Poe wants independent leadership of PNP internal affairs service
MANILA, Philippines—Hoping to ensure an impartial investigation of men in uniform, Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday called for the appointment of “a competent and independent” head of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) from outside the force.
Poe made the call amid the Duterte administration’s vigorous campaign against illegal drugs, under which the police leadership also aimed to weed out police officers involved in the drugs trade.
Through Senate Resolution No. 70, Poe sought to look into why this provision of the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 has not been implemented.The law requires the appointment of a non-police officer as head of internal affairs, the body that handles cases where the police themselves are accused of wrongdoing.
“It is high time that an independent and objective IAS should be put in place to effectively carry out its mandate in support of the renewed vigor of the PNP’s campaign to eradicate criminality by keeping the same within the bounds of the law,” Poe said.
The lawmaker expressed her support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against drugs and crime, but pointed out the need for a “balancing act” in that the police force should also be subject to an independent investigation.
She urged the appointment of a PNP-IAS Inspector General from outside the force “to proactively conduct inspections and audits on PNP personnel and units, investigate complaints and gather evidence in support of an open investigation, probe incidents where death, serious physical injury or any violation of human rights occurred.”
“It is very challenging for the PNP-IAS to police its own ranks and conduct fair and impartial investigations if its head is among the active personnel of the PNP who may be blinded by camaraderie and seniority. We have already seen that in previous cases,” said Poe.
The senator, former chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, filed in the last Congress a bill that sought to reform the PNP-IAS into an independent institutional watchdog for the police service. RAM/rga
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