PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, said tough guidelines in anti-drug operations are already in place over the past few years and all they need to do is to see to it that they will be strictly implemented.
The PNP chief assured the public that they have a no-nonsense policy when it comes to drug-dealing or drug-using police officers and men as well as those who are bungling drug cases or involved in irregularities while performing anti-drug operations.
“There have been guidelines and circulars about this. What we are doing is to monitor and see to it that they will be fully implemented to the hilt,” Gen. Albayalde said.
One of the guidelines was issued in 2015 by the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management then headed by Gen. Benjamin B. Magalong. The guideline pertains to the investigation, documentation and filing of drug-related charges in the country to ensure that the PNP will score more drug convictions in the future.
The directive prescribed the additional responsibilities of the Chief of Police, the Chief of the Investigation Office and the Investigator-on-Case in the preparation of affidavits, evidence and other documents required in the filing of cases for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the Journal Group learned.
The guideline remains in existence to ensure that there will be an increased PNP conviction rate when it comes to drug-related cases particularly those filed by the different provincial, municipal, city and station levels.
When he became the country’s 22nd PNP chief, Gen. Albayalde vowed to give utmost priority in addressing the issue on illegal drugs and address it vigorously.
The PNP-DIDM guideline ensured 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.
PNP-DIDM records showed that in 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 Republic Act 965 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were referred to the Prosecutor’s Office, 9,305 were filed in various courts and 716 were under investigation.
Alarmingly, a review of dismissed drug cases conducted by the PNP-DIDM that year showed a total of 1,538 RA 9165 cases were dismissed by the courts. Among the grounds for the dismissal of the cases were 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.
Knowing that illicit drug trafficking remains to be a perennial problem wreaking havoc on the society, the PNP leadership said the new guidelines should be followed to the hilt by all Chiefs of Police Station, City or Municipality or the Station Commanders in District Offices in Metro Manila or other Chartered Cities and Highly-Urbanized Cities and Municipalities as well as their Chief of Investigation Section/Branch/Division; their Investigator-on-Case who is duly designated to conduct the inquiry of the crime by following a systematic set of procedures and methodologies for the purpose of identifying witnesses, gathering and recovering evidence, arresting the perpetrators and filing of criminal cases; the Arresting Officer or the PNP Personnel, Barangay Official or Civilian making the arrest; the Desk Office or the Duty Police Non-Commissioned Officer in the police station detailed to receive and record complaints and reports of crime incidents and dispatches in the police blotter; and the Legal Officer or the Regional/District Legal Officer of concerned police districts in the National Capital Region Police Office.
Last week, Gen. Albayalde said that a total of 520 policemen who tested positive for substance abuse have been fired from the police force and more who will be found using shabu, marijuana and other prohibited drugs will be facing the same fate.
“I assure the Filipino people that there will be no second chance for them. Once a policeman test positive for drugs, I can guarantee you that he will be dismissed from the force since there is no room for drug-using personnel in our organization,” the PNP chief said.
From February 3, 2017 to last Sunday , the PNP-CITF has already arrested and jailed 90 police personnel, four of them police commissioned officers, the latest Supt. Jowen dela Cruz, e erstwhile Bocaue Municipal Police Station chief.