Bato nixes civilian head for PNP's police watchdog

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2016 12:38 PM

MANILA – Philippine National Police Chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Thursday said he would rather have a policeman than a civilian to head the police body tasked to investigate erring cops.

Dela Rosa told a Senate panel that it is necessary that a police official heads the PNP's Internal Affairs Service (IAS) given the dangers that the task carries.

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''As of now I find it necessary to maintain a police officer as head of IAS because of the reason that a lot of police officers, and senior police officers are involved in drug trade,'' Dela Rosa said.

''And if I put a civilian head in the IAS, madali lang po i-threaten ang civilian, baka di makalaban sa mga pulis na scalawag."

But Poe reminded dela Rosa that the law requires that the IAS be headed by a civilian so that its independent nature will be maintained.

She added, the fraternal relations among policemen sometimes get in the way of the investigations on erring policemen.

READ: Why rogue cops go scot-free

''The appointment of Chief Supt. Leo Angelo Bong Leuterio as head of IAS. If things have settled, we will eventually appoint a civilian head to IAS,'' dela Rosa said.

The IAS is mandated to conduct inspections and audits on PNP personnel and units; investigate complaints and gather evidence in support of an open investigation; conduct summary hearings on policemen facing administrative charges; file appropriate criminal cases against policemen before the court; and provide assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman in cases involving the personnel of the PNP.

Since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on drugs, there have been concerns that some policemen were abusing their authority, as the number of drug suspects being killed in police operations continue to rise.