President signs law modifying police ranks

/ 07:21 AM February 22, 2019

President Duterte has signed a law modifying the classification of ranks in the Philippine National Police, changing how police commissioned and noncommissioned officers will be called.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed the President’s signing of Republic Act No. 11200 on Feb. 8.


Malacañang released on Thursday a copy of the new law, which amended Section 28 of Republic Act No. 6975, or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990.

Under the new law, the ranks of police commissioned and noncommissioned officers will be now similar to how commissioned and noncommissioned officers in the military are addressed.


Effective supervision

Christopher “Bong” Go, the President’s former special assistant, said in a text message to reporters that the new law “clarifies the command and responsibility in the PNP for effective and efficient supervision and control among its uniformed personnel.”

The PNP rank classification for police commissioned officers will be as follows:

  • Director general to police general
  • Deputy director general to police lieutenant general
  • Director to police major general
  • Chief superintendent to police brigadier general
  • Senior superintendent to police colonel
  • Superintendent to police lieutenant colonel
  • Chief inspector to police major
  • Senior inspector to police captain
  • Inspector to police lieutenant.

Meanwhile, the rank classification for police noncommissioned officers will be as follows:

  • Senior police officer 4 (SPO4) to police executive master sergeant
  • SPO3 to police chief master sergeant
  • SPO2 to police senior master sergeant
  • SPO1 to police master sergeant
  • Police officer 3 (PO3) to police staff sergeant
  • PO2 to police corporal
  • PO1 to patrolman or patrolwoman.

Duterte also confused

The President himself had admitted that he was confused by the rank classification in the police force.

“I am confused [by] that SP, SP. Just do away with it. Who invented that anyway, I cannot relate. If you say, SPO1, I will still have to ask, what’s an SPO1? I was not President then,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech last year.


“It’s too confusing to the public. My cousin from Davao said his rank was SPO4 when I asked him. ‘What’s that?’ I really don’t get it. I cannot relate to the words of the present ranking titles,” he added.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, authored the Senate’s version of the bill, Senate Bill No. 2031.

He noted that both policemen and soldiers experienced confusion when they checked their rank counterparts in the police or military.

Lacson’s proposal, however, did not take away the civilian character of the PNP.

The new law will take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation. —JULIE M. AURELIO

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TAGS: duterte, Go, Lacson, PNP‎, police ranks, Republic Act No. 11200
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