Constabulary revival to address internal threats – lawmaker
MANILA — A Surigao del Sur congressman said on Sunday, President Duterte’s proposal to revive the Philippine Constabulary as a component of the Armed Forces should be supported in response to the threat of urban terrorism and drug trafficking in the country.
“We really need a fourth military branch dedicated solely to quashing internal threats. This way, the three existing service commands — the Army, Navy and the Air Force can concentrate entirely on external threats,” Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, a member of the House committee on national defense and security, said in a statement.
Pimentel compared the set-up to those of France, Italy and Spain where they have “distinct military services that have jurisdiction in civil law enforcement.”
The PC was integrated into the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 1991.
The national police trained the Special Action Force (SAF), a contingent of which is now deployed at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP), akin to the military but remains civilian in nature.
In proposing the revival of the PC, the President described urban terrorism as the “next big threat to the country.”
The PC would also be tapped to stop drug trafficking in the country, amid Mr. Duterte’s warning that the country could be a “full-blown narco-state” if the illegal drug trade was not suppressed.
More than 3,000 people had been killed since President Duterte assumed office on June 30 and made the campaign against illegal drugs the centerpiece of his administration.
The killings have raised alarm in the international community, but the government, had told off no less than the United Nations and its key ally, the United States, not to meddle in the Philippines’ domestic problems. SFM
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