PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Philippine National Police officer’s corps and rank-and-file welcomed the enactment of a law that will protect policemen from harassment cases and provide for a program of continuing education.
President Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law an act extending to five years the reglamentary period for complying with the minimum education qualification for appointment to the PNP and adjusting the promotion system thereof, amending for the purpose pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 6975 and RA 8551 and for other purposes,
“The PNP is very grateful to President Arroyo, the Senate and House of Representatives for passing and enacting this law,” PNP chief Director General Jesus A. Verzosa said.
He said the new law will benefit 8,400 uniformed personnel who have yet to complete the required college degree as minimum education qualification for appointment in the PNP.
The PNP chief said the new law will also allow police personnel to avail of career advancement opportunities in the service despite harassment cases filed against them before the Ombudsman, PLEB and other fora.
Verzosa cited Section 2 of the new law which provides that a police officer facing investigation shall be considered for promotion if the cases remain unresolved after two years.
“It is a fact that some of our police officers are themselves victims of harassment often by arrested persons who want to get back at their arresting officers,” said PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Leonardo A. Espina.
Director Edgardo E. Acuna, Chief Directorial Staff, said there was a consolidated effort to correct the practice which had caused demoralization in the service.
Scores of policemen with pending criminal and administrative charges, mostly arising from counter-suits filed by arrested crime offenders, had their chances of promotion greatly hindered by these cases. Some deserving policemen had even died or retired without getting their due promotion due to a provision in Republic Act 8551 which made some amendments in the original RA 6975 or the law that created the PNP.
RA 8551 says that those who are facing charges can not be promoted although in the original RA 6975, pending cases are not bar for promotion.
The PNP had called on the Senate to fast-track at least eight PNP legislative proposals that will help modernize the force and move it forward to truly serve and protect the community.
The PNP Directorate for Plans previously asked the Senate to include in its list of priorities the PNP Magna Carta Act, the PNP Legislative Bills amending certain provisions of Republic Acts 6975 and 8551; the PNP Modernization Plan; and the Amendments to RA 6963 otherwise known as ‘Granting Special Financial Assistance to the Family or Beneficiary of Any Police or Military Personnel or Firemen Killed or Permanently Incapacitated while in the Performance of His or Her duty.