Senator Alan pushes for stronger anti-corruption body as part of PNP reform

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) must be strengthened in order to effectively fight misconduct and corruption among police officers.

Cayetano made the push during the plenary discussion on Senate Bill 2449, which aims to strengthen the PNP by instituting various changes in its organizational structure.

“In my 31 years in the government, parang hindi pa ako nakakakita ng malalaking kaso sa PNP na ang nag-expose ay y’ung IAS,” he said.

He stressed that police officers must feel that there is an institution constantly watching over their actions and is actually capable of holding any police officer, from the lowest rank to the highest, accountable.

The independent senator urged Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, to include certain provisions in the bill that will help improve the investigative function of IAS, one of which is by putting it under National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) instead of the PNP Chief.

Cayetano said such a degree of independence will allow the IAS to investigate any case without the involved party meddling with evidence or retaliating against the investigator.

He said this also protects upright police officers from being targeted for doing their jobs correctly.

“This strengthening of IAS will also protect policemen kasi marami pong matitinong pulis na kapag nanghuli, babaligtarin pa sila,” he said.

“Kasi [ang nangyayari] nagkakaasaran. Halimbawa, iniimbestigahan niya ang isang heneral and ‘yung heneral na ‘yun ay naging Chief PNP, hindi siya ipo-promote kasi inimbestigahan siya,” he added.

Dela Rosa, who was PNP Chief for one year and nine months during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, agreed with Cayetano that the IAS must be strengthened as part of the PNP reform, particularly by making it an attractive career destination for quality, upright, and “snappy” police officers.

Cayetano also recommended that the bill provide faster promotion and a better pay for police officers who decide to join the IAS.

The independent senator also recommended that IAS be automatically given P5 million to be able to conduct priority investigations.

“One deterrent to investigators is imbestigador ka nga, wala ka namang resources para mag-imbestiga. As an investigator, kailangan mo ng pera whether it’s to buy information, for the lie detector test, or to fly witnesses in,” he said.

Dela Rosa thanked Cayetano for his “good ideas” and vowed to study and consider them for possible amendments in the bill.


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