A new policy withholding police spot reports from the media and other groups is a direct contradiction to the Duterte administration's push for transparency, a lawmaker said Thursday.
"Kung wala silang tinatago, dapat nilang ipakita ang mga ito sa media," Senator Bam Aquino said in a statement a day after the Philippine National Police confirmed the new policy.
The policy came to light after the PNP drew flak anew over controversial Caloocan City police operations where teens Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, and Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19 were killed.
The Senate summoned several police officers whose names were included in the spot reports of killing of minors in Caloocan.
PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa, however, told lawmakers that police need clearance from President Rodrigo Duterte before releasing the spot reports to senators.
"Itong spot reports, nagpapatunay kung meron talagang kababalaghan na nangyayari o wala kaya mahalaga na makuha namin iyan sa aming imbestigasyon. We still expect that the PNP will submit them to the Senate as promised," Aquino said.
Last year, the President signed a Freedom of Information executive order that mandated all agencies under the executive branch to grant access requests to government records.
Under the order, "every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions as well as government research data used as basis for public development."
Duterte said he will leave it up to Congress to craft a legislative measure that would formally enact Freedom of Information laws in the country.