DDB lauds dismissal of erring cops

January 28, 2010 10:47 pm 

CEBU CITY, Jan. 28 – Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Vice Chairman and Undersecretary Paul Oaminal hailed the Philippine National Police (PNP) for dismissing 131 policemen from service and in filing criminal charges against 151 others for mishandling drug cases and failing to attend court hearings as witnesses.

Oaminal said he considered this “internal cleansing” of the organization from negligent cops.

He said the dismissal and filing of criminal cases against erring policemen proved that the government was serious in its anti-drug campaign.

The figures appeared in the accomplishment report of the PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, which covered the period from January to December last year.

The PNP’s administrative action resulted in the dismissal of 131 from the service, while 125 others were meted penalties, such as demotion, suspension, forfeiture of salary and reprimand.

”This will serve as a strong warning to all policemen for them to be diligent in handling drug cases,” Oaminal said.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency also forwarded to the PNP 519 illegal drug cases, involving 875 personnel as witnesses.

”These are drug cases that were dismissed due to the failure of the police-witness to attend. After validation of the forwarded cases, it was reconciled to be accounted at 637 drug cases with 813 police witnesses,” Oaminal said.

He said the filing of criminal cases against 151 police-witnesses is provided for under Section 91 of Republic Act (RA) 9165, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

”Any member of law enforcement agencies or any other government official and employee who, after due notice, fails or refuses intentionally or negligently, to appear as a witness for the prosecution in any proceedings, involving violations of the Act, without any valid reasons, shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine of not less than P500,000,” according to RA 9165.

”In addition to the administrative liability he/she may be meted out by his/her superior and/or appropriate body,” it said.

Oaminal hopes the no-nonsense action of the PNP would convince people that “our law enforcers are sincere in their effort and they are hereby enjoined to support the government’s vision of a drug-free Philippines.” (PNA) RMA/EB/re

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