By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Barangay Chairman Godfrey Carbonel of Talogtog, Mangaldan has been endorsed by various sectors in the famous tapa (dry meat) town as representative of the Liga ng mga Barangay (League of Barangays) for the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) as the village chief who used to represent the League passed away.
“Mayor Bonafe de Vera-Parayno should appoint Kapitan Godo for the PLEB since he is the most qualified from the Liga. He is a Bachelor of Laws graduate, a perceptive member of the media that could bring PLEB- Mangaldan to places.
Oh, did I mention PLEB as a powerful entity that unscrupulous policemen should be trembling?
According to Republic Act Numbered 6975 otherwise known as the “Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990″that provided for the creation of PLEB, it said there that it shall have the power to hear and adjudicate all citizen’s complaints formally filed with, or referred to it, against any uniformed member of the PNP, and, if warranted, impose the corresponding penalty.
According to Rule VI of the law the following administrative offenses should be what the citizen of a town or city file against an erring policeman:
a. Neglect of duty; b. Irregularity in the Performance of Duty; c. Misconduct; d. Incompetency; e. Oppression; f. Dishonesty; g. Disloyalty to the Government; and h. Violation of Law
PLEB’s Rule VII defined the following penalties that may be imposed in police administrative cases:
a. Withholding of privileges; b. Restriction to specified limits; c. Suspension; d. Forfeiture of salary or fine; e. Demotion;f. Forced Resignation; g. Dismissal.
As the complaint against the unscrupulous uniformed member of the PNP continues, the complainant can ask for his preventive suspension in the service.
The following rules should be the PLEB may ask any authorized superior of the bad cop to place under preventive suspension a subordinate police officer who is the subject of a complaint. In the following cases the superior officer shall not deny a request for preventive suspension:
a) when the respondent refuses to heed the PLEB’s summons or subpoena; b) when the PNP personnel has been charged with offenses involving bodily harm or grave threats; c) when the respondent is in a position to tamper with the evidence; and d) when the respondent is in a position to unduly influence the witnesses (Section 13).
The decision of the PLEB exonerating or reprimanding the respondent in an administrative case is final and executory upon receipt of a copy thereof by the parties, hence unappealable. (B) Where the decision of the PLEB involves the penalty of withholding of privileges, restriction, suspension, forfeiture of salary or fine, demotion, or forced resignation, the same shall become final and executory only after the lapse of ten (10) days from the receipt of a copy thereof by the respondent unless the latter files a motion for reconsideration or appeal within said period (at the Regional Appellate Board) in which case, the resolution on the motion or appeal shall become final and executory only after the lapse of ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of said resolution by the respondent (C) However, where the decision of the PLEB involves the penalty of dismissal, the same shall be immediately executory upon receipt of a copy thereof by the respondent as furnished to him by his/her immediate superior officer. The filing of a motion for reconsideration or appeal as the case may be, within the reglementary period of ten (10) days shall not suspend the implementation thereof (Section 25).
With all those nuances of how a complainant files a case and how members of the PLEB treat the case as based on PLEB, Kapitan Godo fits the job as a law graduate.
By the way the PLEB shall be composed of the following:
a) Any member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod/Bayan chosen by his/her respective sanggunian; b) Any punong-barangay of the city or municipality concerned chosen by the Liga ng mga Barangay; and c) Three (3) other members who are removable only for cause to be chosen by the local peace and order council from among the respected members of the community known for their probity and integrity, one (1) of whom must be a woman and another, a member of the Bar, or in the absence thereof, a college graduate, or, the principal of the central elementary school in the locality.
The Chairman of the PLEB shall be elected from among its members.
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