Duterte signs law giving PNP chief, officials subpoena powers

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Metro Manila (CNN Phiilippines, March 9) — Police officials now have the power to summon people and request documents in aid of investigations under a new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Republic Act 10973 — which amends R.A. 6975 or the "Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990" — grants the Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, along with the Director and the Deputy Director for Administration of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the PNP's investigation arm, the authority to issue subpoenas and subpoenas ducus tecum.

Duterte signed the law on March 1, although a copy of the law was distributed to media on Friday.

"The subpoena shall state the nature and purpose of the investigation, shall be directed to the person whose attendance is required, and in the case of a subpoena ducus tecum, it shall also contain a reasonable description of the books, documents, or things demanded which must be relevant to the investigation," the law said.

R.A. 10973 also said failure to comply with a PNP subpoena could lead to an indirect contempt charge at the Regional Trial Court.