Published by PIO (National Headquarters)
Thursday, 20 April 2010
The Commission on Human Rights welcomes the revisions made by the Philippine National Police in the Police Operational Procedures or rules of engagement.
The PNP has made several refinements in the Police Operational Procedures (POP) that provides guidance regarding the PNP Policy and procedures for its personnel, especially those in the field, which must be strictly adhered to in all aspects of police work.
“There is no leaf from this operations manual that is not imbued with significance to human rights. Every procedure is designed for one purpose – to make our police force accountable for upholding human rights,” CHR Chair Laila De Lima said.
The CHR commissioned a team of human rights lawyers that assisted the PNP in crafting revisions to the POP Manual with special emphasis on protection of human rights.
“The collaboration between the Commission on Human rights and the PNP in developing this operations manual underscores a very vital function and purpose of law enforcement – to protect, above all else, our human rights” De Lima said.
The Human Rights Chair urged police officers to “imbibe not only the contents, but the spirit behind this manual, so that the men and women of the PNP may fully become guardians of human rights and genuine protectors of the Filipino people.”
PNP Chief, Director General Jesus A Verzosa said almost eight years after its initial publication in September 2002, the POP Manual was revised and updated in consideration of developments in law enforcement and peacekeeping which is one of the projects under the PNP’s Integrated Transformation Program.
Among the most significant updates in operational processes and procedures is the inclusion of human rights protection which should be provided to both victims and criminal offenders, Verzosa said.
Specific revisions in the 2010 edition of the PNP Operational Procedures Manual include, among others, Rules on Patrol Procedures, Rules in conduction Spot Checks, Accosting and Pat-down Search; and Rules in providing Police Assistance in the Implementation of Final Decisions of the Comelec, DILG or Local Government unit exercising disciplinary powers in administrative cases of elected officials.
Verzosa said several refinements were also introduced in other aspects of the PNP Operational Procedures such as the Rules in Civil Disturbance Management Operations, Checkpoints, Hostage Incident, Rules on Reporting and Investigation of Child Abuse Cases, Rules in conducting Internal Security Operations, Bomb Incident Emergency Response Procedures, Computer Crime Incident Response Procedures.
“The 2010 edition of the POP Manual contains more comprehensive and in-depth procedures to specifically address in detail various modes of action every police officer shall observe in the performance of the general law enforcement function and basic police duties as well as the rules and methods to be observed in special police intervention operations. The demands of public service involve a wide range of issues and considerations and to be effective, PNP officers will have to rely not only on this manual but also upon their training and experience,” Verzosa explained.
“The POP Manual should be able to equip all PNP officers with the appropriate mechanics and procedures that will enable them to cope and respond efficiently and effectively to crimes,” Verzosa said.
“In all police intervention operations, every PNP personnel shall be first and foremost be mindful and considerate of the protection of every citizen’s honor, human rights and safety in the pursuit of its responsibility of law enforcement and mission accomplishment,” he said.
“The POP Manual holds the key to successful and effective police actions. And if followed faithfully followed to the letter, it would shield law enforcers from criminal and administrative liabilities as they fulfill their mandate to serve and protect the community,” the Chief PNP said.
He said “it is incumbent upon all PNP officers to familiarize themselves with the contents of this PNP Operational Procedures Manual so that they may know their duties and perform them properly.”