Police force to secure Congress guests sought

November 02, 2019

SENATE President Protempore Ralph Recto seeks to establish a police force primarily tasked at ensuring the security of members, officials, employees and guests of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the safety of its premises.

Recto said having a separate congressional police force would also ensure the independence of the Legislature from Malacañang or the Executive Department.

The senator has filed Senate Bill 1051, or “An Act to Ensure the Security of Members, Officials, Employees and Guests of Congress and the Safety of Congressional Premises, Creating for the Purpose the Congressional Police Force, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.”

Recto explained that while Congress has its own Seargeant-at-Arms, it traditionally relied on the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of its members and officers.

“In more than one occassion, Congress has had to rely on the military and police officers to perform functions essential to legislation, such as serving subpoenas, contempt orders, and warrants of arrest,” Recto said.  

“Such dependence on the executive agencies, while legally sanctioned, nonetheless impairs the independence of the Legislature and its capacity to establish its own security and operational protocols within its own premises,” he added.

Several other countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have also separate police organizations.

SBN 1051 seeks to create a Congressional Police Force mandated to maintain peace and order, safety and security in Congress, and to perform tasks essential for Congress to carry out its legislative mandates.