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Stiffer penalties for cops taking money from detainees before release urged

September 8, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 696 views

A neophyte solon urged the Philippine National Police to slap stiff penalties on police officers found to have extorted money from detainees before releasing them.

Rizal Representative Fidel Nograles called on the attention of the PNP officials on this illegal activity by some policemen.

“This corrupt practice should be weeded out, and cops found to be at fault should be heavily penalized. Nakakahiya ang ganitong modus at hindi dapat pabayaan ito ng liderato ng PNP,” Nograles said.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Monday ordered the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group to conduct an investigation on cops who allegedly have been deliberately delaying the release of detainees despite the issuance of a court order or having posted bail.

“I have received complaints about the alleged illegal activity of some corrupt police officers who deliberately delay the release of detainees even though there is a court order,” Eleazar said.

Nograles, vice chair of the House Committee on Justice, called the practice “predatory,” as those who are forced to pay are most likely the poor who do not have the means to complain or seek legal counsel.

“Agents of the law are expected to combat crimes, not commit them.”

“Naghihirap ang mga tao dahil sa pandemya, idadagdag pa ang ganitong klaseng bayarin na hindi naman dapat. Huwag naman. Iwasan natin ang abuso,” Nograles added.

Nograles, a lawyer by profession and leads a legal aid foundation, vowed to mobilize legal aid groups to help detainees who have been extorted by cops.

He is the founder of Lakbay Hustisya, a group advocating free legal consultations for poor inmates.

The neophyte solon urged victims or their families who wish to pursue legal action to come forward and coordinate with the foundation.

“Tutulungan po namin kayo na mapanagot ang mga nagsamantala sa inyo. Kontakin lang po ninyo ang aming opisina,” he said.