Senate panel eyes PNP reforms

PNP personnel are deployed on Commonwealth Avenue near the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City in this file photo.

Senators are mulling options to fast track disciplinary proceedings against erring members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in a bid to regain public trust.

Triggered by a privileged speech of Sen.Richard Gordon and related resolutions denouncing the spate of unsolved killings victimizing members of the legal profession among others, three committees opened a joint hearing  to tackle remedial measures filed to address the matter.

Taken into consideration were: Senate Bill 1828 – Establishing the Police Law Enforcement Courts; Senate Bill 599 – Investigating the Spate of Unlawful Killings; Senate Resolution 600 – Inquiry on the Series of Unlawful Killings of Citizens; Senate Resolution 602- Inquiry into the Pandemic of Killing that Continues to Infect the Legal Profession.

In a privilege speech of Sen. Gordon spoke about the spate of killings in the country.

“How do we explain to the families of the victims?” Gordon asked, adding: “We need to act fast.”

Newly-named National Police Commission (Napolcom) chairman Vitaliano Aguirre agreed with Gordon on the need to fast track the proceedings, including the adoption of a “no cross examination” rule in lieu of an affidavit.

Gordon noted that “because the police carry firearms, if they err dapat mas mabilis, dapat no extension  (of hearings) because the public is crying for justice.”

On the other hand, the Senator added: “if a police rogue case is made public, he has a right to have a speedy justice.”

PNP officials concede that an erring officer should be “promptly suspended and tried.”

Gordon reminded that “immediate action (against an erring officer) gains the public trust and confidence.”

The Senator suggested that the Napolcom can “take out the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) from the PNP and be independent, but attached to the Napolcom.”

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, a former PNP Chief-turned legislator, however, noted that “if it is taken out of IAS, it is no longer PNP.”

Image credits: Nonoy Lacza

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