THE Philippine National Police leadership has proposed amendments on existing PNP procedures when it comes to placing erring officers and men under restrictive custody and specifically allowing the organization to charge those obeying their rules and regulations on restrictive custody with grave offense that will automatically merit their dismissal from the service.
The proposed amendments come in the wake of a recommendation for the National Police Commission to classify non-compliance of erring cops to a restrictive custody order as a grave offense punishable by dismissal.
This after officials admitted that the PNP has recently been placed on the spot relative to its powers in the implementation of a restrictive custody order considering the acts of disobedience to such order committed by PNP personnel under restrictive custody.
Scores of policemen who have been placed under restrictive custody in the past have shown utter lack of respect and disobedience to their custodians to the embarrassment of the organization.
They include police officers and men who were previously placed under restrictive custody after being accused of involvement in major crimes like murder, rape and robbery-extortion. Without any official warrant of arrest issued against them, some of these rogues went missing while under restrictive custody to the consternation of their custodians.
Last week, PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa ordered that the seven Angeles City policemen who were accused of abducting three Korean tourists last December 30 before robbing them of their cash and valuables and forcing them to produce P300,000 in cash for their liberty placed under restrictive custody.
The seven identified as Police Officer 3 Roentgen Domingo, PO3 Jose Yumul, PO2 Richard King Agapito, PO2 Ruben Rodriguez III, PO2 Rommel Manicdao, PO2 Mark Joseph Pineda and PO1 Jayson Ibe reported to the Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of the PNP Headquarters Support Service headed by Chief Superintendent Philip Gil M. Phillipps last Friday afternoon upon their relief from the Police Regional Office 3.
The move was made to ensure their availability to face further investigation and to prevent them from exerting undue influence on any ongoing investigation. While under restrictive custody, the seven will be confined to quarters and required to present themselves for physical accounting twice a day. They have also been stripped of their service firearms, said PNP spokesman, Senior Supt. Dionardo B. Carlos.
There is also the case of Superintendent Raphael Dumlao, the former team leader of the now disbanded PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group who questioned the order placing him under restrictive custody and even went to his house in Antipolo City two weeks ago while reasoning out that he is not the ‘Sir Dumlao’ being implicated in the abduction and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in Angeles City last October 18. Dumlao is now under detention after investigators convinced the court that he is really the ‘Sir Dumlao’ being linked to the gruesome case.
At present, there have been proposed amendments on PNP Memorandum Circular 2009-016 or the procedures governing restrictive custody. The circular defines restrictive custody and relative terms, prescribes the procedure for implementation of restrictive custody; and the consequent duties of the persons under custody and of the restrictive custody custodian.
Presently, the Chief, PNP may place PNP personnel under restrictive custody as specifically indicated in Section 52 of Republic Act 8551 or the PNP law which says that ‘the chief of the PNP shall have the authority to place police personnel under restrictive custody during the pendency of a grave administrative case filed against him or even after the filing of a criminal complaint, grave in nature, against such police officer.’
The Chief, PNP may also approve the recommendation of the Regional Director or Director of a PNP National Support Unit to place concerned PNP personnel under restrictive custody.
The RCC shall be in writing indicating the names of the PNP personnel who shall be subject of restrictive custody as well as the designated custodian.
The Chief of Office where the PNP personnel is assigned shall be the designated restrictive custody custodian unless terminated by the Chief, PNP.