Lacson bill to boost professionalism in naming local police heads
Senator Panfilo Lacson has filed a bill that seeks to level up the professionalism in the Philippine National Police (PNP) especially in the selection of provincial commanders and city and town chiefs of police.
Lacson said Senate Bill 971 would give the PNP regional director the authority to choose the provincial/district director. It would also give the provincial/district director the authority to select the city or town chief of police.
Provincial/district directors would be chosen, under the bill, by the regional director from a list of three qualified candidates while the chiefs of police of towns and cities would be selected by the provincial/district director from a list of five qualified candidates both upon the recommendation of the PNP Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.
Lacson said the measure would also give the regional director authority to choose the chiefs of police of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities, as well as district directors of the Metro Manila police.
At present, he said, the law considers governors and mayors as deputized representatives of the National Police Commission in their respective territorial jurisdictions, with governors having the power to choose the police provincial director and mayors having the authority to choose the local city or town chief of police.
“While the constitutionality of such appointive jurisdiction is a settled question, nothing prevents the Congress from reviewing the wisdom and logic behind said policy in order to further enhance police professionalism and to isolate the police service from political domination,” said Lacson, who served as PNP chief from 1999 to 2001.
The measure, he said, would encourage local police commanders to concentrate on their job and not be indebted to local executives who invoke their appointive authority.
The senator noted that controversies in the past have “developed a public perception that conflict of interest arises when provincial directors and police chiefs end up being indebted to local chief executives because of the latter’s appointive authority.” RAM/rga
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