Napolcom conducts FGD for law enforcers, prosecutors to raise conviction rate

February 21, 2014 12:37 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 21 — The National Police Commission (Napolcom) has taken initial steps to increase the conviction rate in drug cases and heinous crimes through a Focus Group Discussion (FGD).

In a statement, Napolcom Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Eduardo U. Escueta said the FGD identified areas for improvement in enhancing the relationship and coordination between law enforcers and prosecutors in the handling and management of heinous cases, including illegal drug cases.

Escueta added the congruence in the decision-making between police and prosecutor has a momentous impact on the workings of the criminal justice machinery.

Escueta said the problems to be addressed are lack of prosecutors during weekends and holidays, difference in the appreciation of evidence between prosecutors and law enforcers, mutual antagonism and mistrust, culture of finger pointing and blaming, and law enforcers' refusal to attend court hearings.

Among the solutions recommended by the FGD are conduct of trainings for investigators to enhance their competence; deployment of lawyers from the PNP Legal Service to police stations to fast track the filing of cases; and strengthening of coordination between the prosecutors and law enforcers through trainings, conferences and dialogues.

For his part, Napolcom Commissioner Luisito T. Palmera said that with better coordination and collaboration between prosecutors and enforcers to build a strong case against arrested criminals, conviction rate will certainly improve.

Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony D. Fadullon of the National Prosecution Service, Department of Justice (DOJ), one of the resource speakers, expressed his support to the move for a collective action through the FGD in line with President Benigno S. Aquino's program to raise the conviction rate in all courts nationwide.

Among the resource speakers who shared their insights and best practices during the two-day focus group discussion which was attended by 70 stakeholders were Chief Supt. Benjamin B. Magalong of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Atty. Marina B. Ching of the Supreme Court, Deputy Chief Public Attorney Silvestre A. Mosing of the Public Attorney's Office and Mr. Ka Kuen Chua, President of the Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order.

Director Myrna DP Medina, Service Chief of the Napolcom Crime Prevention and Coordination Service, said that the Napolcom Technical Committee on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice has formulated its Crime Prevention Strategic Plan for the period 2012-2016. She underscored that one of the key result areas of the said plan is the Research and Development and Policy Formulation which aims to provide updated and integrated information and studies on issues and concerns affecting the Criminal Justice System through the conduct of researches and studies.(PNA)

JBP/CLTC

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