The Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS) believes that one of its high-ranking personnel was the author of the “demolition job” against the IAS leadership after a new application for the agency’s top post surfaced recently despite its repeated explanations that the post is not vacant.
In a press statement, the IAS said lawyer Maria Lynnberg S. Constantinopla — the head of its intelligence and investigations office — submitted an application for the position of Inspector General to PNP chief Jesus Azurin Jr. on November 11.
This comes months later after she also submitted an application to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Presidential Management Staff Secretary Maria Zenaida Angping asked the PNP and the IAS to evaluate the merits of Constantinopla’s application and “to take appropriate action on her intent to apply in the PNP as Inspector General in the PNP Internal Affairs Service.”
Constantinopla has yet to react to queries from the Standard on the issue as of posting time.
In a statement, the sitting IAS Inspector General, lawyer Alfegar M. Triambulo, clarified that Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos said that the position of the IAS Inspector General “is not vacant”.
“The position of Inspector General [of the IAS] the CPNP and all officers of the PNP appointed by the President are neither casual, coterminous, confidential, nor contractual,” Triambulo said.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Triambulo as IAS Inspector General in 2016.
“As to Atty. Constantinopla’s application, it must be emphasized, as our office had repeatedly clarified in a number of fora since June 2022, of which Atty. Constantinopla must have been unmindful, that the post is not vacant. Yours truly has been serving in the said post since 2016,” Triambulo said.
Her insistence to take the top post fits her role as the source of the demolition job inside IAS against Triambulo, he said.
Though “terminated” from service, Constantinopla occasionally managed to enter the agency’s premises, and reportedly harassed some personnel she suspected to be loyal to IG Triambulo, the IAS said.
Constantinopla has her own derogatory records inside the IAS itself, the statement added.
On October 28, she was charged under Administrative Case No. NIAS-NMP-20-052 “for inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, refusal to perform official duty, gross insubordination, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service.”
This case “attained finality on September 6 after the lapse of reglementary period to file a motion for reconsideration or appeal to the office,” the IAS said.
Another charge, docketed as NIAS-NMP 22-181, had Constantinopla facing six counts of grave misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the public service.
The IAS investigates infractions allegedly committed by the members of the PNP. It was created pursuant to Republic Act 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998. It is tasked to instill police discipline, enhance the delivery of police service, and dispense justice. Its parent department is the National Police Commission.