211 cops penalized for failure to attend court hearings

211 cops penalized for failure to attend court hearings

By Arwen Pascua

MANILA — More than 200 policemen were penalized for non-appearance in court hearings in cases that were filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against arrested suspects in various police operations across the country.

In a report to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar, the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management(DIDM) said the penalties range from Reprimand to Dismissal From The Service.

The DIDM report was in compliance with PGen Eleazar’s order to account for all the PNP personnel who are either deliberately snubbing court hearings to testify or those who neglect to perform their duty of testifying in court against criminal suspects that they would arrest.

Of the 211 policemen penalized, a total of 83 of them were dismissed from the service; 31 were demoted, 92 were suspended, while five were reprimanded. The period covers from January 2020 to June 3, 2021.

The DIDM also reported that of the 83 policemen dismissed from the service, 10 of them were related to illegal drugs cases filed by the PNP.

“Ang aming mandato bilang mga pulis ay hindi nagtatapos sa pag-aaresto ng mga nagkasala sa batas. Kasama po sa tungkulin ng ating kapulisan ang pag-attend sa mga pagdinig ng kaso lalo na kung sila ay pinatawag ng korte o sila mismo ang arresting officer,” said PGen Eleazar.

“Effective law enforcement demands that criminal elements are not only arrested but are also punished through conviction. So policemen who can’t justify why they failed to appear in court to testify will definitely face administrative cases,” he added.

PGen Eleazar said the imposition of penalties against the policemen who failed to attend court hearings only proved that mechanisms are in place in the PNP to hold accountable those who would fail to exercise their duty as police officers.

“Ito ay nagpapatunay din na seryoso ang liderato ng PNP na itama ang lahat ng kamalian at parusahan ang dapat parusahan sa aming hanay dahil sa bandang huli, hindi lang ang PNP ang makikinabang dito kung hindi ang taumbayan na aming pinagsisilbihan,” said PGen Eleazar.

Based on the DIDM data, there are still 1,428 pending administrative cases being resolved for non-appearance in both drug and non-drug-related cases.

PGen Eleazar also ordered the DIDM to submit a report detailing the reasons why police personnel is failing to appear in court cases.

“Pag-aaralan at hahanapan natin ng paraan kung paano tiyakin ang pagharap sa korte ng ating kapulisan bilang mga testigo sa lahat ng kaso na aming isinasampa sa korte. Mahalaga ang papel na kanilang gagampanan para siguraduhin na mahatulan ng pagkakakulong ang ating mga nahuhuling lumalabag sa batas,” PGen Eleazar said.

He added, “Mababalewala lang ang ating panghuhuli dahil kung hindi natin titiyakin na sila ay mananagot sa batas, makababalik lang sila sa ating mga komunidad upang magbenta ulit ng droga at perwisyuhin ang ating mga kababayan,” he added. (AI/MTVN)

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