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Monday July 16, 2018

Barrita: Special cops for lawmakers?

HOUSE Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Farinas has filed a bill creating a special police force for lawmakers.

House Bill 6208 proposes the creation of a Philippine Legislative Police (PLP) which will ensure our lawmakers’ safety and enforce Congress’ subpoena powers.

How many special cops do we need to secure 292 House members and 24 senators?

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This bill must swiftly pass through the legislative mill to secure our lawmakers and promptly execute their contempt powers against those who dare defy their subpoenas.

But we already have the Philippine National Police (PNP) whose members can amply provide security to our lawmakers.

Has the PNP failed our lawmakers?

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Farinas said Congress relies on law enforcement agencies under the executive branch of government to protect lawmakers and enforce its contempt orders.

This, he said, impairs to a large extent “the independence of Congress from the executive department.”

An independent Congress must have its own special police force. What else does Congress need to make it really and truly independent?

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At least three senators frowned on the idea of special police force for Congress. Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Antonio Trillanes IV said the PLP is not needed.

They said it will only mean additional expenses for the government. But do you spare any expense to secure a representative of the people?

Well, Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar visits his constituents in the north district alone, save for his driver.


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