By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – The acting police provincial office director of Pangasinan said that members of the Philippine National Police attended recently a seminar here on how to improve the cases they filed against arrested suspected criminals.
Sr. Supt. Sterling Raymond Blanco said that the seminar held at Lennox Hotel was the offshoot of the desire of President Simeon Benigno Aquino III to raise the conviction rate of all cases filed by peace officers against malefactors in court.
“SILG (Secretary Interior & Local Government) Mar Roxas as chairman of the National Police Commission has created a technical working group composed of the PNP, DOJ (Department of Justice), Napolcom (National Police Commission), CHR (Commission on Human Rights), and stakeholders to form a committee to address the issue, thus the creation of the Prosecution Law Enforcement for Community Coordinating Services (PROLECCS),” Blanco said in a text message he sent to this paper.
He stressed that this endeavor is to strengthen the coordination and collaboration among members of the criminal justice system to build a strong case against arrested suspected criminals to ensure their eventual conviction.
Aside from Blanco and officer-in-charge Police Regional Office-1 Sr. Supt. Moro Virgilio Lazo, participants who attended the meeting were staff of the police provincial office, chiefs of police in the humongous province, and police investigators.
Speakers hailed from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, police crime laboratory, Criminal Investigation & Detection Group, Napolcom, and Regional Special Prosecution head prosecutor Nonnatus Rojas
Sr. Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong was one of the speakers who discuss the nitty-gritty of the Rules of Evidence and Criminal Procedure, and Dangerous Drugs Act (Republic Act 9165).
Napolcom provincial director lawyer Monday Samson declared earlier that the conviction rate of Pangasinan police against law breakers is at a low of 5 to 10 percent average annually that ran roughshod on their average apprehension rate of 70 percent.
Samson lamented the poor handling of the police of the evidences as the primordial factor for the low conviction rate in courts.