MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday maintained that it continues to ensure police operations are compliant with its operational procedures and court orders.
PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar made the remark following calls by international groups, including the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission, for the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice to conduct investigations into the deaths, arrests, detentions, searches, and other alleged persecution of “human rights defenders”.
“While we acknowledge the concern of these groups, we would like to assure them that the PNP has not been remiss in ensuring that police operations are legitimately conducted,” Eleazar said in a statement sent to reporters.
The groups alleged that search and arrest warrants were used by state forces to detain, harass, and even kill activists.
He pointed out that the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) conducts motu proprio investigations on PNP operations where there are deaths, either of the suspects or of policemen.
“The IAS evaluates if there were violations in our Police Operating Procedures committed by police operatives and recommends the appropriate administrative sanctions, even dismissal from the service if there are findings of lapses on how a police operation was carried out. The IAS can also recommend the filing of criminal charges against erring policemen,” Eleazar said.
He said the PNP has also introduced a new safeguard against violations of procedure which is the use of body-worn cameras by police personnel particularly in operations for the service of search and arrest warrants.
“This would not only serve as the PNP’s guarantee to our countrymen that our personnel will abide by operational protocols, but also serve as our policemen’s protection against malicious and false accusations,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar acknowledged that there will always be accusations of police abuse in all aspects of their operations.
“But if we were to give weight to all these attributions of wrongdoing on our policemen, even without proof, we would no longer be able to effectively fulfill our mandate of fighting crime and keeping our communities safe,” he added.
He also assured that the PNP has zero-tolerance for lawbreakers and rogues among its ranks.
“Trust that the PNP holds our accountability with the highest consideration and will continue to work within the bounds of the law,” he added. (PNA)