Latest Stories

Palace not biting: PNPA, PMA grads as fried chicken, crispy ‘pata’


The “greasy” proposition of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Association to let graduates of the country’s foremost military school join the police force does not appear palatable to Malacañang.

President Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, quickly shot down the idea.

Lacierda took to task Reuben Theodore Sindac, Philippine National Police spokesman, for his public pronouncement on Monday likening PNP Academy graduates to “fried chicken” and PMA graduates to crispy “pata” (pig knuckles) to point out that these officers should go together.

Lacierda reminded Sindac that the Constitution clearly states that the police force is civilian in character, and should remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Sindac has apparently backtracked, telling Lacierda that “he was just laying down the options, but he has never (endorsed the reentry of military into the police force).”

Recalling his conversation with Sindac, Lacierda said at a briefing on Wednesday: “I asked him categorically: ‘Did you make a statement to the effect that you want the military back in the PNP?’ He didn’t say that categorically. He categorically said he never advocated that position… and neither do we; we have not seen any stand to that effect.”

Sindac told Lacierda that he did not make “any stand or opinion on that issue,” but “only presented the options that were submitted for study to them and their possible effects.”

PMA alumni proposal

But Sindac told an earlier news briefing that the proposal made by the PMA Alumni Association had prompted the PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development to create a technical working group to study the reentry of PMA graduates into the PNP.

Lacierda clarified that neither the Palace nor the PNP leadership had made a stand on the proposal.

“The PNP, so far, has no stand on the return of the military or the PMA graduates into the PNP because, if you notice, in the general provision of the Constitution, there will be one police (unit), Philippine National Police, (with) civilian in character. That’s what the Constitution says,” Lacierda said.

He emphasized that the idea was not being talked about within the policy circle of the Cabinet.

“There was no categorical statement from the PNP and we have not seen that option. The only time we saw that was in the newspaper, in Inquirer (Tuesday). That’s why I had to ask the person who allegedly made that statement and he categorically said he never advocated that position,” said Lacierda.

Civilian in character

The demilitarization of the police force is a legacy of the first Aquino presidency in response to abuses and other human rights violations committed by the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police during martial law.

In 1991, then President Corazon Aquino signed Republic Act No. 6975 creating the PNP that is distinct from the Armed Forces of the Philippines since the newly minted police organization will be national in scope but civilian in character.

The law was fully implemented the following year, with the PMA Tanglaw-Diwa Class of 1992 becoming the last batch of military graduates entering the PNP.

But the last PMA graduate to bow out of police service will not happen until 2026, when this batch reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56.

The PNP Academy was established to train future police officers for “public safety”—ensuring local peace and order, and doing law enforcement work.

The PNP Academy is tasked with undertaking preparatory education and professional training for the three uniformed bureaus of the Department of the Interior and Local Government: the PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

RA 6975 made the academy into a premier institution for the training, human resource development and continuing education of all police, fire and jail personnel.

Internal, external threats

PNPA graduates are trained to be “public safety” officers, working closely with communities, while PMA graduates are entrusted with the heavy burden of defending flag and country against internal and external threats.

The PNP Academy has produced thus far at least four (one-star) generals belonging to Class of 1983 in a police organization that is still dominated by PMA alumni.

Entering the police force seems palatable to the PMA because

PNPA cadets become inspectors (lieutenant) upon completion of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Public Safety degree.

One rank ahead

The new inspectors are one rank ahead of their PMA counterparts, who become second lieutenants upon graduation and are expected to join the fighting against insurgents and secessionist rebels.

While there has been a notable decline in the number of applicants for PMA cadetship over the years, the PNPA has attracted as many as 30,000 applicants per year.

Only 300 police applicants will eventually qualify, but this number is expected to go down further to 200 as the “mortality rate” reaches 100 for the duration of the four-year course.

Several PNP officers claim that this could have been one of the reasons PMA graduates have been pushing for the reentry of military-trained officers into the police force.

In the past, the PMA was able to recruit the best and the brightest high school senior students because of the prospect of joining either the military or police service before the enactment of RA 6975.

There are 95 star-rank officers in the PNP. Of these officials, 10 are PNPA alumni, one is a military reservist and two entered the PNP via lateral entry (technical services). The rest—82 chief superintendents and directors (equivalent to generals in the military)—are PMA graduates.

Only one PNPA graduate has reached two-star rank in the PNP, Police Director Danilo Abarsoza, who retired last December.

The PNPA, however, has the upper hand in the lower ranks: only 390 are PMA graduates compared with 3,890 from the PNPA.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Military , Philippine Military Academy , Philippines , PMA graduates , PNP Academy , PNPA graduates , Police

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • After quake, makeshift churches welcome pilgrims in Bohol
  • UN warns banana fungus spreading from Southeast Asia
  • Massive infra spending set
  • ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  • Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  • Entertainment

  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Mommy-daughter adventure continues
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Marketplace