NEGROS Occidental Provincial Police Office (Noppo) Director Manuel Felix requested Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona Thursday to harmonize the rule on "reglementary period" being implemented by the prosecutors and judges.
In police work, reglementary period refers to the time frame within which the police can detain an arrested suspect prior to the filing of appropriate charges in court against him.
Violation of the reglementary period exposes police officers to the charge of arbitrary detention.
Felix cited the conflicting interpretation of some prosecutors and judges regarding the reglementary period.
He underscored the need to clarify the issue so that Noppo officers will be guided accordingly in the discharge of their official duties.
The province’s top cop forwarded this request to the Chief Justice during a dialogue at the New Government Center Thursday, where Corona and other Supreme Court officials were welcomed.
Among those present at the dialogue were judges, lawyers, police officers and Hall of Justice employees.
Judge Ray Allan Drilon of the Bacolod City Regional Trial Court appreciated the concern of Felix over his men, saying that police officers might be charged for arbitrary detention if they do not file the proper charges against the arrested suspects within the reglementary period.
Drilon stated that, according to the law, Sundays and holidays are not included in the reckoning of the reglementary period. He emphasized that Saturdays are included because “the courts are still open in Saturdays and the case could still be filed during Saturdays.”
The judge admitted that some prosecutors have a different interpretation on the reckoning of the reglementary period.
Drilon also hoped that the Supreme Court could lay down a final rule on the issue, noting that the Department of Justice never counts the Saturdays but only counts Mondays to Fridays.(Merlinda A. Pedrosa)