38 cops handling drug cases fired for skipping court hearings
MANILA, Philippines–Thirty eight police officers handling drug cases were dismissed from service, while over 350 others were slapped with administrative charges following their alleged failure to attend court proceedings of the cases, a Philippine National Police official said.
Police Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias, PNP-Anti Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force chief, said that of the 392 police officers charged with administrative cases, 38 have been dismissed, and six others were suspended, based on records from the monitoring system from 2006 to March 2013.
The records further indicate that 159 personnel were either separated from the service, dropped from the rolls, retired or have been marked AWOL during the pendency of the drug cases.
Sixty nine others were, meanwhile, still under pre-charge or summary hearing proceedings.
“Despite our continuing directive, there are still some police officers who continuously defy our stern warning, to the prejudice of efforts in combating illegal drugs,” Tobias said, as he stressed the importance of the testimony of police witnesses in the prosecution of illegal drug cases.
He said the immediate superior of these police witnesses who failed to appear in court can also be held liable pursuant to Republic Act. 9165, in addition to administrative charges.
Courts, Tobias said, are now furnishing the PNP the orders where illegal drug cases have been dismissed for failure of police witnesses to attend court hearings.
“These court orders are more than enough evidence to conduct pre-charge evaluation against the PNP witnesses for serious neglect of duty,” he said.
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