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Revive the PC to restore discipline in the PNP

/ 05:01 AM January 16, 2018

One of the reasons President Duterte chose retired Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año to eventually head the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was his expectation that Año would discipline the Philippine National Police.

As DILG chief, Año has supervision over the PNP.

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But there’s a whale of a difference between the AFP where Año just came from and the PNP when it comes to discipline.

In the AFP, a soldier can be jailed outright by his superior over a wrongdoing while he awaits court martial.

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Immediate disciplinary action makes soldiers toe the line.

On the other hand, an erring policeman is guided not by military discipline but by civil service rules.

A cop who is the subject of a complaint from a citizen invokes his right to “due process” in which a protracted investigation is conducted.

Even summary dismissal proceedings against policemen—summary means “done without delay”—take months and even years to resolve.

“Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo,” my public service program, was witness to a summary dismissal case against a drunken Pasig City policeman who shot and killed a teenager. The case dragged on for more than a decade.

After 12 years, the policeman died of cancer while his administrative and criminal cases were still pending.

Good luck, General Año!

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* * *

The framers of the proposed Charter change may want to revive the storied Philippine Constabulary (PC) whose members were subject to military discipline.

The PC, which was abolished during the vindictive Corazon Aquino presidency, was one of the major commands of the AFP composed of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Return the police to the local governments and make the PC, as before, the national law enforcement agency along with the National Bureau of Investigation.

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TAGS: Charter change, DILG, Eduardo Año, On Target, Philippine Constabulary, PNP‎, Ramon Tulfo
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