PNP opposes Bangsamoro chief’s power over police under proposed BBL
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has contested certain provisions in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that enables the autonomous region’s chief minister to have power over the police.
The PNP, through Directorate for Plans head Chief Supt. Edwin Roque, presented its position paper on the proposed measure before the joint hearing of House committees on Local Government, Muslim Affairs and Peace, Reconciliation and Unity on Tuesday.
Although Roque said that the PNP “fully supports” the passage of the BBL as well as the creation of the Bangsamoro police force, the PNP has reservations over some provisions that would specifically grant authority to the Bangsamoro chief minister to deploy, assign, and reassign officers and members of the Bangsamoro police.
The PNP was exactly contesting portions of House Bill (HB) 092 filed by Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Sema. But the House joint committee was tackling the consolidated version of the bill, merging HB 092 with three other versions of the proposed BBL.
According to Roque, deployment, assignment, and reassignment of policemen should be made solely by their police commanders.
“The power to assign reassign police are ought to be properly exercised by police commanders,” Roque asserted. “It is therefore recommended that the power to exercise personnel actions be reserved to police commanders in the Bangsamoro police.”
The PNP also wanted that members composing the Bangsamoro Transition Authority be identified as they would have “substantial participation” in choosing the head of the Bangsamoro police as well as the deployment of policemen during the transition phase.
It may be recalled that the BBL failed to hurdle Congress’ approval during the Aquino administration after the deadly clash between the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) and armed Moro groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015. This incident resulted in the death of 60 people, including 44 SAF commandos.
Although supportive of BBL, President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier expressed his opposition on the creation of the Bangsamoro police that would be separate from the PNP.
“What I can really assure you is it would be a federal system where we do not lose control of the Bangsamoro Region. And for that one, as early as now, I am objecting to an independent regional armed forces and police,” Duterte previously said. /kga
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