SENATOR Panfilo Lacson wants to remove from politicians the power to appoint the head of the Philippine National Police in a province, city or municipality under their jurisdiction.
Lacson filed a bill to level up the professionalism of the police force, especially in the selection of provincial commanders and city and town chiefs of police.
Lacson, who served as PNP chief from 1999 to 2001, said his Senate Bill 971 will encourage local police commanders to concentrate on their job and not be indebted to local executives who invoke their appointive authority.
“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,” Lacson said in his bill.
He added 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.”
Lacson’s bill, titled “An Act to Further Professionalize the Police Service Amending for the Purpose Pertinent Provisions of Republic Act No. 6975 as amended by Republic Act No. 8551 and for Other Purposes,” gives the PNP regional director the authority to choose the provincial/district director.
It also lets the provincial/district director the authority to select the city or town chief of police.
Provincial/district directors shall be chosen by the regional director from a list of three qualified candidates recommended by the PNP Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.
Meanwhile, the chiefs of police of towns and cities shall be chosen by the provincial/district director from a list of five qualified candidates recommended by the PNP Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.
Chiefs of police of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities, as well as district directors of the Metro Manila police shall be chosen by the regional director under the same conditions.
On the other hand, the bill allows the governor to concentrate on overseeing the provincial public safety plan implementation.
Presently, 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.