May 05, 2015, Tuesday
Page 4 of 101
PNP Assures Protection of Prisoner’s Rights
The Philippine National Police yesterday assured anew full protection of persons undergoing custodial investigation.
The PNP made the assurance amid a recent agreement with their Southern Asian counterparts to fully promote a human rights-based policing system while fighting crime and terrorism.
PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina said that there is a standing PNP policy against human rights violation. He warned that officers and men who will be found guilty of violating the rights of crime offenders will face criminal and administrative charges.
Lastweek, top Southeast Asian police officials have vowed a much stronger push for the protection of human rights in the region after signing a joint communiqué in which they vowed to adhere to the principles of rule of law and justice and fully promote a human rights-based policing system as they jointly battle transnational crimes and terrorism.
Espina said there is a standing PNP order directing unit commanders to allow representatives of the Commission on Human Rights to conduct surprise visits on police lock-up facilities in order to check any possible abuses.
He also maintained that all persons undergoing custodial investigation must be given their full rights and legal protection according to international standard as part of the PNP’s massive transformation program focused on promoting human rights.
To also address the issue on overcrowded police jails, the PNP leadership ordered concerned PNP offices and units to undertake the following directives:
First, when the case against the prisoner is already filed in Court, the PNP unit concerned shall verify with the Court whether or not a commitment has already been issued.
Second, when the commitment order has not yet been issued by the Court, the Chief of Police or the Head of the PNP unit must write a formal request letter addressed to the Clerk of Court for the issuance of a commitment order to the BJMP in the place or territory where the prisoner is being tried.
Third, when the commitment order has already been issued by the Court, the Chief of Police or the Head of the PNP unit must ensure that the prisoner is immediately delivered, without delay, to the jail indicated in the commitment order, and fourth, prosecutors handling the case must be reminded that the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame is only used as temporary detention facility for persons under custodial investigation.
Police have also been told to address overcrowding in temporary lock-up cells to prevent custodial prisoners from escaping.