211 cops absent in trials caused case dismissals
Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday ordered an investigation into the problem of policemen who do not appear in court hearings where they are supposed to testify, often leading to the cases getting junked.
Eleazar noted that since last year, some 200 policemen have been administratively sanctioned, 83 of them with dismissal from the service, for the omission.
“We will study and find ways to ensure our PNP personnel’s attendance to testify in all the cases we filed in court. Their role is vital in ensuring the conviction of law offenders,” he pointed out.
He added, “Our arrests will all be for nothing if we do not make sure criminals pay for their crimes, if they’re allowed to return to the streets to again commit crimes, particularly drug offenses.”
PNP personnel who can’t justify their nonappearance in court face an administrative charge of serious neglect of duty and could be dismissed from the service if their omission, as a principal witness or an arresting officer, causes the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of an accused.
The PNP chief stressed that a policeman’s mandate does not end with the arrest and filing of charges but includes seeing the case through to conviction by testifying in court.
Based on PNP data, there were 211 policemen nationwide who were penalized for nonappearance in court from January 2020 to June 3.
Of the number, 83 policemen were dismissed from the service, 31 demoted, 92 suspended while five were reprimanded.
Out of the 83 PNP personnel dismissed from the service for nonappearance in court, 10 of them failed to testify in drug-related cases.
Eleazar noted that there are still 1,428 pending administrative cases for the nonappearance of policemen in court.
According to Eleazar, the police organization’s push to address this is “proof of the PNP leadership’s serious commitment to correct procedural lapses and hold to account police personnel.” INQ