Senator Richard Gordon is now pushing for the bill that seeks to create a special court that would handle cases that have been filed against policemen.
In filing Senate Bill No. 2331, Gordon underscored the importance of holding erring members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) accountable for their crimes.
The bill, the senator said, will help pursue the filing of cases against members of the police force and reinforce the public’s trust on the country’s justice system.
The measure primarily seeks the creation of the Police Law Enforcement Court (PLEC), a specialized court handling cases involving its members.
“There exists a significant and overarching constitutional and fiduciary principle that those entrusted with public power are accountable to the public for the exercise of their trust,” said Gordon during his recent sponsorship speech of the measure.
“Our institutions must be seen as an instrument which signals competence and organizational trustworthiness. What we see and hear nowadays foster fear of the law enforcers. Kaliwa’t kanan na batikos ang inaabot ng PNP (PNP has been receiving lots of criticisms left and right),” he added.
Gordon assured that the bill is in no way a form of punishment, but a guarantee of efficiency in handling decisions and resolutions of cases.
“What we need is to restore the trust of the people in the PNP by having a special system that will expeditiously solve cases that involve the members of the PNP,” he said.
“This bill will provide the public fair, impartial and speedy disposition of complaints for violations of constitutional rights, PNP operational procedures and code of ethical standards,” he explained.
Under the measure, the Supreme Court shall designate a special court as the PLEC among existing Regional Trial Courts which will all handle civil and criminal cases committed by PNP members, whether on or off duty.
It also seeks to designate an appellate police court among the divisions of the Court of Appeals (CA) to handle all appeals stemming from the police courts.
According to Gordon, there are 398 criminal cases pending which involve police officers as defendants as of June 2021, based on data from the SC.