Honasan to fight Aquino veto on law dropping height rule for security officers

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Sen. Gregorio Honasan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Saying public safety and public interest are at stake, Senator Gregorio Honasan intends to fight the President’s “ill-advised” veto on the bill to repeal the height requirement for police officers, jail guards, and firefighters.

Honasan said the bill, which he authored in the Senate, would have served important and practical purposes that would benefit the country’s citizens, and should be instituted.

Honasan said the measure was intended to bring more competent people into the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, who have been kept out because of rules requiring them to be at a certain height. These institutions have long been needing a stronger work force.

Honasan, who is seeking re-election, said he would appeal to colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to fight for the bill that they had passed and overturn the veto upon the resumption of Congress’ sessions. He would need a two-thirds vote of all members for this.

“With all due respect to presidential prerogatives, we feel very strongly that the veto does not serve public interest,” Honasan said in a phone interview.

He added that the measure passed through technical working groups and hearings, during which members of the concerned institutions recommended the removal of the height requirement.

He explained that his bill was meant to increase the police-to-population ratio from one policeman for every 650 to 700 people, to one policemen for every 500 citizens, he said.

“Public safety and public interest are at stake. Lives are involved here, so we want to increase the police to population ratio,” he said.

Discriminating against people on the basis of height alone was also unjust.

Honasan, a former Army colonel, noted that other countries and major US cities have seen fit to remove the height requirements for police officers, and said the competence of a police officer would not depend on how tall he or she stood.

According to him, it was wrong to peg people’s competence for a job on their height.

“I think we should modernize our way of thinking. When we say modernize, we think in terms of equipment or funding, but we also need to change our way of thinking,” he added.

The abolition of the height requirement would also serve more practical purposes, he said.

For instance, the BFP would need smaller people to go through narrow windows or alleyways so that they could save people or put out fires more quickly. There are also instances when police forces would need men of less height to go through canals or air conditioning ducts as part of intelligence operations.

Under present rules, the minimum height requirement to get into the PNP, BFP, or BJMP is 5 feet 4 inches for men, and 5 feet, 2 inches for women.

As for the waiver of height requirement that the President had taken into account in giving his veto, Honasan noted that this would only apply for indigenous people. The requirement still discriminates against the rest of the Filipinos.

A co-author of the bill in the House, Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino, confirmed that the waiver would only apply to indigenous people, and likewise defended the wisdom of the bill to abolish the height requirement.

But Antonino said he did not think there would be enough time to overrule the President’s veto. The bill could be re-filed, he said.

Antonino said he had supported the bill because there could be short people strong and intelligent enough to perform the functions demanded by the PNP, BJMP, or BFP.

Like Honasan, he cited situations where having less height would come in handy, especially for firefighters.

He said he heard that some people tried to get a certification that they belonged to certain tribes to qualify for a waiver of the height requirement.

E-military officer and Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon supported the President’s veto.

Biazon said police officers, for instance, would be required to handle a lot of street demonstrations and rallies where tall, imposing law enforcers would be effective

“It’s physical practicality. What if for example there is trouble in the mall and a six-footer is involved. Would you have a five-foot tall policeman face off with him? Even in boxing, you cannot pit a lightweight against a heavyweight,” he said.

He said having tall, big public officers would also lessen the use of force and guns.

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  • bbguevara

    Its very obvious, this is merely a political gimmick of Honasan to get media coverage. He should have objected to this height requirement while still in the military.

  • Amador Amor

    Honasan is known as a coup instigator and a lifetime bodyguard of Enrile. He no longer has credibilities like his boss. There is basically no truth to the rumor that height requirement was a no-no in the U.S. I live in the U.S. and I have not seen a cop standing 5’2 roaming the streets or in the precinct. How will a midget cop face a hoodlum who is much taller than him and fight that guy one on one if he is too small? Honasan, magresign ka na lang tulad ng boss mong si Enrile!

    • superpilipinas

      You have not seen a cop doesn’t mean shorties are disqualified. They don’t disqualify by height. It is the failure to pass the training that disqualifies them. The training (especially obstacle courses) are tough for short people. I’ve seen police sergeants at less than 5’3″.

