NCRPO open to cops with tattoos | Inquirer News

NCRPO open to cops with tattoos

Albayalde: Ban may be lifted on case-by-case basis depending on size and location of ‘art work’
/ 05:08 AM April 04, 2018

Metro Manila’s top cop said he was open to a review of the Philippine National Police’s ban on applicants with tattoos, saying it could be applied on a case-by-case basis as some tattoos were “considered art.”

“Many times, people have ‘Jesus’ tattooed on their chests, and that wouldn’t be seen. We [also] don’t wear sleeveless shirts in the PNP,” the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Director Oscar Albayalde, told the Inquirer.

Prospective recruits who have the name of their wife or girlfriend tattooed on their chests may also be exempted from the rule.


In the eye of beholder


“Personally, it really depends on the tattoo. But the kind of tattoos that are very big or prominent on the body, that’s not good in the eyes of civilians,” Albayalde said.

“I don’t think people are open-minded or mature enough yet for that,” he added, citing the commonly-held belief that those with tattoos were former inmates or had criminal records.

Albayalde said this just proved that this was not “the right time” to lift the ban.

“But if the tattoo is highly concealable, then we can probably review that. After all, tattoos are an art. It will depend on the size and location of the tattoo,” he added.

Albayalde’s remarks came on the heels of Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles’ call for the PNP and Armed Forces to scrap some of their “archaic” requirements, including the ban on tattoos.

Slightly different opinions


His stance deviated slightly from that of PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa who defended the ban, saying it kept uniformed men from looking “like criminals or ex-convicts.”

“For you, it’s an art. For us, it’s taboo,” Dela Rosa told reporters on Monday.

While the PNP chief did express openness to admitting applicants with concealed tattoos, he added that it would still be better for them to remove it since it would be seen “when they remove their shirts at the health service.”

In his interview with the Inquirer, Albayalde also said he supported Nograles’ other proposal which was the lifting of the height requirement of 5’4” for male recruits and 5’2” for females.

“That’s discrimination, actually. If you were born only 5 feet tall, that’s not your fault. You didn’t ask for that,” he stressed.

Height not a deal breaker

According to him, those who were “especially bright or intelligent” but didn’t meet the height requirement could be assigned to logistics or operations instead of beat patrol.

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“It depends on the qualifications of the people,” Albayalde said, adding: “If you are short, but bright, you can still grow [in the PNP].”


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