Fewer cops face administrative cases

AN official of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) said there are fewer policemen in Region I charged administratively since the assumption of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lawyer Edwin Mapili, Pangasinan’s Napolcom director and concurrently assistant director of Region 1, said in 2016, there were 37 administrative cases tried.

In 2015, there were 69 cases heard, Mapili said.

“Our presumption why there were fewer cases was when the Duterte administration took over, the police were either focused on their anti-illegal drugs operation for Double Barrel project or policemen were afraid to be charged considering that the Chief Executive is focused on disciplining the police,” Mapili said.

There are six new cases filed regionwide in January 2017, he said.

Charges were mostly on grave misconduct like physical injuries, irregularity in the performance of duty, violation against women, among others.

Only one case involves the implementation of Oplan Tokhang for alleged illegal arrest, robbery, planting of evidence during drug sting, Mapili said.

Most of those charged are police non-commissioned officers whose ranks range from Police Officer 1 to senior Police Officer 4, he said.

Mapili took exception to allegations made by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption that policemen who were ordered dismissed from service were reinstated for a fee.

He said when an accused policeman is ordered dismissed from service, the Napolcom decision is immediately executory.

“But the respondent has the right to appeal his case from Napolcom to the Civil Service Commission, Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court,” Mapili said.

He added, “If the findings of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals go to the reversal of the decision, the accused would be reinstated to the police service.”

Mapili said it can also be that the Supreme Court would decide for demotion in service only of the policeman with penalties.

“So it is thorough process,” he said. (Tita Roces)