By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has expressed willingness to assume full operational control of police from local chief executives who will fail to implement peace and order in their areas of concern.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said top local chief executives like governors and mayors should be the ones responsible in the implementation of peace and order in the communities.
However, should they fail to do so, Albayalde said the PNP is ready to assume full operational control of the local police.
“Kapag ikaw ay local chief executive, ikaw ang may responsibilidad sa peace and order that’s why you have the operational control over the police personnel in your area, municipality or city, kaya po nasa batas ‘yan (If you are a local chief executive, you have the responsibility in [ensuring] peace and order that’s why you have the operational control over the police personnel in your area, municipality or city, and it’s included in the law),” Albayalde said.
The PNP chief’s statement came after President Duterte on Thursday warned that he will remove the power over the police of local chief executives who will be neglectful of their duties. The Commander-in-Chief also said he has ordered Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano to audit mayors and governors who continue to record high crime rate.
“Sabi ko kay General Año, ‘i-audit mo nga ‘yan sila, sir’ and sabi ko, ‘yung mga mayors na hindi makapag-control ng crime and every now and then may buy-bust dito, buy-bust doon kung saan-saan na lang. It numbers like 20 buy-bust operations a day, eh tatanggalin mo ‘yang pulis niya. Ilagay ko ‘yung pulis ko, ikaw na ‘yung mayor,” Duterte said.
(I told General Ano, ‘have them audited, sir’ and I said ‘those mayors who cannot control the crime [but] every now and then have buy-bust operations everywhere. It numbers like 20 buy-bust operations a day, remove their [local] police. I’ll put my police there, be the mayor.)
However, Albayalde said the President must have meant that the PNP will take control of the police powers of the neglectful local chief executives.
Under Section 51 of the Republic Act No. 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, local chief executives shall have the “operational supervision and control” of its police personnel. This means that they have the power to direct, superintend, oversee and inspect the police units and forces.
They shall also have the power to employ and deploy units or elements of the PNP through the station commander “to ensure public safety and effective maintenance of peace and order within the locality.”
Albayalde also clarified that the PNP will not totally take control of the operations of a province, city or municipality but merely the engagements of police.
“Not necessary taking over. You are in control of the [operations] of the police. As mayor, alam mo rin dapat [ang] nangyayari sa iyong lugar lalo na sa peace and order. Hindi mo pwede ipaubaya lahat sa pulis. Ikaw ang pinakatatay sa lugar at ikaw ay binoto so they expect you to lead,” Albayalde said.
(Not necessary taking over. You are in control of the [operations] of the police. As mayor, you should know what’s happening in your area especially in the peace and order. You cannot put all the work to the police. You are the father of your [community] and you are voted so they expect you to lead.)