The Philippine National Police (PNP) should exert utmost effort to resolve the crimes happening in the country in order to rekindle public trust in the country’s police force, senators said.
At the joint hearing of the Senate Committees on Justice and Human Rights and Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on the spate of killings in the Philippines under the Duterte administration, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa appealed to law enforcement authorities to focus their efforts at ensuring that crimes would be solved in order to satisfy the public’s demand for justice.
Dela Rosa, chair of the public order panel and administration ally, pointed out that people’s belief that police are involved in the killings will prevail if these cases remain unresolved.
“The policeman cannot be everywhere every time…but we know we can do something about it through active enforcement,” Dela Rosa told members of the PNP who were present during Senate’s Thursday public hearing.
“But once a crime has been committed, we should solve it immediately. Otherwise, if this crime that we were unable to prevent remains unresolved, the public would raise more questions about (the police capabilities),” said the senator, who was also former PNP chief.
The senator further pointed out that law enforcers’ inability to resolve crimes are making people wonder if cops themselves are involved in the commission of these offenses.
“They might say, the police involvement is possible, because not only were they unable to prevent it, they were unable to solve it,” he lamented.
“That’s why I advise you, to pour all your resources, all your efforts, time and energy to solve these cases,” reiterated the senator.
For his part, Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the justice and human rights panel, said the PNP should rethink its definition of “solved cases.”
Gordon, who initiated the investigation into the spate of killings in the Philippines, said police shouldn’t declare a murder case as “solved” if they fail to capture the mastermind of the killing.
He cited the case of the killing of lawyer WInstong Intong in Malaybalay City last Jan. 14, where the PNP reported that it has “solved” the case after capturing the gunman.
“The case is not solved until the primary people behind the killings are apprehended. So effort must be made by the police force to try and get the mastermind,” Gordon said.
“I don’t want people to say that the policemen are misleading the public by saying the case is solved when in fact it has not been solved,” he stressed.
In response, Sinas, during the hearing said, the PNP will review its 27-year old memorandum on cases that are considered solved.
Under the PNP’s Memorandum Circular No. 94-017, cases are considered as “solved” when the suspect has been identified, arrested and has been charged by the prosecutor’s office.