House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas is set to push for the approval of a bill that will establish the Philippine Legislative Police — an independent police force that will protect Congress, their families and their functions.
The House Bill 6208 authored by Fariñas will establish a separate and independent police force that will be under the discretion of the Congress. It will be known as the Philippine Legislative Police (PLP) which will be separate from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Under the bill, the PLP will be designated to secure the safety of all the members of Congress including their families “upon determination and validation that their lives are under threat”, including all the properties of Congress. They will also coordinate with other police agencies for intelligence information regarding threats to security. Fariñas also highlighted that the body will enforce the Congress’ powers of contempt, and the issuance of subpoenas, summonses, and warrants of arrest, as per an article by GMA.
“The reliance of Congress on the law enforcement agencies… impairs, to a large extent, the independence of Congress from the Executive Department,” Fariñas was quoted by Inquirer. He cited the event when the Congress had to rely on the PNP to execute their Warrant of Arrest on Senator Leila de Lima’s aide, Ronnie Dayan, after he refused to appear in court.
The PLP will be under a Philippine Legislative Board which is composed of the chair of the House and Senate’s Committee on Public Order, both houses’ sergeant-at-arms, and a retired AFP general or PNP chief superintendent. They will also be in charge for all the logistics and application of the other personnel.