September 21, 2019
SENATE President pro tempore Ralph Recto has filed Senate Bill (SB) 1051 to create a congressional police force that will ensure the security of the legislative branch of government.
SB 1051 mandates the creation of a police force for the security of members, officials, employees and guests of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the safety its premises.
He explained that the House of Representatives has traditionally relied upon law enforcement agencies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to augment the Office of the Sergeant at Arms.
In more than one occasion, Congress had to rely on the military and police officers to perform functions essential to legislation such as serving subpoenas, contempt orders and warrants of arrest, Recto said.
Recto pointed out that such dependence on the executive agencies, while legally sanctioned, nonetheless impairs the independence of the legislature and its capacity to establish its own security and operational protocols within its own premises.
Besides the safety of Congress’ members and officials, the police force will assure the security of its respective immediate families, as well as the employees and guests on congressional premises.
SB 1051 stipulates the congressional police is empowered to assist members and officials of the lower House in the performance of their constitutional duties such as serving subpoenas and warrants, effecting arrests within congressional premises, and facilitating the processing of firearms licenses and permits.
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