Press Release
August 18, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe today lauded Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa for his responsiveness to comply with the law by ensuring the appointment of a qualified civilian to head the Internal Affairs Service (IAS).

"Iyan nga ang maganda sa inyong liderato. Mabilis talaga kayong gumalaw. At aaasahan po namin iyan. Kasi kami naman, ang trabaho namin hindi lamang magbalangkas ng batas kung hindi siguraduhin na may oversight," Poe told a Senate hearing after Dela Rosa assured senators that appointment of a competent civilian IAS chief is being considered.

The PNP Chief, in his earlier statements, stood his ground that appointment of a civilian IAS head may not work in effectively conducting investigation of high-ranking police officers being linked to illegal drugs, and added that senior police officers may "threaten" the civilian IAS chief. But Dela Rosa may have softened his stance, as Poe repeatedly urged that the PNP leadership shall abide by what is indicated in the law.

"We would like to acknowledge that the campaign against drugs is very important. On the other hand, we also have to maintain the rule of law and make sure that the rights of every individual are protected," Poe said.

"The appointment of General [Leo Angelo] Leuterio as acting head of IAS is temporary. Kapag medyo nag-settle na po kami, kapag na-address na po namin itong problema namin sa bulok sa aming hanay ay ipapasok na po namin yung sibilyan kapag medyo ito'y nawala na. But if you really want that to happen, right away ito ma'am, I can appoint a new IAS," Dela Rosa assured the senator.

Poe said, "I have no question about the credibility of the person who's heading the IAS now because I don't really know him yet. Ang punto po dito ay nasa batas po na talagang nakalagay, civilian ang dapat...Marami pong matatapang na sibilyan...May mga taong may kredibilidad, may tapang, mayroong malasakit sa inyong hanay na maiintindihan ang inyong mga gagawin."

Under Sections 40 and 41 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, the head of the IAS "shall be a civilian" to ensure impartial, independent and objective inspection and audit of personnel, and investigation of cases involving police officers; and shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Director General and duly endorsed by the National Police Commission.

During her stint as former chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs in the 16th Congress, Poe repeatedly called on the PNP leadership to abide by the law and appoint a civilian head of the IAS.

She had filed Senate Bill No. 868 or the proposed PNP-IAS Reform Act of 2016 that seeks to form an independent institutional watchdog for the police service and Senate Resolution No. 70 to look into the continued non-implementation of RA 8551 as regards the PNP-IAS.

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