PNP contradicts Purisima, says Roxas part of chain of command
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has maintained that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is part of its “chain of command,” which was earlier countered by its former chief Director General Alan Purisima.
PNP spokesperson Generoso Cerbo Jr. said Roxas, who was not informed of the covert operation as ordered by Purisima, was part of the PNP structure.
“The secretary of the Interior and Local Government is the alter ego of the President. When you talk to Secretary Mar, you’re like talking to the President. So he’s definitely part of the structure,” Cerbo said.
Contrary to the claims that the PNP has no chain of command, Cerbo clarified that the PNP technically follows a chain of command, but calls it as “line structure.”
“We also have a concept like that, only that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and our military brothers, they use the term ‘chain of command.’ In the PNP, we have a clear line structure,” he said.
In the Congress hearing on the Mamasapano incident, Purisima said the PNP command line was not broken since the Department of Interior and Local Government and its secretary were not part of it.
“To paraphrase military parlance, the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and DILG Secretary [are] not part of the PNP command line although the DILG chair is ex-officio chair of Napolcom,” Purisima said.
Unlike the military, the PNP is civilian in nature and is governed by the civil service law.
“For example, the chief of police of a municipal police station is answerable to the provincial director, who is answerable to the regional director answerable to the PNP officer in charge,” he said.
The operation was also kept secret from PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.
Cerbo said the PNP chief or the PNP OIC through the SILG is answerable to the President.
“Just because we don’t use the military term within the PNP, doesn’t mean we don’t have the same structure. When it comes to control of people, may sinusunod kami,” Cerbo explained.