Sponsorship Speech: Restoration of Subpoena Powers of the PNP CIU/CIDG

Mr. President, fellow members of this august chamber, I have the honor to report on the Senate floor Senate Bill No. 1239 entitled “An Act Amending Sec. 35 B (4) of Republic Act No. 6975, Otherwise Known as “An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under A Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government, And For Other Purposes,” as embodied in Committee Report No. 10, in substitution of Senate Bill No. 1052.

Related: The bill was signed into law on March 1, 2018.

Mr. President, the power to issue subpoena is commonly known to most Filipinos as lodged in our Courts of Law. However, this is not really accurate as we have statutes granting the power to issue administrative subpoena and subpoena duces tecum to various government agencies and instrumentalities such as the Ombudsman, Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, National Police Commission, Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Cybercrime Operation Center of the Cybercrime Investigation Coordination Center.

[Read: Senate Bill 1239, Amending Sec. 35 B (4), RA 6975 (PNP Reorganization Act)]

In fact, said power was vested upon the Criminal Investigation Service (CIS) under Section 6 of Republic Act No. 5750 which reads:

“Sec. 6. The Chief and Deputy Chief of the CIS shall have the power to administer oaths upon cases under investigation and to issue subpoena or subpoena duces tecum for the appearance at government expenses of any person for investigation or production of documents and other matters therein.”

Mr. President, when Republic Act No. 6975, otherwise known as the “DILG Act of 1990” was passed into law, it integrated the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police to establish the Philippine National Police (PNP). A review of this law would show that most of the powers were carried over except for the subpoena power.

Mr. President, it seems absurd that the CIU, now more known as the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), with a mandate to undertake monitoring, investigation and prosecution of all crimes involving economic sabotage and other crimes of such magnitude and extent as to indicate their commission by highly-placed or professional criminal syndicates and organizations, has lost its subpoena powers.

Going back in history, this unit even had the motto “We Seek the Truth.” Now, with the implied removal of its subpoena powers, I find it difficult to imagine how our PNP’s investigative arm could have a complete and thorough output in search of the truth. Kung wala pong subpoena powers, lagi pong kulang at bitin and imbestigasyon, Mr. President. Sayang naman po ang resources ng ating gobyerno.

Moreover, the CIDG envisions itself to be a dynamic, responsible and well-equipped primary investigative arm manned by the best qualified and highly-motivated professionals in search of truth and justice – emphasis on the word “well-equipped.”

My fellow colleagues, let us correct this oversight by restoring the subpoena powers of the CIDG Director and his/her deputies. It is submitted that these powers are indispensable to carry out its mandated investigatory functions of this unit.

On a final note, Mr. President, kung ang top investigative unit po ng ating bansa ay walang subpoena powers, maitutulad po natin ito sa isang auto na walang gasolina – walang mararating.

Maraming salamat po, Mr. President.