(Eagle News) — More than 200 police personnel were penalized for failing to attend court hearings in cases filed by the Philippine National Police.
According to the PNP, of the 211 policemen, 83 were dismissed from the service, 31 were demoted, 92 were suspended, while five were reprimanded.
The Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management also reported that of the 83 policemen dismissed from the service, 10 of them failed to appear in hearings stemming from illegal drugs cases filed.
The period covers January 2020 to June 3, 2021.
“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,” PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar said.
Based on DIDM data, there are 1,428 pending administrative cases for non-appearance in both drug and non-drug related cases, not necessarily covering the period in question.
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.
The PNP chief also ordered the DIDM to submit a report detailing the reasons why police personnel are failing to appear in court cases.
“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 (Everything we do will be for naught because if we don’t make sure they face the bar of justice, they will only get back to our communities and start selling illegal drugs to the detriment of our countrymen),” he added.