Tell it to SunStar: Form a Police/PDEA Defender’s Office now

(This is an open letter to anyone in the government who cares for the PNP/PDEA)

ONLY five percent of cases against elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) involve graft and corruption, like irregular bidding and purchases, yet the majority are harassment suits filed against police operatives.

The recipient of cases before the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) and the Office of the Ombudsman are mostly police operatives/Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents, who are just simply performing their duties like in anti-drug operations. It is very devastating that the PNP/PDEA, since its creation up to the present administration, has no institutional program or mechanism in defending its men/women from harassment suits.

This is the hard truth, the Legal Service is a misnomer, since it does not provide legal service to its members but acts as the legal team/office of the Regional Director and the PNP Chief/Director General (DG). What is worse is that the PNP Chief/PDEA DG simply accepts/implements dismissal/suspension orders from the Office of the Ombudsman without a fight.

Who are the usual victims? The police non-commissioned officer (PNCO)/agent who has no access to competent legal assistance, because a police officer always stands alone when he has a case. But the PNP Chief or those in the higher command does not suffer the same fate when they face complaints because dozens of lawyers will always come to their aid, much more they have monetary resources they could access and Chinese businessmen to finance their cases.

Dismissal orders from the Ombudsman/IAS if the PNP Chief/PDEA DG will just have time to review them are mostly the result of failure of the police/agent to make a proper defense or answer the complaint because he has no legal assistance.

Look at the House of Representatives. Its leader, the Speaker has the balls to defy a dismissal order from the Ombudsman, yet in the PNP/PDEA the officials are even the ones who will send their men to be eaten by the dogs of the drug syndicates.

Create the Police/PDEA Defenders Office now. A leader must always look after the welfare of its men. Long live the PNP/PDEA.--Clarence Paul Oaminal
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