Section 51 of Republic Act 6975, otherwise known as the “PNP Law” among other things provide, that the Governor in the case of the Provincial Government, in his capacity as a deputized representative of the National Police Commission, shall have the power to appoint, from among three candidates recommended by the PNP Regional Director, his PNP Provincial Director. And in the case of City/Municipal Mayors, from among 5 recommendees of the PNP Provincial Director, their respective PNP Chiefs of Police.
PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa is calling for a dialogue with the National Police Commission, to discuss the possibility of calling for an amendment of certain provisions of RA 6975 (PNP Law) and RA 8551 (Amended PNP Law), which grant local executives the power to appoint police officials. He said, such powers given to Governors and Mayors, often result to the formation of the private armed groups in many localities in the country. Versoza further said in an interview, that he will be citing reports from the Zenarosa commission on private armed groups to strengthen his argument against this law.
I believe Versoza, in his desire to undertake this change, will have to face a difficult fight. LGU’s will surely be dismayed and therefore, oppose this move. Its going to be a battle against all odds. But this is truly a very laudable call. A valid argument. For it is important that our government should be able to protect our people from all possible threats of abuse, by some politicians, whose only way to maintain their power is by the use of the 3G’s. Goons, Guns and Gold. Sad to say, that’s very common in the Philippine scenario today. Who knows, we could have avoided the recent ill fated Maguindanao Massacre, to ever happen, if this issue have been addressed earlier.
While these politicians continue to enjoy their power and authority over our police force, the more politics is being introduced. The more we expose our policemen in such a situation where they have to consider their “good relationships” with their Chief Executives at all times. Otherwise they are doomed to be displaced, if not transfered to other assignments. This in itself is corruption. Although both agencies belong under one jurisdiction of the DILG, there should be an autonomy between them, in as far as ” PNP appointments” are concerned. This is the only way to give our police officers, more independence and sovereignty against the mostly manipulative Governors and Mayors.
The main problem is, how can Versoza possibly push through for an amendment of the law, when it would require the votes of the very lawmakers, whom, if not the fathers or the sons or the uncles of these Chief Executives, are closely tied up with them, for alliances and support? Too, in tandem with them for a common goal of protecting their political interest, which is to stay in power for as long as they can. Politics as it may sound, but sadly, this is the most common scenario, Versoza may have to deal with.