BAGUIO CITY – Abra lawmaker Joseph Sto. Nino Bernos is pushing for reforms in the Philippine National Police at the heels of the public outrage in the killing of 17 year-old Kian delos Santos.
Describing the killing even as “horrendous”, Bernos, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety who chaired a Technical Working Group at the House of Representatives that has finalized a substitute bill reforming the country’s police force, said, “may this incident put more focus on the need to reform the PNP through doctrine and training development, instilling them the value of the rights of civilians and the importance of the criminal justice system while effectively enforcing the laws of the land.”
The Abra lawmaker, who was a three-term town mayor in La Paz, Abra and a member of the administration said, “while we support the anti-illegal drugs drive of the government, we cannot tolerate the abusice actions of erring police officers, whom we entrusted to uphold the rule of law.”
Bernos called on the PNP leadership “to penalize the involved police officers with administrative and criminal charges.”
Beyond the outrage, “a modern and efficient PNP is in the pipeline to combat criminality, terrorism and narcotics,” the Abra lawmaker said, stressing, “with the current developments regarding public safety and the number of complaints against abusive policemen, I am optimistic that the substitute bill modernizing and reforming the PNP will be swiftly approved by the Committee and by the entire House, who believe that the national police should be capacitated towards a more effective practice of law enforcement.”
The substitute bill now ready for discussion by the House Committee and soon at the House plenary, consists of chapters on the organizational, personnel, financial, infrastructure and acquisition developments within the PNP.
It also includes a chapter on the Internal Affairs Service and how erring policemen can be disciplined in accordance with a distinct police justice system.
Bernos hopes high for the success of the substitute bill. “Its passage is an urgent matter.”
Among those included in the draft substitute bill approved by the TWG are: the administrative and operational supervision and control of the Philippine National Police Academy will be transferred from the Philippine Public Safety College to the PNP; the procurement system within the bounds of the Government Procurement and Reform Act while having special provisions to ensure efficient acquisition of weapons and equipment; changing of rank titles to reflect military style; and increased role for the PNP on internal security operations, among others.
Bernos sees the draft bill as a tool for real change in the PNP, which is still wrought by negative public perceptions amidst allegations of corruption within its ranks, among others including recent events putting the national police into the limelight again. “Through legislation, we can effect change to the PNP,” the Abra lawmaker said, reiterating, “through this bill, we are adapting the PNP to the changing times and to the current state of affairs in the country.”
It is high time, Bernos reiterated, “(that) we carve out a more active and more conscientious police force to keep the people and the communities safe. ACE ALEGRE / ABN
represented by Mayor ROMEO K. SALDA and Dr. ANTONETTE P. AGPAS, Health Service Office, herein after to as the party of the first part and...