      I don’t like Honasan too but the issue is about the bill and not Honasan.

    • spider69

      swerte siya dahil nasa Pinas. kung nasa ibang bansa si Gringo lalu na sa USA, matagal na siyang nakakulong at naghihimas ng rehas. or baka niyari na siya ng kapwa niya sundalo. diyan galit na galit ang mga sundalo sa Tate.

  • vaporub123

    sa pma nga may height requirement dyan pa kaya sa pnp,bjmp at bfp.bakit di nila alisin sa pma ang height requirement ng patas?

    • superpilipinas

      kung may height requirement, dapat may weight requirement din…..paano kung 6 footer na kasing payat ng walis tingting….he-he-he

    • magiting78

      Dapat lang alisin hnd nmn batayan yung laki o liit sa pag silbi s bayan, yung dedication at honesty ang mahalaga…

  • alfred sanchez

    ayus freak show pag may nakita ako midget na pulis, isipin mo yung m16 nyang dala malaki pa sa kanya, hahaha

    • superpilipinas

      he-he-he….give him a “midget” AR-15…then he will look tall. and when he’s holding it, don’t even think of the word “freak”.

      • magiting78

        May advantage nmn yung maliit sa oras ng laban, aakalain ng kalaban de remote yung baril kc hnd makita yung nag papaputok…lol

    • magiting78

      Actually may advantage yung maliliit, look sa uniform pwd n bumili sa mga kids section at yung mga shoes gnun din, makakamura ang pamahalaan, then pag transpo nmn mas marami maisasakay sa police car or truck mas marami ang makaka responde hnd cla ma aoutnumbered…hnd ito nakikita ni PNoy…lol

  • mon key

    hahahaha! the freak of a senator is showing his true self! pity the nation! he should have been drowned in the bay and not placed on a boat!

    • superpilipinas

      he-he-he. the bill is about the height issue and not the senator.

  • david

    if capable physically and mentally to defend and protect and serve, why not.

    • magiting78

      Pnoy purpose is different, may he intend to used these officers to disperse ralliest…lol

  • Noel

    The issue about height requirement is debatable. A taller guy is not necessarily physically better than the short one. Police Department has lots of departments. The short cop could be an investigator, computer analyst, media liaison and other positions that don’t need height to perform. On the other hand, less than 5 feet let’s say standing only 4’8 makes the cop looks more like a junior police.

    • magiting78

      Actually smaller guys has lots of advantage over taller, unless these police office would on basketball league, but they will not, they will serve the people whose heights majority small.
      May be Pnoy don’t like to have short policemen because he cannot use them to disperssed rallies, they might be over powered by ralliest..

      • Noel

        If you look at Asian martial artists especially the Chinese, many of them are short. Jet Li stands only 5’4. But they can beat any much taller guys.

  • superpilipinas

    Good!

    This is a bill that makes sense. But PNoy knows too little about public safety.

    He just knows how to fire a gun just like any trigger happy criminal. Unfortunately, PNoy’s advisers are too much into politics than public interest and job creation. He’s only good at condom solutions.

    This bill could actually improve public safety and create more jobs.

    Push for it senator.

    • magiting78

      I agree with Honasan with this issue, but his timing to raise the issue is not ok, election time.

  • Concur_Dissent

    If we vote for Honasan again, expect him to waste his time and therefore our tax money paying him to continue to churn out those truly insignificant bills. The physical requirements for our cops, firefighters and jail wardens should be based on selecting the MOST COMPETITIVE APPLICANT for the position. Instead of limiting his bill to do away with height restriction, he should come up with a bill that is truly comprehensive, a bill that incorporates the overall qualities and expectations of the physical requirements for the job (NOT JUST THE HEIGHT).

    PS

    Very typical of papoging honasan… He likes to be remembered coming up with a simple bill with the hopes of getting it passed kahit na hindi importante ang laman…. basta maidagdag lang sa numero ng approved bills nya….

    • magiting78

      He has a point, but not on perfect timing…

  • Offshore10

    I somehow agree with Mr. Biazon. Just imagine multi- Mr Olympian titlist Ronnie Coleman was a police officer (don’t know if still), You would think twice before comitting any petty crime if he’s around the area. On the other hand, maybe, we can put those “vertically-challenged” but bright individuals to some other departments that wouldn’t require physical robustness to perform the task at hand

  • Horst Manure

    Watch this man he is dangerous any more like him and the :pines will start to progress, next you need an efficient judiciary not a deficient one to process all the crooks as they are caught.

  • fernan107

    honasan , ilabas mo ang mga rason kung bakit di ka sang ayon kay pnoy , puro ka daldal wala ka naman nagagawa , pinabayaan mo na nga ang mga kasamahan mong nakakulong habang ikaw ay sarap buhay … namomolitika ka lang ka indo…

  • magiting78

    I don’t like Honasan, but on this issue I would agree with Him, bakit kailangan deprive yung tao n mag serve sa pulisya o militar dahil lng sa kakulangan sa height. Pilipino tau masakit man isipin karamahinan sa atin bansut, hnd nka pag star rice..actually may advantage pa nga yung maliliit hnd madaling tamaan sa oras ng laban, basta dedicated sya sa work at hindi corrupt at hnd sasama sa mga coup de etat ni Honasan Ok n yun..

  • eltee mulawin

    >>>ang tanong kay Mr. Biazon… sa mga nakaraan rally o demontrasyon at demolisyon gaano katangkad o kataas ang mga militante lalo na ang mga nangu-nguna sa linya nila -umaabot ba sa 6 footer?

    >>> kung pag-escort naman sa accused in court hearing, hindi naman nangangahulugan kung matangkad ang guwardiya ay hindi na makakatakas ang akusado. Lahat naman nakatakas na akusado o bilanggo ay nangyayari sa bilangguan dahil sa mga corrupt na opisyales.

    >>>wala sa sukat ng taas ng mga tao na nais maglingkod sa bayan ang magiging tapat at mahusay na paglilingkod sa bayan. Tulad ni Estrada at Nguyngoy, hindi dahil sila ay matangkad kaya sila naging presidente, si Pingki Lacson-hindi siya 6 footer, pero mabilis magtago at nahirapan mahuli ng higit sa isang taon. Kaya tama lang si Honasan, hindi dapat gawin isa sa basehan ang tangkad ng sinuman nais maging pulis at bumbero.

  • Jun Go

    naku honasan, sa dami ng physically fit na nasa military at police, iisa lang ang pinaka-importante sa ganitong trabaho at ang magkaron ng mataas na kalidad ng integridad.

    maskulado ka nga at matanggad eh myembro ka nman ang mga euro generals at coup plotters. matipuna ka nga na pulis, eh sa bawat kanto ay manninikil ka sa mga drivers.

    undoubtedly the physical factor is a requirement, however for it to be the only requirement is itself a non-sense law.

  • edm365f31

    They changed height requirements for PMAers why not for the rest including Police; firemen; and Jail officers.

    Its not always about the height yes there will be instance that height can be an advantage but not always. If there’s a 6 footer hoodlum a 5′ 4″ cop won’t be able to handle that situation either.

    That is the reason why there are pepper maze and stun guns..wuz up with this government are they even thinking.
    I also agree this is not Aquino its one of his ill advised adviser.. huh!

    Let us not discriminate against height we are not a nation of tall people…really!!!

    I am with Honasan on this one.

  • fache

    If Honasan would like to change the rules of the word ”QUALIFICATIONS” then, it should start from those people who would like to run for Congress. No actors or actresses without college degree, proficient in English language , no relatives presently serving Congress, etc. In addition, no one is qualified ,if, convicted or charged with criminal regardless of his/her past position, like Estrada, to enter politics.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      I like that. Reform must start in Congress and Senate and all level of government positions.

  • boybakal

    Height is not might…. we are a nation of pygmies.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Exactly. Honasan should have push this bill a long time ago. What he’s been doing in there? Spreading donkey manure?

