PNP sets up measures to prevent HR abuses

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is establishing stringent measures that will block all possible human rights violations during the course of regular and standard police operations.

PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo has identified protection of human rights as among his Eight Foundation Initiatives (EFI) and Operational Initiatives (OI).

“As an officer of the law, I believe that policing must be anchored on the basic tenets of human rights,” said Bacalzo, a lawyer by profession and a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class ‘77.

The PNP chief said that among the action programs under the human rights initiative is the continuous review of the Police Operational Procedures (POP) and putting up Human Rights Help Desks in all police stations.

Bacalzo likewise clarified published reports quoted by a national newspaper that 90 percent of police operations are tainted with human rights violation.

“It is very unfortunate that my address before the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) in the Cordillera last week was misinterpreted to mean otherwise,” Bacalzo said.

The PNP chief explained: “What I was actually driving at is that shortcuts and lapses can do lead to human rights violation without necessarily implying that human rights violation has become the virtual norm in police operations.”

He added that procedural shortcuts often resorted to by police investigators to circumvent the tedious requirements of due process must be stopped altogether through continuing review of the PNP’s Police Operational Procedures.

“The review is meant to plug loopholes and flag potential avenues and opportunities to commit violations. Upholding human rights is tied with implementing our police operational procedures properly,” Bacalzo said.  Anthony Vargas

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