House approves bill that returns PNP CIDG's subpoena powers

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 21, approved on 3rd and final reading a bill that would restore the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)'s authority to issue subpoenas. 

Voting 193-7, the House approved House Bill Number 4863, or the "Strengthening The Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation And Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) By Restoring Its Authority To Issue Subpoena Ad Testificandum Or Subpoena Duces Tecum."

The bill ammends Republic Act 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990. The bill, sponsored by former cop Antipolo City 2nd District Representative Romeo Acop and Surigao del Norte 1st District Representative Francisco Jose Matugas, allows the director and deputy directors of the CIDG the power to administer oaths upon cases under investigation, as well as issue subpoenas. 

Should a person refuse to show up or show relevant documents, they can be compelled to do so only by a trial court. 

The bill intends to "strengthen" the CIDG's capacity to gather documents and interview witnesses in an investigation. 

Currently, CIDG personnel can only invite possible persons of interests in investigations. A person can ignore or decline the letter, without any immediate consequences.

The CIDG investigates and pursues different cases – from violations of the Revised Penal Code, economic sabotage, notorious crime groups and wanted persons, violations of special laws, and attrocities by Communist groups, among others.

Read the bill in full here: