The Jakarta Post
National Police Commission (Kompolnas) member Bekto Suprapto said the involvement of the Indonesian Military (TNI) in efforts to combat terrorism, that would be included in the 2003 Terrorism Law under a draft revision currently under deliberation by the House of Representatives, could be unconstitutional.
Bekto said the TNI and the National Police had their own roles as stipulated in the 1945 Constitution. It was stated there the role of armed forces was to defend the nation’s sovereignty while the police were responsible for enforcing the law and maintaining peace in society.
The commissioner said further that terrorism was a criminal act committed by a citizen and the police had the authority to enforce the law against him or her. If the TNI were to be involved in such counterterrorism efforts, there should be a regulation that could ensure it would not violate the law.
“Two problems that may affect TNI involvement in counterterrorism operations are firstly, the fact there is no law regulating military support for civilian authority and secondly, that armed forces hold no responsibilities for tackling crimes committed by civilians,” Bekto said at his office in South Jakarta, on Friday.
Bekto further expressed his concerns about possible abuses of power as armed forces adopted a principle of “killed or to be killed,” a principle which is not compatible with civilian crimes. Meanwhile, the police worked to serve the public, during which they must adhere to civilian laws.
“The police should lead efforts to combat terrorism because it is their constitutional duty,” Bekto said. (dis/ebf)