PNP denies ‘law weaponization’ tag over activist’s arrest

PNP denies ‘law weaponization’ tag over activist’s arrest

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday took exception to allegations that it is weaponizing the law against dissent.

“It is not the PNP’s way to use the law to attack any citizen whom we are sworn to protect and serve. Our role is only to enforce what the law provides,” said PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, in a statement.

Eleazar’s remarks came following the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) call for an investigation into the arrest of Anakbayan Naga City chairperson Sasah Sta. Rosa on May 2 on charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The constitutional body also described the PNP’s act as a weaponization of the law against state dissenters.

Eleazar maintained that police officers observe the proper operating procedures in serving search and arrest warrants.

“We have, in law, what we call the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties to enable us to effectively dispense our functions. This can only be overturned by clear and convincing proof to the contrary,” he said.

Eleazar said citizens have the right to file a complaint if they claim any irregularity on the acts of police officers and if they have evidence to support their allegations.

“We are open to any investigation and whatever the outcome, we will accept and abide,” he added.

Eleazar, meanwhile, said he is looking forward to the finalization of protocols by the Supreme Court on the use of body-worn cameras in police operations, particularly in the service of arrest or search warrants issued by courts. (PNA)

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