Press Release
August 2, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe today called for the immediate appointment of a competent and independent civilian as head of the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) in the light of reports that active police personnel are purportedly involved in illegal activities.

Poe filed Senate Resolution 70 to look into the continued non-implementation of Republic Act No. 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, which mandates that the head of the Internal Affairs should be a civilian.

"It is high time that an independent and objective IAS should be put in place to effectively carry out its mandate in support of the renewed vigor of the PNP's campaign to eradicate criminality by keeping the same within the bounds of the law," Poe emphasized.

Poe maintained that she fully supports the anti-illegal drug campaign of the Duterte administration to get rid of scalawags in the police service, but a balancing act of appointing a civilian Inspector General as head of the PNP-IAS is in order to proactively conduct inspections and audits on PNP personnel and units, investigate complaints and gather evidence in support of an open investigation, probe incidents where death, serious physical injury or any violation of human rights occurred.

Poe, former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, earlier filed Senate Bill No. 868 or the proposed PNP-IAS Reform Act of 2016 that seeks to form an independent institutional watchdog for the police service.

"It is very challenging for the PNP-IAS to police its own ranks and conduct fair and impartial investigations if its head is among the active personnel of the PNP who may be blinded by camaraderie and seniority. We have already seen that in previous cases," added the senator.

In the two legislative hearings conducted during the previous Congress, Poe's committee found that IAS has limited authority in making mere recommendations against erring PNP personnel, subject to review and approval of the PNP Chief, that led to inefficiencies in resolving administrative and criminal cases involving police officers.

The President earlier said that he will not condone the acts of police officers implicated in drug trafficking and illegal activities that destroy people's lives.

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