Davao lawyer is PNP’s new IAS chief

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A lawyer who is not a member of the police force was appointed the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s Internal Affairs Service (IAS), the office tasked to probe cops for possible violations. 

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa confirmed the appointment of lawyer Alfegar Triambulo as the new IAS Inspector General on the sidelines of a gift-giving event at SM Megamall on Thursday, December 1. 

His appointment was effective November 8 but Dela Rosa has yet to see appointment orders coming from Malacañang. It is the President who appoints the IAS chief.

The IAS is the office tasked to probe – either because of complaints filed or through motu propio investigation – police accused of violating police procedures and regulations. The IAS can suspend or dismiss police based on administrative violations, and can recommend the filing of criminal charges against PNP personnel. 

Triambulo was acting regional director of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) in the Davao region prior to his appointment as IAS chief. The Napolcom is the body that has administrative control and operational oversight of the PNP. It may also investigate police if complaints are filed before it. 

The call to appoint an IAS chief who is not a police officer as provided by law, is an old one. Senator Grace Poe has been one of its strongest advocates. 

Asked about the appointment of a civilian IAS chief, Poe told reporters on Thursday: " Ang batas at batas. Dapat talaga sibilyan ang namumuno ng Internal Affairs. Ngayon, umaasa tayo sa pagkatao nitong ini-appoint na sana ay maging patas sa pag-iimbestiga sa kung ano mang mga kaso tungkol sa ating kapulisan para hindi gumuho ang tiwala ng ating mga kababayan sa ating mga alagad ng batas."

(The law is the law. A civilian should really head Internal Affairs. Now, I am hoping that the new appointee will be fair in investigating any cases against our police officers so that the people would continue to trust our law enforcers.)

Under Republic Act No. 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, the IAS should be headed by a person who is not part of the PNP itself.

Through the years, however, senior police officers – those with the rank of chief superintendent and higher – have traditionally headed the IAS as Deputy Inspector General. 

The first – and only – non-PNP Inspector General before Triambulo was Alexis Canonizado. He was appointed by former president Erap Estrada. 

Chief Superintendent Leo Angelo Luterio is the current IAS Deputy Inspector General. – Rappler.com