The head of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) said they will only issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum on high-profile and sensational cases which need speedy resolutions.
CIDG Director Roel Obusan said “more high profile cases are being committed by the wealthy or well-learned individuals while the criminals on the street are more on petty crimes.”
He allayed the fears of the public that the subpoena power which has been restored by virtue of Republic Act 10973 is anti-poor.
The measure grants the PNP chief, the CIDG director and the deputy director for administration the authority to administer oath and to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum in relation to the investigation of cases.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque expects the PNP to reserve its subpoena powers only in “extreme circumstances”.
“I suppose because of the fact there are limited signatories to the subpoenas that it will be reserved for the extreme circumstances where individuals have absolutely refused to cooperate in an ongoing police investigation,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
RA 10973 provides that the subpoena must state “the nature and purpose of the investigation, shall be directed to the person whose attendance is required.” The subpoena duces tecum, on the other hand shall contain a reasonable description of the books, documents or things demanded which must be relevant to the investigation.
Failure to comply with the subpoena shall authorize the filing of a case for indirect contempt under the Rules of Court with the Regional Trial Court.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa for his part said he will not use the subpoena power as long as the CIDG functions well.
“On my part, why do I have to use that power if I have a functioning CIDG? The law states that in the absence of the CIDG director and deputy director for administration, no one else is allowed to issue subpoena but me. But if they are there and they are functioning, why do I have to act as an investigator?” Dela Rosa told a news briefing.
“Baka sabihin niyo gamitin ko ‘yan against the political enemies of the Duterte administration. Rest assured never ko ‘yang gagamitin hangga’t functioning ang CIDG (You might say that I will use it against the political enemies of the Duterte administration. Rest assured that I will never use it so long as the CIDG is functioning well,” he added.
However, the chief PNP said the CIDG director and the deputy director should notify him first if they are going to issue subpoenas in adherence to the principle of chain of command.
“In our organization, we always follow the chain of command. So it is incumbent upon the issuing authority na magpaalam sa chief PNP (to inform the chief PNP), but then again it is not required by the law. Administratively, they have to do that but legally, they don’t,” Dela Rosa clarified.
There is also no need to issue administrative orders or implementing rules and regulations (IRR) with regard to the issuance of a subpoena.
“I don’t need to give the rules. It’s only the three of us [given that power.] You use your conscience. If that is really needed, use it. If it is not needed, then don’t. Use only your conscience, no need for rules,” Dela Rosa said.
The subpoena power, dela Rosa stressed will give hope to the families of victims whose case folders have long been archived because witnesses refuse to cooperate in the investigation.
“Andaming cases na nakapending sa investigation units ng PNP na cold cases dahil nga for lack of cooperation from the supposed-to-be witnesses. With this power mabubuhay itong mga kasong ito, hopefully mabigyang-linaw (There are a lot of pending and cold cases with our investigation units because of the lack of cooperation from supposed witnesses. With this power, those cases will be given a new life, hopefully, it will be solved),” he assured.
Source: TNP - Trending News Portal