90% of cases dismissed due to police negligence

By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 24 2014 09:29 AM | Updated as of Feb 24 2014 05:29 PM

MANILA - About 90 percent of cases filed in court were dismissed due to police negligence, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

In a report obtained by The STAR, the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) said data from the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court (OCASC) showed that 90 percent of criminal cases have either been dismissed or resulted in the acquittal of the accused for various reasons.

Quoting OCASC, the PNP-DIDM reported 70 percent were drug-related cases.

“The most prevalent reason were the lapses and/or negligence committed by police personnel,” said the report prepared by the PNP DIDM headed by Chief Superintendent Francisco Don Montenegro.

Montenegro said the DIDM has requested the OCASC for copies of the court decisions and orders of dismissal so the PNP can study the reasons and grounds for dismissal.

“We want to act accordingly,” Montenegro said.

In a memorandum, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said that the dismissal of cases was recorded despite numerous seminars and training conducted by the DIDM to enhance investigative and operational capabilities of police investigators and other PNP operatives.

The DIDM also mentioned the perception of lower police units on alleged lapses, errors, and anomalies by the courts and the prosecution services in the dispensation of justice.

Purisima said the DIDM created committees in all headquarters of the national operating support units, district police offices, National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO), provincial and city police offices to review and analyze closely the lapses and negligence committed.

The committee will identify the individual personnel concerned to stop the repetition of mistakes and negligence and to hold accountable the erring personnel, said Purisima.

The PNP chief said the committee has the power to recommend the conduct of pre-charge evaluation and investigation and summary hearing proceedings to the directors of police offices.

He noted that the committee will have a template of the case review, including identification of police personnel involved in the case, from the team leader to arresting officer; the number of attendance and the problem of non-attendance in court, name of the prosecutor and judge and the trial period.

“The weight accorded by the court in the police officer’s testimony whether weak, inconsistent, credible, perjured etc., should be reported by the committee,” Purisima said.

He noted the need for the Directorate for Comptrollership to provide budgetary requirements to the police.

Purisima said the PNP personnel found to be principally responsible for the dismissal of the case or acquittal of the accused will be administratively sanctioned.