DILG chief wants PNP investigators’ skills upgraded

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said there is a pressing need to enhance and upgrade the skills of police investigators to ensure conviction of culprits in criminal cases.

Abalos told a recent media briefing in Camp Crame his plan forms part of the efforts to further professionalize the police force.

“It is important that our police investigators are well versed in criminal law. Each criminal act has its own elements and for that, each one of the investigators must know these elements very well,” he added.

He said enhancing further the police’s investigation expertise is important as the fate of police cases depend on it. “This single act will determine whether or not the case would be dismissed or not. When it reaches the court, remember, the evidence  needed in criminal law is proof beyond reasonable doubt,” he stressed.

Abalos said he will order a review of the procedure for picking police investigators. “We will have to review how investigators are picked. Is this via a volunteer system? Is there an examination for this? Are they able to deliver?,” he stressed.

Based on the latest data, Abalos said the 220,000-strong PNP force has only 22,774 investigators, only 123 of whom are law graduates. He added DILG, PNP and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will partner together for a “sort of a mentorship” for police investigators to help them gather lawful and fool-proof evidence in cases.

“Remember, we are doing this so the people must have trust in the systems of government. And for this trust to be reinforced, the cases that are filed must result in convictions,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

From 2016 to July 15, 2022, he said a total of 291,393 drug-related complaints were filed by the PNP. Of these cases, some 21% or 62,000 cases resulted in convictions, 5,551 cases were dismissed by prosecutors while 5,753 cases were dismissed in court.

Abalos said some 223,579 cases (77%) remain pending and we  should keep a close watch on these cases.

PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. Meanwhile thanked the DILG and DOJ for their continued support for the Police. He said the program will promote a better working relationship among law enforcement agencies.

“This initiative aims to bring together professionals to increase cooperation and unity in our counter-terrorism and anti-criminality efforts to include information sharing in all agencies. We always instill in every PNP personnel the commitment to protect, respect, and fulfill the rights of every citizen and this is significant advocacy of the PNP’s goal towards genuine transformation,” Abalos stressed.