  • Pio Pusli

    sige sir colonel boss amo sir, marami nang namatay sa kauuto mo, (reform the AFP daw) utuin mo naman ang mga pungguk. sayang dagdag boto yan.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    There are still important bill to work on. Anti-Political Dynasties, Freedom of Information, Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Smuggling on Ecozones, Cybercrime w/ E-libel inserted and despite of all other things Honasan suddenly has so much energy to push his bill to make people believe that he’s doing something in the senate. The lapdog and attack dog of Enrile has no more credibility if you ask me.

  • Scorpio15

    Honasan naman. Sa dami ng populasyon ng Pinas. Sala-in ng mabuti at sigurado ang ratio na yan ay matugunan at pagla-anan mo ng budget galing sa iyong Pork Barrel.. Papano kulang ang pondo para sa mga pulis.

  • Fancy Tan

    Sir, “Family Dynasty” dapat na isulong nyo. Para nmn magkaron ng chance ang mga gustong maglingkod ng tapat sa bayan……

  • Albert Einstien

    si rizal NATIONAL HERO na 4′ 11 lang di pala pwede mag pulis….kasi UTOS ni pnoy …si andres bonifacio NATIONAL HERO less than 5’4 din…si gma 4’11 pareho sila ni rizal.. nga naging presidente…si vp binay 5’2 lang din….NORMAL lang naman na maliit ang mga tunay na FILIPINO….lalo na yun mga katutubo….mga BANYAGANG KAPON lang matatangkad….jan nyo makikita kung gaano ka-incompetent at kaABNORMAL ang mga polisiya at pag-iisip ng mga nasa pamahalaan….papano kasi ALIEN BLOOD sila at oligarkiya nagpayaman lang sila..kaya nasa pwesto..

    kung international naman..kahit DAKILA sila hindi sila pwede mag PULIS kasi ..UTOS ni pnoy

    GENGHIS KHAN 5’2
    YURI GAGARIN 5’2
    MAHATMA GANDHI 5’3
    VOLTAIRE 5’3

    sen HONASAN..mag-inquiry nga kayo sa NEWS na ito…

    kaya pala M A KA P I L I si pnoy..me HAWAK si NAJIB sa kanya…lol

    abs cbn.news 3/06/2013

    ‘PNoy received money from Malaysia’

    David claimed the President received money from

    Malaysia, which is the reason behind his stand on the Sultanate of Sulu’s
    claim over Sabah.

    “He never wanted [to pursue the claim] in the first place… It is not

    possible for them to take such positions and speak against their own people
    if they are not on the take,” he said.

    When asked what he would do if he is slapped with libel cases due to his

    accusations against Aquino, David said: “I would welcome it provided I will
    be given a day in court.”

    KURAPSYON at KASINUNGALINGAN to the max GRABE..HOY CONGRESS ANO NA
    gawa NYO…recess kayo ng recess NAGKAKABENTAHAN na…dapat magkaroon ng
    INQUIRY ito…..

    sigurado mga yellow zombies at macboys propaganda palace call center
    …mamaga na naman mgaDALIRI sa ka-ka-vote down ng mga comments pag
    involve mga AMO
    nila…lol

  • boybakal

    “It’s physical practicality. What if for example there is trouble in the
    mall and a six-footer is involved. Would you have a five-foot tall
    policeman face off with him?

    What an imagination….
    This is one in a billion chance it will happen.
    Once a six footer see a five footer police, for sure, this six footer will run.
    As long as one sees a police uniform….there is always respect and wary.

  • OZBOYS

    Honasan gumising ka nga… wala kang K.
    lagi ka na lang nakabuntot kay JPE.Wala ka bang pride.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jocken-Dano/100002588330624 Jocken Dano

    senator, with all due respect senator Biazon is right. a police officers are the front line of our peace and order. you can not let a five feet police officer face even just a 5’7 hooligans. for fire fighters that would be agreeable no question but for police officers that’s a Big nein . . ..

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