ERRING chiefs of police (COPs) and station commanders as well as their men who will be found to have connived with each other to help secure the dismissal of drug charges against an arrested drug offender for reasons known only to them face dismissal from the service and even criminal charges that would send them to jail.
That’s the gist of a Philippine National Police Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management guideline issued in 2015 which remained in effect to date as the PNP headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde continues its aggressive crackdown against rogues in uniform and its war against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
The Journal Group learned that the PNP-DIDM guidelines in the investigation, documentation and filing of drug-related charges were approved to ensure that the PNP will score more drug convictions.
As part of the new anti-graft program of the PNP leadership, the DIDM Case Monitoring Division shall be responsible in monitoring cases for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 filed with the Office of the Public Prosecutor and in regular courts.
In addition, the DIDM-CMD will provide the DIDM Pre-Charge, Evaluation and Investigation Division (PCEID) with the list of all drug-related cases filed and subsequently dismissed, indicating the names of the PNP personnel involved.
The DIDM-PCEID will also be responsible for the conduct of pre-charge, evaluation and filing of appropriate administrative charges against PNP personnel found responsible for the dismissal of drug-related cases.
Meanwhile, the regional DIDM is under orders to ensure that the directive will be disseminated to all investigation units, monitor all drug-related cases and submit list of dismissed drug-related cases to include the names of PNP personnel responsible in the filing of cases and at the same time gather all certifications issued by concerned legal officers.
The directive also calls on COPs, to certify that he has examined all the documents and other pieces of evidence pertaining to the case before its filing with the Office of the Public Prosecutor or with the regular courts.
Officials said the guidelines will ensure that the Chief of Police, his Chief Investigator and the Investigator-on-Case will be fully responsible for the conviction of the suspect and prevent the possibility that anyone of them will have a hand in sabotaging the filing of case in favor of the suspect for reasons known only to them.
The Journal Group learned that for the year 2014 alone, a total of 18,886 anti-drug operations were conducted nationwide resulting in the arrest of 24,515 suspects. Of this figure, 8,865 cases for violation of RA 9165 were referred by the police to the Prosecutor’s Office, 9,305 were filed in various courts and 716 were under investigation.
A review of dismissed drug cases conducted by the PNP-DIDM showed that a total of 1,538 RA 9165 cases were dismissed by the courts. Among the grounds for the dismissal were attributed to the following procedural irregularities: ‘planting’ of evidence/fabrication, chain of custody, failure to attend court hearings, inconsistent testimonies, failure of the prosecution to present evidence/failure to prosecute, insufficiency of evidence, inadmissibility of evidence due to illegal warrant served, search and seizure.