IAS separation from PNP may not be necessary – DILG

Loreben Tuquero
IAS separation from PNP may not be necessary – DILG
The Internal Affairs Service calls for separation from the PNP following the 'ninja cops' controversy

MANILA, Philippines – Proposals to separate the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) from the Philippine National Police (PNP) “may not be necessary,” Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said on Thursday, October 17.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Representative Koko Nograles earlier said the issue of “ninja cops” – cops recycling illegal drugs seized during operations – should fast-track the approval of his bill to strengthen the internal affairs body. 

He filed a house bill seeking to amend Republic Act 8551 of the PNP Reform Reorganization Act of 1998 to create an internal affairs unit apart from the PNP structure.

The “ninja cops” controversy revolves around allegations that PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, who has since stepped down from his post, intervened in a cover-up of a 2013 Pampanga anti-drug operation. The investigation led to rogue cops being ordered to be dismissed from service. (READ: ‘Spectacle of a grand cover-up’: Senate hearing bares how ‘ninja cops’ remain in service)

Nograles pointed out that the “brotherhood system” of the PNP has diminished the integrity of the IAS.

Malaya responded that while the agency supports measures that will strengthen the IAS, the proposal to make it independent will have a “lot of repercussions,” including its impact on the existing structure of the PNP.

According to a Philstar report, IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo proposed that the handling of administrative cases be taken from National Police Commission (Napolcom) and limit it to formulating policy. This will allow only the IAS to inspect and audit the police force.

Triambulo brought up the proposed amendment to RA 8551, pointing out that independent IAS counterparts in other countries are feared by police scalawags.

Malaya said the proposal would be studied carefully, saying modifications may be more plausible. “It would be possible [for us to] just make modifications on the command and reporting line to the chief PNP and [Secretary of the] DILG. And, according to Secretary [Eduardo] Año, its decisions will be executory, even under appeal,” he said.

“It may not be necessary to remove IAS completely from the PNP, but make them report directly to the chief PNP and SILG. And once the decision has been made, it is immediately executory,” he added.

Currently, the IAS is under the supervision and control of the PNP chief, thus subjecting their recommendations to the chief’s review and approval.

Nograles said that the IAS should be “free from influence, pressure, and intervention” from top officials of the PNP in deciding administrative cases.

Thus, he proposed to transfer the supervision and control of the IAS from the PNP to the DILG. Apart from this, his proposal also aims to provide the IAS the power to recommend the selection and promotion of PNP personnel. Currently, an advisory board composed of top officials handles the recommendation of assignments for high positions.

The proposed body will also have separate staffing and recruitment modes for its personnel. – Rappler.com

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Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.