Commission on Human Rights cautions Philippine National Police on subpoena powers
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure that the subpoena powers granted to its officials would not violate human rights.

CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said it recognizes the intent of granting subpoena powers to PNP, expressing hope that it will help in criminal investigation.

“We look forward to more cases being brought to justice, including those deaths linked to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs,” she said.

“We emphasize, however, that this new authority is not unlimited and should be within the bounds of our Constitutional rights, laws, Rules of Court, and jurisprudence in the interest of upholding the rule of law and human rights for all,” she added.

President Duterte last week signed a law amending the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 and gave subpoena powers to the PNP director general and deputy director for administration of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Several groups have raised concerns over the law, saying it may lead to abuse and human rights violations.

PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao assured the public that the powers will not be abused, saying there are safeguards to ensure transparency and accountability in using the subpoena powers.

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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