There is a need to strengthen the People’s Law Enforcement Body (PLEB) to ensure that police officers maintain a very high degree of principle and dedication to their duties and oath, according to a lawmaker.
Rep. Eric Olivarez (1st District, Parañaque City) filed House Bill 3379, which seeks to reinforce the powers and functions of the PLEB by serving the cause of the people.
“It is a measure that guarantees to the public that our police officers are worthy of their trust, confidence and high regard,” Olivarez said.
Olivarez said in light of the fast paced development and urbanization of the cities and municipalities in the country, the inevitable increase in crime rates cannot be denied.
He noted that factors such as increase in the population, higher cost or standard of living, and poverty, among many others, expose the general public to many wrongful deeds and transgressions.
“During these times, the role of the police is much more highlighted. The threatened public needs more than ever the services of our police officers to ensure their safety and protection. In the same way, the compelling authority of the police officers serves as a very effective deterrent to criminals and other potential offenders,” Olivarez said.
The bill amends certain provisions of Republic Act 6975, otherwise known as the “Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990,” as amended by Republic Act 8551 or the “Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998,” to further strengthen the duties, functions and powers of PLEB which would ultimately gain them the respect and trust of the public.
Olivarez said the power and influence of the police officers is largely dependent on public approval of their existence, actions, deeds, manners and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
“To a certain extent, the perceptions of the public with respect to the reputation of our police officers are what enable the latter to fulfill their functions and duties,” Olivarez said.
Under the measure, Section 43 of RA 6975 as amended by Section 66 of RA 8551 is further amended to include the sentence, “A municipality with less than five hundred (500) police personnel shall utilize the PLEB of the nearest municipality.
This section is further amended to read: “The PLEB shall be the central receiving entity for any citizen’s complaint against the officers and members of the PNP assigned either temporarily or permanently in a particular city or municipality. The PLEB shall have original jurisdiction or take exclusive cognizance of all administrative cases filed against any member of the PNP assigned in a particular city or municipality or refer the compliant to the proper disciplinary or adjudicatory authority within three (3) days upon the filing of the complaint if the administrative case is filed against a member of the PNP not assigned in a city of municipality.”
The bill also further amends Section 43 of RA 6975 as amended by Section 67, Section 69 of RA 8551 and Section 71 of RA 8551. PNA