot jail them until charges were filed. Until there are no cases filed, you cannot jail them.)
“On the part of administrative case naman, sinabi doon na may summary power ang chief PNP to dismiss the erring policeman. Ang gusto nga ni Senator Gordon dapat halimbawa nagkasala yung pulis na yan kagaya kay Nuezca na kitang-kita yung ebidensiya… dapat ang chief PNP makabigay agad ng issue ng orders na dismiss agad yung pulis na ‘yan,” he added.
(On the part of administrative cases, the PNP chief has summary powers to dismiss an erring policeman. But like what Senator Richard Gordon is saying that for example in the case of Nuezca where there is clearly evidence, the PNP chief should be able to outrightly order to dismiss the erring cop.)
Asked if what he wants is to give the PNP chief powers for summary dismissal and immediately remove erring police officers, Dela Rosa said: “Right away. Then subject to appeal na lang kung mag-appeal sila.”
(Right away, then they can just appeal if they want to.)
Under R.A. 8551, the PNP chief already has summary dismissal powers. However, this may only be executed “after due notice and summary hearings.”
Section 42 of the said law states that the National Police Commission, the PNP chief and regional directors may immediately remove or dismiss any officer “when the charge is serious and the evidence of guilt is strong,” “when the respondent is a recidivist or has been repeatedly charged and there are reasonable grounds to believe that he is guilty of the charges,” and “when the respondent is guilty of a serious offense involving conduct unbecoming of a police officer.”
Dela Rosa said that while due process is important, it could drag the dismissal of erring officers.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said Tuesday that Nuezca has been demoted by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) following the crime.
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