House extends probe of cops in illegal arrest of 4 Chinese nationals

By Zaldy De Layola

February 19, 2024, 8:10 pm

MANILA – The House Committee on Public Order and Safety on Monday extended its inquiry into police officers involved in the alleged illegal arrest of four Chinese nationals after a Philippine National Police (PNP) official refused to cooperate with the panel.

“Gusto na sana naming i-dismiss na itong investigation at palayain na yung mga pulis na na-contempt pero wala tayong magawa kundi ituloy ito (We would like to dismiss this investigation and release the cops who were cited in contempt but we can’t do anything but continue this probe),” committee chair, Rep. Dan Fernandez of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, said during Monday’s resumption of inquiry.

Fernandez decided to extend the inquiry after Col. Lynette Tadeo of the PNP-Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) refused to submit all the names of dismissed police personnel.

Tadeo cited Republic Act (RA) 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 but Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop insisted the House of Representatives has a mandate to require police authorities to present documents being asked of them.

Citing Section 13, Paragraph F of RA 10173, Acop said the processing of sensitive personal information shall be prohibited, except in the following cases, including “the processing concerns such personal information as is necessary for the protection of lawful rights and interests of natural or legal persons in court proceedings, or the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims, or when provided to government or public authority.”

“This body has Constitutional and statutory mandate. Sabihin mo sa boss mo (You tell your boss),” Acop told Tadeo.

House Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo warned of another contempt if the PNP continues to ignore the panel’s request.

“May I remind our officials from the PNP that this is a congressional inquiry, this is not a talk show, this is not a press conference na pwede niyong i-withhold (that you can withhold) [the information],” Tulfo said.

Tulfo said if the guests do not trust the inquiry, they can request for an executive session.

Tadeo replied that they will comply.

The House panel set its next inquiry on Feb. 26.

Earlier, the committee cited police officers Brig. Gen. Roderick Mariano, Lt. Col. Jolet T. Guevara, Col. Charilie Cabradilla, Maj. Jason D. Quijana, Maj. John Patrick Magsalos, and Staff Sergeants Roy G. Pioquinto, Mark J. Democrito, and Danilo L. Desder in contempt for refusing to withholding information. (PNA)