THE Philippine National Police leadership has reiterated that there will be no mercy on police officers and men who are directly or indirectly involved in illicit drug activities and those deliberately bungling drug cases in court saying those who will be found guilty of the serious offense will face dismissal from the service apart from a jail term.
The PNP headed by its Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa maintained that the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management has enough measures that will ensure the filing of air-tight drug charges against arrested drug personalities.
Gamboa said they are likewise ensuring there will be ‘certainty of conviction’ in every case for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 being filed by different NCRPO units.
The PNP leadership had underscored the need to strengthen the PNP’s legal offensive against illegal drugs noting that the ‘not so good presentation of evidence and case’ has resulted in the dismissal of cases for violation of RA 9165 filed by some policemen in the past
“We are seeing to it that all our efforts against drugs won’t go to naught and we are starting in our own backyard,” said Gamboa.
The PNP-DIDM headed by Major General Elmo Francis O. Sarona had long emphasized the need to follow their guidelines in the investigation, documentation and filing of drug-relates charges to ensure that the PNP will score more drug convictions in the future.
The Journal Group learned that the policies were issued 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. Since the PNP is the law enforcement agency tasked to carry out the government’s war on drugs in the grassroots level all the way to the top, the PNP leadership had vowed to give utmost priority in addressing the issue on illegal drugs and address it vigorously
The PNP-DIDM guideline ensures 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.
This comes in the wake of findings that thousands of RA 9165 cases filed in court by the police over the past few years have been dismissed by the court due 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.
Thus, the PNP leadership is seeing to it that their policies would 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.
Those officials have been required to see to it that they fully know and will sign the affidavits of arrest which will be presented in court. In the event that a drug-related case is dismissed or the accused is Released for Further Investigation, the Chief of Police, the Investigator-on-Case and the Arresting Officer will be subjected for investigation to determine if there have been irregularities or lapses in the preparation of documents pertaining to the filing of the RA 9165 case.
Last but not the least, in Metro Manila, all drug complaints prior to filing shall be reviewed and examined by the Legal Officers of the District Offices. A certification shall be issued to this effect and copies of the certification will be gathered by the Regional DIDM to be submitted to the PNP-DIDM office in Camp Crame.