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Subpoena powers for police urged

A member of the Senate majority bloc filed yesterday a bill seeking to increase the investigative capability of the Philippine National Police (PNP) by restoring its power to subpoena people and documents for investigation.

Sen. Panfilo M ,Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order and illegal drugs committee, filed Senate Bill 1052 that seeks to strengthen the authority of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) (now the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group or CIDG), to issue subpoena by amending Republic Act (RA) 6975, the measure establishing the PNP.

Lacson said that under the present law, the CIU (now CIDG) is mandated to undertake the monitoring, investigation and prosecution of all crimes involving economic sabotage, and other crimes of such magnitude and extent as to indicate their commission by highly-placed or professional criminal syndicates and organizations.

“Hence, it is somewhat contradicting that the primary investigative unit does not possess the power to issue administrative subpoenas for the conduct of their mandated duties,” Lacson said.

Senate Bill 1052 has been referred to Lacson’s committee. (Mario Casayuran)