By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — A first-ever memorandum of agreement between the Quezon City People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) and the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) will be signed this Monday (Aug. 1).
The signing will be held at 4 p.m. at the Mayor’s office in Quezon City Hall. PLEB will be represented by its Executive Officer, Atty. Rafael Calinisan, while the PNP-IAS is led by Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director P/MGen Felipe Natividad and Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director P/BGen Remus Medina will serve as witnesses.
The PLEB is the check and balance mechanism created by Republic Act 6975 or An Act Establishing the PNP Under A Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government and For Other Purposes as amended by R.A. 8551 (The PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998) where ordinary citizens are empowered against erring policemen.
The PLEB can summarily dismiss, suspend and reprimand abusive policemen. On the other hand, the PNP-Internal Affairs Service is the office under the PNP hierarchy where the police can discipline its own ranks.
The MOA aims to avoid conflict between the PNP-IAS and the PLEB with respect to jurisdiction of cases. There have been multiple cases in the past where rogue and scheming policemen have resorted to “legal technicalities” to have their cases dismissed allegedly due to “forum shopping.”
In addition, the MOA directly underscores the continuing partnership between the community and the police in ensuring a better and safer living environment. This also highlights the vision of the PLEB in Quezon City to be the show window of PLEB in the country.
“This MOA will eliminate any gray area in our quest to dispense justice. Victims of police abuses can freely choose where they would like to seek redress from, as they should. The PLEB will not be precluded from initiating and continuing its own investigation and resolution of police abuse cases just because the PNP-IAS has already conducted its own investigation,” Atty. Calinisan said.
“The PNP-IAS is the partner of the community in ensuring that policemen would serve and protect the country. Rest assured that with everybody’s help, the men in uniform, your PNP, will be servants of the people,” Atty. Triambulo said.
“In Quezon City, we will ensure that all systems are in place so the community will feel safe and secure in their homes. We commend our PLEB as they serve as an effective watchdog against abusive cops, yet they continue to serve as partners to our men in uniform towards nation-building,” Belmonte said. (ai/mtvn)