PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that authorizes the respective heads of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to summon persons vital to their investigations.
On March 1, Duterte inked Republic Act (RA) 10973, which amends 6975, or the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, to restore the subpoena powers of the PNP and PNP-CIDG.
Under the new law, the PNP chief and CIDG director and deputy director for administration are given consent "to administer oath and to issue a subpoena and subpoena duces tecum in relation to its investigation."
"The subpoena shall state the nature and purpose of investigation, shall be directed to the person whose attendance is required, and in the case of a subpoena duces tecum, it shall also contain a reasonable description of the books, documents, or things demanded which must be relevant to the investigation," RA 10973 states.
"Failure to comply with subpoena and subpoena duces tecum shall authorize the filing of a case for indirect contempt under the Rules of Cout with the Regional Trial Court," it adds.
At present, only the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation,the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Police Commission, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Cybercrime Investigation Coordination Center's Cybercrime Operation Center have the power to issue subpoenas.
The new law aims to strengthen the PNP and CIDG's capacity in gathering documents and securing witnesses in the conduct of its investigations. (SunStar Philippines)