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Andaya: Creation of legislative police requires explanation

By Juan Escandor Jr. NAGA CITY---The creation of a legislative police proposed by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas requires explanation, a Camarines Sur representative said Wednesday. Camarines Sur first district Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said the proposal to create a Congress-controlled police force needs further explanation since they work inside a compound of Batasang Pambasa. “I am afraid they (legislative police) will become security guards because our area of work is not the whole Philippines but a small compound,” Andaya said. He said the members of the Lower House wanted to know what will be the function of the proposed legislative police. “It may sound nice but there are more important and pressing matters that must be given due attention before that,” Andaya said. Fariñas filed House Bill 6208 that seeks the establishment of the Philippine Legislative Police (PLP) which will be under the control and supervision of Congress, to secure the constitutionally mandated duty of the legislative branch to enact laws. Andaya said everything is “still up in the air” but he wanted to give the benefit of the doubt and it must be explained and expounded. He said that maybe the proposal of the creation of the legislative came after Fariñas made the proposal to exempt the members of Congress from being penalized for traffic violations. “Maybe he (Fariñas) was asked by a reporter and that was his very candid answer,” Andaya said. He said it requires more than press release to put the proposal into motion. “It must be defined what kind of public servant is the legislative police. What will be its work,” Andaya added. Fariñas, in his explanatory note, noted that the Philippine Legislative Police (PLP) will exercise the primary responsibility of securing the safety of all the members of Congress. Also, the PLP will be “protecting the properties of both the Senate and the House of Representatives and ensuring the mandate and authority vested in the Members of Congress by the Constitution, and its legislative powers remains unobstructed.” House Bill 6208 states that “(t)hrough the PLP, the Congress is empowered to enforce and execute its powers of contempt and issuance of subpoenas, summonses and warrants of arrest.” Fariñas noted that since the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies are under the control and supervision of the Executive Branch, Congress is helpless to do anything if the PNP and other law enforcement agencies commissioned to them are remiss of their assigned duties. He proposed that the PLP will accompany members of Congress wherever they go in performing their duties to protect them from “threats to their lives.”

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