PROPOSED legislation seeking to restore the subpoena powers of the country’s top investigative unit should be welcomed by all sectors of society.
In the view of various quarters, it seems absurd that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is not authorized to issue subpoenas.
No less than Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, a former chief of the national police agency, said that these powers are indispensable to carry out CIDG’s mandated investigatory functions.
“Kung ang top investigative unit po ng ating bansa ay walang subpoena powers, maitutulad po natin ito sa isang auto na walang gasolina – walang mararating,” said Lacson.
In his sponsorship speech, the soft-spoken but hard-working Lacson said Senate Bill (SB) No. 1239 seeks to restore the subpoena powers of the CIDG director and his/her deputies.
Without subpoena powers, the lawmaker from Cavite said it’s difficult to imagine how the PNP’s investigative arm could have a complete and thorough output in search of the truth.
And we agree with the former police general, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, that “kung walang subpoena powers, lagi pong kulang at bitin ang imbestigasyon.”
This is unacceptable because even the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, National Police Commission and the Bureau of Immigration have the power to issue administrative subpoena and subpoena duces tecum.
Besides, the defunct Criminal Investigation Service (CIS) was authorized to issue subpoenas.
If our legislators – senators and congressmen - want the crusading Duterte administration’s anti-crime campaign to succeed, then they should hasten the approval of SB No. 1239.