Palace expects subpoena power of the PNP officials to be exercised only on extreme circumstances
Malacanang allayed concerns on Monday on the possible abuse of subpoena power by some officers of the Philippine National Police, saying this could be used only on "extreme circumstance."
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the mere fact that only three police officials have been granted the power, it would mean this might not be resorted as often as people might expect.
"Well, I suppose because of the fact that there are limited signatories to the subpoenas that it will be reserved for the extreme circumstance where individuals have absolutely refused to cooperate in an ongoing police investigation," he said.
"So it bolsters the power of the police to conduct investigations properly, but it’s not going to be a common thing," Roque added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed on March 1 Republic Act No. 10973 giving the PNP chief and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group head and his deputy the power to administer the oath and issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum in relation to their investigation.
"I think the possibility of abuse will be minimized, if not remote," Roque said, reiterating breach of the subpoena would not give the police any authority to detain anyone.
"It will only be a cause of action for indirect contempt. They have to go to court, file a petition for indirect contempt before they can apprehend anyone for failure to comply with the subpoena," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS