The Police Regional Office in Western Visayas released funds amounting to P1.47 million to eight police units regionwide for the reinvestigation of 39 unsolved or cold cases in the past two months.
Of the total funded cases, 20, including 10 each in April and May have already been cleared for reinvestigation, as of June 21.
The budget was allocated for 20 cases submitted in April and 19 cases forwarded in May, based on the records of the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division.
Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, director of PRO-6, said in a statement yesterday that the program shows that police in Region 6 do not ignore cold cases.
“We don’t sleep on the unsolved cases here in Western Visayas because, by all means, this would reflect on our performance as a region,” he added.
Cold cases refer to those left unsolved for more than six months.
Cleared cases, on the other hand, are those that have been removed from the list of cold cases after being filed with the fiscal’s office.
Included in the funding priority from 2016 to 2020 are heinous crimes, such as murder, homicide, and other controversial cases.
During its meeting on June 17, the Regional Oversight Committee on Illegal Drugs and Enhanced Managing Police Operations reviewed the cold cases funded by the PRO-6 for the months of April and May.
Lack of funds is the most common reason why cases become cold, the RIDMD said.
It added that funding of the reinvestigation of cold cases is one of the initiatives of PRO-6 to increase crime clearance and crime solution efficiency, which is among the basis of the unit evaluation rating of the Philippine National Police headquarters.
Lt. Col. Kim Legada, RIDMD assistant chief, said the police chiefs will be asked to explain and return the funds they requested for when the station fails to solve the case within the given time frame.
Although police stations are expected to solve each case based on the timeline they submitted in their case investigation plan, the oversight committee limits the time frame to 30 days to expedite solution of the cases.
“If they failed to justify how the fund was spent, the chief of police could be held liable both administratively and criminally,” Legada said.
Chiefs of police who failed to account for the money they received could be charged for irregularity in the performance of duty, and malversation.*PNA