3-strike policy for erring cops must be flexible, says Abalos
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) three-strike policy must be implemented with flexibility while the guidelines on c0mmand responsibility may need to be reviewed and updated, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said on Monday.
“Yung three-strike policy kasi maganda naman yan pero we should have that elbow room kay chief PNP, that’s my own personal opinion. Hindi na kailangan hintayin ang three strikes kung tingin niya ganun ang magnitude pwede na niya ipatanggal,” Abalos stressed in a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
(The three-strike policy is good, but the PNP chief should be flexible, That’s my opinion. There’s no need to wait for the three strikes; if he thinks the offense committed is serious enough he can remove the police officer from service.)
Abalos clarified that he has yet to refer this suggestion to the National Police Commission and the PNP Command Group but revealed that some terminologies in the guidelines need updating.
Command responsibility review
Abalos said the review of command responsibility guidelines stemmed from the recent case of nine police officers who ransacked a retired professor’s residence and the six other policemen who were tagged in the fatal mistaken identity shooting of a 17-year-old boy in Navotas last August 2.
He added that command responsibility could even go higher than the involved police officers’ immediate superiors when some questions about these cases remain unanswered.
“It is the IAS (Internal Affairs Service) who took over this, but as a lawyer myself, there are questions that need answers [like] were paraffin tests conducted? How many hours did it take for investigators to get there (crime scene),” Abalos said.
“These are things that must be answered; otherwise, it can even go up, but pinapatignan pa namin ito, di naman maganda kung walang due process (we are studying this this has to undergo the proper due process),” he added.