House panel OKs subpoena powers for CIDG
HIDDEN AGENDA - Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - November 21, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The House committee on public order and safety has approved a proposal seeking to grant subpoena powers to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to improve its performance.

The committee, whose chairman is former police general and now Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, approved House Bill 2993 authored by Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas, who lamented the policemen’s inability to produce documents and witnesses. 

“This bill seeks to remedy that situation by giving the PNP-CIDG subpoena/subpoena duces tecum  (personal appearance to produce relevant documents) powers in relation to the conduct of investigations,” Matugas said, referring to his pet bill that he described as essential to the completion and fast-tracking of cases’ investigation. 

“It is surprising that the PNP-CIDG, which is the country’s main law enforcement agency has no power to issue subpoenas, which plays a significant role in any fact finding or investigation,” the lawmaker from Mindanao added. 

Matugas noted the country’s statutes allowed some agencies to exercise the power to issue administrative subpoena and subpoena duces tecum such as the Office of the Ombudsman, Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Police Commission (Napolcom), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Cybercrime Operation Center of the Cybercrime Investigation Coordination Center. 

“There is no reason why we should not give the same power to the PNP-CIDG so that it can properly carry out its mandate,” Matugas said. 

According to Matugas, the lifeblood of an investigation is the flow of fact, the gathering, the organization and the analysis of evidence. 

“Investigations are useful for all administrative functions, not only for rule making, adjudication, but also for prosecuting, for supervising and directing, for determining general policy, for recommending legislation, and for purposes no more specific than illuminating obscure areas to find out what should be done,” Matugas explained.

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