(L-R) ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio and PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc of the lower house of Congress believes the number of human rights violations in the country may rise due to the subpoena powers given to the Philippine National Police.
“Our primary concern is that it will result into the abuse of human rights and civil liberties of the people,” ACTS Teachers Party List Representative Antonio Tinio said.
A group of lawyers, the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL), shares the same view on the matter.
“It will open the opportunity to unlawful and illegal search, arrest and seizure of properties,” said NUPL president, Atty. Edre Olalia.
Tinio also raised alarm that the government might also soon give similar powers to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The Makabayan bloc said it is open to question the new law, but noted it will study first its possible violations of the Constitution.
On the other hand, PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa vowed that the police will not abuse the use of such powers.
He added that the subpoena powers will greatly help the PNP in investigating cases as it will speed up the release of required documents or persons.
PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) legal division chief PSupt. Joseph Orsos, initially revealed that anyone who ignores the subpoena of the PNP can be detained.
“It can be considered as contempt of higher court, meaning RTC (Regional Trial Court). It’s not only a contemptuous act against the MTC (Municipal/Metropolitan Trial Court), meaning you can be incarcerated for up to 30 days,” said Orsos. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue