PNP Chief should have summary powers to dismiss erring cops — Sen. De La Rosa

Published December 23, 2020, 2:59 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Ronald Dela Rosa on Wednesday said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief should be given authority to immediately effect the summary dismissal of any erring police official who is caught doing any illegal or criminal act.

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa
(Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa / Facebook page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dela Rosa made the remark after Police Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca shot to death a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac point blank following an altercation last Sunday afternoon.
He said there is a need to revisit Republic Act No. 8551, or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, which was enacted to strengthen the disciplinary mechanism of the national police.
The former PNP Chief pointed out there is a stark difference between the disciplinary mechanism of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
He pointed out that when a solider is at fault, he or she could be immediately detained by the commanding officer while that cannot be done in the PNP.
“Sa PNP, hindi mo pwedeng ikulong kung walang kaso…Hanggang walang kaso nai-file, hindi mo pwedeng ikulong yung tao na yan (In the PNP, you can’t jail officers until charges are filed. Until there are no cases filed against them, you cannot jail them,” Dela Rosa explained in an interview over ANC.
Dela Rosa said he agrees with Sen. Richard Gordon’s belief that a PNP Chief should be given authority to immediately order the dismissal of an erring police official especially if there is clear-cut evidence of liability.
The senator noted that under the law, the PNP chief already has summary dismissal powers but can this could only be exercised “after due notice and summary hearings.”
While due process is important, he said the case could drag the dismissal of erring officers over time.
“(A PNP chief should be able to dismiss them) right away…Then subject to appeal na lang kung mag-appeal sila,” he said.
In a related development, Dela Rosa reiterated the need for the Senate to hear the various proposals on the restoration of the death penalty, which has been languishing for years in the legislative mill.
He said the Nuezca’s cold-blooded killing of unarmed civilians, can be considered in the discussion on the death penalty bill.
“With that kind of incident, I think, we can amend the bill on death penalty during the debates,” he said.
However, he said, all bills tackling the death penalty are still languishing in the committee it was referred to. He also lamented that the Senate has not conducted any hearings yet on the measure.
“Hinihingi ko lang is that dapat magkaroon na ng Senate hearing dun sa mga bill nay un, dahil all those bills were filed at the start of the 18thCongress,” he further said.