THE head of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) yesterday said they really want to be independent of the PNP in order for them to do their job without interference from high-ranking police officials.
PNP-IAS director general lawyer Alfegar Triambulo said that as an independent entity they could really become a powerful agency that would go after rogues in police uniform regardless of their rank and stature.
The official also bewailed the fact that they don’t have the power and authority to protect witnesses against scoundrels in uniform who in reality can threaten and intimidate individuals testifying against them although they are already under suspension and undergoing investigation.
“Kaya nga gusto namin hingin sa Senado na bigyan po kami ng tinatawag na proteksyon ng witness kasi pag nasampa na ng IAS ang kaso, nagtatago sila dahil hina-hunting daw sila. Maraming gustong magsalita laban sa katiwalian sa pulis natin, pero natatakot kasi wala nga kaming ibinibigay na proteksyon sa kanila,” Triambulo told DZMM in an interview.
PBA party-list representative Jericho Nograles earlier sought the separation of the PNP-IAS from the PNP so that it could not be influenced by high-ranking police officials. At present, the PNP-IAS still gets its salary from the PNP and is manned by a number of active police officers and men.
Triambulo’s deputy is Major General Leo Angelo Leuterio, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988.
“Aming isinusulong na maging independent katulad ng mga IAS na aming napuntahan sa ibang bansa kaya sila ay matibay at kinatatakutan ng mga police organization,” said the PNP-IAS head.
He also noted that their recommendations against erring policemen during the tenure of former PNP chief-turned Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa were mostly approved. However, during the term of Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde, their findings were subjected to more scrutiny as directed by the PNP leadership.
It is a well-known fact that all PNP-IAS recommendations are subject to the approval of the sitting PNP Chief.
According to Rep. Nograles, the brotherhood among policemen had undermined the integrity of the present IAS due to allegations that top police officers covered-up their subordinates’ wrongdoings.
The lawmaker filed House Bill 3065 which would amend the Philippine National Police Reform Reorganization Act of 1998 to create an IAS that was outside of the PNP chain-of-command.
“The Internal Affairs Service of the PNP is an essential part of the disciplinary mechanism of the PNP. It serves as the monitoring body of the character and behavior of all policemen and operates as the investigating and adjudicatory body on all administrative offenses committed by PNP personnel,” Nograles said in his bill.
“As the office that oversees the conduct of the uniformed personnel, the IAS should be free from influence, pressure and intervention from the Chief PNP, and other high-ranking PNP officers in adjudicating administrative cases,” he said.
Nograles’ measure says that the PNP-IAS would be placed under the direct supervision of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government.
Aside from investigating and adjudicating administrative misdemeanors of policemen, the bill also seeks to grant the IAS recommendatory powers in the selection and promotion of PNP personnel.
Likewise, the IAS can assist the Office of the Ombudsman and other PNP disciplinary offices in cases involving policemen, he added.