UNLESS Congress amends the law, the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service cannot separate from the PNP and demand a separate adjudicatory power over erring police personnel, PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gambia told the Journal Group.
Gamboa recently met with IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo to discuss current issues raised by the latter. “We had a very fruitful meeting,” he said. However, he admitted that it’s really a complicated thing since IAS can’t separate from the PNP unless Republic Act 8551which established the PNP under a re-organized Department of Interior and Local Government on February 25, 1988 is amended.
The PNP-OIC said he will be discussing the issue with Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año which also chairs the National Police Commission very soon. The PNP chief also sits as an ex-officio member of the Napolcom.
Triambulo is seeking the separation of the IAS from the PNP to give them more power to investigate and prosecute erring members of the police force.
However, Gamboa, who like Triambulo is a lawyer, said that the IAS can only separate from the PNP once RA 8551 is amended.
Section 39 of RA 8551 created the IAS of the PNP which was given the authority to: pro-actively conduct inspections and audits on PNP personnel and units; investigate complaints and gather evidence in support of an open investigation; conduct summary hearings on PNP members facing administrative charges; submit a periodic report on the assessment, analysis, and evaluation of the character and behavior of PNP personnel and units to the Chief PNP and the Commission; file appropriate criminal cases against PNP members before the court as evidence warrants and assist in the prosecution of the case; and provide assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman in cases involving the personnel of the PNP.
The IAS was also authorized by RA 8551 to conduct “motu proprio, automatic investigation of the following cases: incidents where a police personnel discharges a firearm; incidents where death, serious physical injury, or any violation of human rights occurred in the conduct of a police operation; incidents where evidence was compromised, tampered with, obliterated, or lost while in the custody of police personnel; incidents where a suspect in the custody of the police was seriously injured; and incidents where the established rules of engagement have been violated.
Section 41 of RA 8551 says that the Inspector General shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the (PNP) Director General and duly endorsed by the Napolcom.
The law also says that the Napolcom shall establish the promotion system within the IAS which shall follow the general principles of the promotion system in the PNP. It also explicitly says that “any personnel who joins the IAS may not thereafter join any other unit of the PNP. Neither shall any personnel of the IAS be allowed to sit in a committee deliberating on the appointment, promotion, or assignment of any PNP personnel.”
Gen. Gamboa said they have also agreed that the case of Lieutenant Joven de Guzman, one of the 13 alleged ‘Ninja Cops’ who was also implicated in a highly-irregular anti-narcotics raid in Antipolo City in Rizal last May will be remanded and they will come up with a resolution regarding the matter very soon.
Three of the 13 alleged ‘Ninja Cops’ accused of involvement in a highly-irregular anti-drug operation in Pampanga in 2013 have been dismissed from the service for their role in another shady anti-narcotics raid in Antipolo City.
Gamboa identified the three as Police Master Sergeant Donald Roque, Police Master Sergeant Rommel Vital and Police Corporal Romeo Encarnacion Guerrero Jr.
The three ironically were among the 14 policemen led by resigned PNP chief, Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde who were included in an amended criminal complaint filed by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group before the Department of Justice in connection with the 2013 Pampanga operation.
Gamboa told newsmen at Camp Crame that the case of de Guzman is still being reviewed by the IAS. “Itong si De Guzman was only meted 59 days of suspension... that’s why it is back in IAS. I supposed kung ako magbigay ng deadline sa IAS, di aabutan ng isang linggo,” Gamboa explained.
The PNP-OIC said that there were really seven policemen involved in the highly-questionable Antipolo City drug raid.
The other three identified as Police Staff Sergeant Stephen Domingo, Patrolman Lester Velasco and Patrolman Eduardo Soriano II, were also dismissed from the service.