(Eagle News) — Philippine National Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar gave the assurance mechanisms were in place to ensure legitimate police operations.
In a statement, Eleazar said the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service, for instance, 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 Operational 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.
Eleazar added the PNP has introduced the use of body-worn cameras by police personnel particularly in operations for the service of search and arrest warrants.
He said these will “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.”
According to the PNP, while there will “always be accusations of police abuse in all manner of our operations,” it would be detrimental for people “to give weight to all these attributions of wrongdoing on our policemen, even without proof..”
He said the police, as a result, “would no longer be able to effectively fulfill our mandate of fighting crime and keeping our communities safe.”
He gave the assurance the PNP itself does not condone wrongdoing, and is “swift and decisive” against the violators because “we have zero tolerance for law breakers in our ranks.”
“Such is the seriousness of our commitment to get rid of criminals and rogues in the police organization,” he said.
“Trust that the PNP holds our accountability with the highest consideration and will continue to work within the bounds of the law,” he added.
Earlier, international groups including the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission for the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice urged the police to conduct investigations into the killings, arrests, detentions, searches, and other forms of persecution of “human rights defenders.”
The groups alleged that search and arrest warrants were used by state forces to detain, harass, and kill activists.