March 3, 2024

CHR supports new PNP program to reform its rank

The Philippine National Police has the mandate to serve and protect the people through law enforcement, crime control and prevention, peace and order, and internal security and safety. These noble functions necessitate credibility, integrity, and competence as with any public duties worthy of public trust.

In recent years, there have been many reported cases of human rights violations involving police officers, particularly in relation to the campaign against illegal drugs. The Commission on Human Rights has also received numerous complaints concerning various forms of police abuse, such as rape, violence, and killings related to personal conflict.

Implementing serious reforms is important in building and nurturing a law enforcement culture that upholds the rule of law and human rights. CHR is hopeful of the thrust of the new PNP Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. to reform the national police through the “Kapulisan, Simbahan, at Pamayanan, or the Kasimbayanan” program.

The CHR believes that collaboration with the community and faith-based leaders will help nurture a more compassionate police force. Collaborating and counseling with the community and the church can help the police officers to better understand the circumstances and root causes of crimes. This will enable them to implement crime control and prevention methods that are humane, holistic, and sustainable.

CHR also welcomes the plan of the PNP chief to review the curriculum and training programs for their new recruits and officers. The CHR regularly provides human rights education and training for police officers in partnership with the PNP-Human Rights Affairs Office. We are willing and ready to further work with the PNP in improving the curriculum and training programs.

In his recent remarks, PNP Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. also stressed that “killing is not the solution in drug war.” The CHR looks forward to its translation to human rights-based policing where due process consistently prevails and violence is significantly reduced, if not totally eliminated. It is also heartening that he intends to tackle the root causes of the drug problem, which will help ensure a long term solution that will truly benefit the communities.

In line with the proposed reform efforts, CHR equally hopes the PNP leadership will also prioritize ensuring accountability of erring police officers, especially those allegedly involved in deaths relating to anti-drug operations.

The Commission looks forward to better cooperation and collaboration to resolve cases involving law enforcers. This will also help to demonstrate the PNP’s commitment to human rights as part of its obligations and in accordance with its philosophy of “Service, Honor, and Justice.” — ATTY. JACQUELINE ANN DE GUIA, executive director, Commission on Human Rights