PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said they are seeking Congress help in amending some provisions of the Human Security Act including one that will allow them to detain a suspected terrorist beyond the 72-hour maximum period to extract and validate more information from a suspect.
He said that initially, some senators led by former PNP chief-turned Sen. Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson aired their support for their proposals that will help police and the military better address threats posed by terrorists in the country.
The PNP chief did not say the exact period of detention they are recommending but explained that in some countries like Singapore and Malaysia, suspected terrorists can be detained for 30 days without with no charges filed.
Gen. Albayalde said they need all the time they can get to validate information from a suspected terrorist in order to build a more stronger case against him and his cohorts in the aftermath of the June 28 suicide bombing in Indanan, Sulu which killed two of the ‘suicide bombers,’ one of them identified as Filipino Norman Lasuca. Three soldiers and two civilians were killed during the attack which left six civilians and 11 other Army troopers wounded.
“As the nation will look with great enthusiasm to the SONA of the President at the opening of the 18th Congress of the Philippines in the joint session of Senate and House of Representatives, the PNP is taking the initiative to pursue our own legislative agenda to which we seek the kind consideration of Congress for the passage of several measures that we deem necessary to enable the PNP to perform our law enforcement and public safety functions with greater efficiency as well as laws that will strengthen the criminal justice system and enhance crime deterrence,” Gen. Albayalde said in a prepared statement.
According to him, the PNP Directorate for Plans, based on thorough and detailed consultation with PNP units, has identified several aspects of the PNP mission, vision, systems and procedures that can be improved.
Among the 22 proposed measures on the PNP legislative agenda are an act amending certain provision of the Human Security Act otherwise known as Republic Act 9372 or an act to secure the state and protect our people from terrorism, the PNP Reorganization Bill, the Upgrading of Ranks of PNP Key Positions, An Act Institutionalizing the National Police Clearance System, amending for the purpose of Section 24 of RA 6975, An act rationalizing the firearms policy and amending the purpose of RA 10591, Amendment of RA No. 493 regarding proving punishment on illegal production, sale and use of police uniforms, and an act extending the coverage of the law on kidnapping and penalizing hoax kidnapping, amending Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code.
“The PNP strongly supports the implementation of the Republic Act 11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act or PhilSys which has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August 2018 and will be piloted this September as the national ID system,” the PNP chief added.
“Aside from the assurance of wide-range delivery of government services and privileges, this new ID system will boost our operational thrust against terrorism,” he further said.