131 cops axed for failing to testify in drug cases
- Michael Punongbayan () - January 25, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) commended the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday for dismissing 131 police officers from the service last year due to their failure to appear in hearings of illegal drug cases.

In its Operational Accomplishment Report for Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 last year, the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AID-SOTF) said 151 policemen were criminally charged, too, for failing to attend court proceedings of illegal drug cases, pursuant to Section 91 of Republic Act 9165.

DDB vice chairman Paul Oaminal lauded the PNP for its internal cleansing and enforcement of the provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Records show that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), as the country’s lead agency in fighting illegal drugs, forwarded to the PNP 519 illegal drug cases that were dismissed because 875 police officers did not fulfill their court duties as witnesses. 

In resolving this, the PNP ordered the dismissal from the service of 131 policemen while 125 personnel were meted penalties such as demotion, suspension, forfeiture of salary, and reprimand.

Oaminal said the DDB was further elated by the report that 151 police personnel were criminally charged in court for similar offenses based on Section 91 of RA 9165.

Under Section 91, any member of law enforcement agencies or any other government official and employee who, after due notice, fails or refuses intentionally or negligently, to appear as a witness for the prosecution in illegal drug cases, without any valid reason, faces imprisonment of not less than 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine of not less than P500,000, in addition to the administrative liability that may be imposed against him or her.

Oaminal said the filing of criminal charges against negligent policemen should serve as a warning to police witnesses to be diligent and committed in handling illegal drug cases.

DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY DRUGS ACT DRUGS BOARD DRUGS SPECIAL OPERATIONS TASK FORCE ILLEGAL OAMINAL OPERATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT REPORT PAUL OAMINAL PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE REPUBLIC ACT UNDER SECTION
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