Internal Affairs Service
The Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police was established by Republic Act No. 8551, otherwise known as "Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998," to serve as the institutional watchdog for the Philippine National Police.
On 25 February 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law Republic Act No. 8551, otherwise known as "The PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998." Among its salient provisions, as embodied under sec.39 of Title V thereof, is the creation of the INTERNAL AFFAIRS SERVICE (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Upon assumption to office of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada in 1998, Atty. Alexis C. Canonizado, a former Commissioner of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), was appointed as the first Inspector General on July 1, 1998.
On August 12, 1998, NAPOLCOM issued Resolution No. 98-179 designating Police Director General Santiago L. Alino, then the Acting Chief of the Philippine National Police, as the lead Commissioner who shall represent the Commission in overseeing and coordinating the immediate organization and operationalization of the PNP Internal Affairs Service during the transition period of ninety (90) days.
Shortly after the assignment of P/CSUPT Avelino Razon as the Deputy Director of the PNP Directorate for Plans on October 9, 1998, he immediately initiated the move to speedily activate the Internal Affairs Service to give essence to the provision of RA 8551 and the afore-cited NAPOLCOM Resolution. Series of conferences were then held and attended by representatives of all PNP Directorial Staff, PNP Legal Service, and the now defunct PNP Inspectorate and Internal Affairs Office and the PNP Internal Affairs Service. On December 18, 1998, NAPOLCOM issued Memorandum Circular No. 98-017 prescribing guidelines to facilitate the organization and operationalization of the Internal Affairs Service.
Finally, the members of the committee chaired by P/CSUPT Razon, came up with the recommendation which eventually led to issuance of PNP Letter of Instruction 11/99 (Gabay) dated February 16, 1999 which prescribed the smooth reassignment of PNP personnel, and the transfer of facilities, equipment, firearms, ammunitions, vehicles, supplies, records, and other resources of the now defunct Inspectorate and Internal Affairs Office, Regional Internal Affairs Office and the Provincial Internal Affairs Office to the newly-created PNP Internal Affairs Service and provision for their fund support.
Powers and Functions
The Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the PNP has the power to:
- pro-actively conduct inspections and audits on PNP personnel and units;
- investigate complaints and gather evidence in support of an open investigation;
- conduct summary hearings on PNP members facing administrative charges;
- submit a periodic report on the assessment, analysis, and evaluation of the character and behavior of PNP personnel and units to the Chief PNP and the Commission;
- file appropriate criminal cases against PNP members before the court as evidence warrants and assist in the prosecution of the case;
- provide assistance to the Office of the Ombudsman in cases involving the personnel of the PNP.
The IAS shall also conduct, motu proprio, automatic investigation of the following cases:
- incidents where a police personnel discharges a firearm;
- incidents where death, serious physical injury, or any violation of human rights occurred in the conduct of a police operation;
- incidents where evidence was compromised, tampered with, obliterated, or lost while in the custody of police personnel;
- incidents where a suspect in the custody of the police was seriously injured; and
- incidents where the established rules of engagement have been violated.
- Internal Affairs Service, Philippine National Police. Accessed on 22 February 2008.
- Full text of Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998. Published in Filipiniana.net Online Digital Library. Accessed on 3 March 2008.