MANILA, Philippines—The only justification for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to take in graduates from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is if the PNP Academy (PNPA) and other sources are unable to produce the required number of new officers to fill up the posts in the police force, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.
Lacson, a former PNP chief, was commenting on reports that the PNP was considering recruiting PMA graduates yet again into the police force.
The PMA trains future military officers while the PNPA trains future police officers in law enforcement. There are fears that the proposal to take in more PMA graduates into the police organization could exacerbate frictions between PMA and PNPA alumni in the PNP.
According to Lacson, the last PMA batch to join the ranks of the PNP was the class of 1992.
The only justifiable reason for extending the practice is if the traditional sources of commissioned officers fall short “to make the PNP’s table of organization and equipment stable and responsive to the needs of their mandate in providing peace and order to the citizenry,” he said in a text message.
“Other factors like training, qualification and competence are not good reasons enough to justify such move,” he added.
According to Lacson, the PNP charter that created a police force effectively stopped the hiring of new police officers from the ranks of PMA graduates.
Enacted in 1991, the PNP law was the reason the PMA Class of 1992 was the last to have members commissioned into the national police, he said.
“They have basically the same leadership training albeit different orientation and specialization,” Lacson said of the two schools.
As to whether PNPA graduates are better suited to law enforcement because of the specialized instruction in police work that they receive, Lacson said it was “not much of a factor.”