Poe wants inquiry on PNP waiver on child death probes
Senator Grace Poe is seeking a Senate inquiry into the reported practice of the Philippine National Police (PNP) allowing family members to waive further investigation in cases involving possible culpable neglect of parents with their minor children.
Poe said such practice had no “explicit legal basis.”
“It is apparently a practice of the Philippine National Police (PNP), during investigations surrounding the death of a person, to allow his or her relatives to waive further investigation,” she said in Senate Resolution No. 2014, calling for the Senate probe.
“The practice of signing waivers apparently has no explicit legal basis within the Revised Penal Code or in other statutes or rules or regulations and is apparently an ‘unwritten rule’ exercised as a matter of discretion on the part of the PNP,” said the senator, who previously headed the Senate committee on public order during the 16th Congress.
She cited for instance an incident reported by the media last October 18, involving a two-year-old child, who reportedly shot himself in the face using a pen gun owned by his older brother, but whose family signed a waiver against further investigation.
The media also reported in July, 2010 about the death of a one-year-old child from allegedly drinking silver cleaner. One of the victim’s parents, however, had reportedly signed a waiver saying that the police investigation was unnecessary since the child had accidentally drunk silver cleaner that had been mixed into a glass of water.
Poe’s resolution noted that in many cases, minors were unable to defend themselves, “thus, it is possible that some children suffer from injuries or die due to negligence or corporal punishment, but these cases are not investigated because of the waiver.”
It also pointed out that Article 231 of Executive Order No. 209, otherwise known as the Family Code, states that “culpable negligence of the parent or the person exercising parental authority” is a basis for suspending or depriving the guilty party of parental authority.”
“It is imperative for the legislature to craft measures to ensure that those who are responsible for the death of or injuries suffered by children do not go unpunished simply because the parents can sign a waiver against further investigation,” the resolution further said. CDG
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