CAGAYAN de Oro City–Dozens of prosecutors and police officers from Northern Mindanao gathered in a hotel here to discuss how they could enhance their working relationship to ensure better conviction of crime offender on Tuesday.
Organized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), its non-government, the dialogue was aimed at bringing together law enforcement and prosecution for the purpose of complementing each other.
“It is not to highlight the weakness, inadequacies and ineptitude of a particular sector of the criminal justice system, but on the contrary, to strengthen the capability of government in general, to combat criminality by harnessing the expertise of a particular sector and utilizing it in the most efficient manner possible,” said the DOJ and HSF in a joint statement.
“When you build a case, you must aim for a conviction. There may be lapses of the police in presenting evidence to the prosecution, but prosecutors must not be passive, too. The police and the prosecution must cooperate with each other,” said Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon, chief of the National Prosecution Service’s Special Cases Division of the DOJ.
The desired result, the organizers said, is a more relevant and efficient means of gathering evidence which would eventually lead to the successful prosecution of cases.
The prosecutors, in particular, must also do its part in ensuring the successful prosecution and eventually conviction of criminal cases by doing their homework and not just wait for the police to provide them with evidence, said Fadullon.
He said the DOJ is demanding this of its prosecutors on the ground not to compete, but to complement the police capabilities and skill set.
Fadullon said only by working together can the law enforcement and prosecution be effective in upholding the criminal justice system.
What prosecutors should do, he said, is to help the police in “looking for the right kind of evidence” that would lead to the conviction of the accused.
To achieve that, Fadullon said, it is very essential for both law enforcement and prosecution to join forces and pool its resources, “so that we will be able to channel it towards fighting criminality.”
The dialogue between the two pillars of the criminal justice system, he said, is important as it is one of the confidence-building measures, and “an opportunity for prosecutors and police to sit down in a more relaxed state” and discuss ways to improve their respective functions.
Regional Prosecutor Merlynn Uy said there must be cooperation and collaboration between the law enforcement and the prosecution.
For his part, Chief Superintendent Timoteo Pacleb, Philippine National Police-10 (PNP-10) regional director, said the regional police have a healthy working relationship with the prosecutors in Northern Mindanao.
“We are always working closely with them (prosecution), especially in the [investigation of cases],” Pacleb said.