MANILA–A joint Senate panel committee report on Monday listed several recommendations and proposed legislative measures to prevent and avoid a repeat of incidents such as the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. that implicated police officers of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Region 8 (CIDG-8).
The committee report was conducted jointly by the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Sen. Panfilo Lacson and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon.
Lacson, who sponsored the report in the Senate floor, said the conclusion was that Espinosa’s killing was “premeditated” on the part of CIDG-8.
In August 2016, the late Espinosa surrendered to authorities after his name was included in a list of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs. He was killed November 2016 in his detention cell after allegedly trying to fight back.
Among the committee report’s recommendations are stiffer penalties for false testimony or perjury noting that the damage or injury caused by perjury upon an innocent person is no less similar to that of planting of evidence.
The report also recommended the enactment of an “Anti-Contraband in Prison Act” penalizing those who would provide prohibited objects or contraband inside a prison facility.
Another recommendation was to strengthen the functions and mandate of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the PNP to make the disciplinary system “more timely, transparent and efficient.”
Finally, the report recommended a review on the foundation of police training in the Philippines or the law creating the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) either by strengthening it or by transferring control over training from the PPSC to the PNP.
This way, resources of the government in re-training and re-orienting erring police officers will not be wasted. It will also help instill the right culture, values and discipline expected from our uniformed personnel.