IT looks like there will be no more upgraded ranks for Philippine National Police commanders as the resolution recommended by the National Police Commission has been rejected by the House of Representatives.
Several of my sources told me that President Duterte agreed to the recommendation in principle provided that it will be in accordance with the law which created the PNP. However, lawmakers led by Antipolo (2nd District) Representative Romy Acop has rejected the Napolcom move citing Republic Act 8551 which on February 25, 1998 amended RA 6975 or the act which created the police force.
I was told that Acop, a lawyer who retired as 2-star police general cited the law in rejecting the Napolcom resolution which will upgrade the rank of dozens of police generals without necessarily going thru the process. Section 13 of RA 8551 says that the PNP reorganization program as a whole shall be approved by Congress thru a joint resolution, not by a mere Napolcom resolution.
The Napolcom chaired by Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge, Undersecretary Eduardo M. Año earlier issued a resolution upgrading the rank of the directors of 23 key PNP units, a move which will literally make senior PNP officials at par with their Armed Forces counterparts specifically military service commanders.
The Napolcom resolution resolved that the Directors of the PNP Special Action Force, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Civil Security Group, Highway Patrol Group, the Regional Directors of the 17 Police Regional Offices and the Director and Commandant of the PNP Academy be given a one-rank promotion.
The Napolcom resolved to upgrade the rank of the heads of the PNP-SAF, CIDG, CSG and the NCRPO from Director, a rank equivalent to a Major General in the Armed Forces to Deputy Director General or the equivalent of a Lieutenant General or a 3-star rank in the AFP.
The resolution has been met with varying opinions, the pros and cons but as they have been saying, the rule of law will always prevail and President Duterte knows that, he being a seasoned lawyer-politician.
The Napolcom resolution actually would result in the heads of the PNP Special Action Force, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Civil Security Group and the National Capital Region Police Office being promoted to the 3-star rank or a Police Deputy Director General, thus outranking the 2-star Police Directors occupying the 10 different PNP Directorial Staff position as well as the directors of the five PNP Directorates for Integrated Police Operations.
It would result in, let’s say the head of the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management who is a 2-star general and supervising the CIDG being outranked by the CIDG director himself or the head of the NCRPO who will be getting the rank of Deputy Director General outranking the 10 Directorial Staff.
There is also the question on the increased salary and other benefits including the retirement package of the concerned generals should they get the upgraded rank although some have told me that the concern can be easily addressed but not the fact that the Napolcom resolution is contrary to law.
At present, the heads of the PNP-SAF, CIDG, CSG and NCRPO are all Police Directors and had the Napolcom resolution was approved, they will be automatically be promoted one-rank higher. On the other hand, the Napolcom resolution would upgrade the rank of the Directors of the PNP-HPG, the PNPA and the 16 other remaining Police Regional Offices from Chief Superintendent or a Brigadier General in the AFP to Police Director.
The Napolcom also resolved to upgrade the rank of the PNPA Superintendent from Senior Superintendent or a Full-Fledged Colonel to Chief Superintendent. The Napolcom resolution was issued as the PNP headed by General Oscar Albayalde is already gearing to fully take over the supervision of the PNPA and the National Police Training Institute from the Philippine Public Safety College with the end in view of producing more bright and disciplined police officers and men in the future.
The Napolcom resolution said that it deemed it fitting and timely to effect necessary organizational adjustments to the Police Regional Offices , NOSUs and the PNP personnel detailed with the PNPA including upgrading the rank of the heads thereof taking into consideration the increasing complexity and expanded scope of mission-critical functions attached to the positions, the burgeoning size of the PNP which is now approximately 190,000-strong, the need to further enhance coordination and inter-operability with their counterparts from the AFP ; and bolster the morale by providing the rank-and-file with more career growth opportunities.
The body said that the upgrading of ranks shall be subject to the provision of law and existing policies on placement and promotion which is being taken cared of by a PNP Board of Generals otherwise known as the Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.
At the same time, the Napolcom resolution said that except for the PNP-HPG, the affected National Operational Support Units or NOSUs shall be placed under the operational supervision of the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations.
The Napolcom likewise resolved that the PNP leadership shall issue the necessary guidelines to implement such organizational adjustments as may be necessary to rationalize the functional supervision, line of authority and accountability brought about by the said rank adjustments.
It was actually forwarded to the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management for their consideration and concurrence until Acop, who is serving his final term shut down the recommendation which could have paved the way for an additional four 3-star generals in the PNP apart from the three members of Gen. Albayalde’s Command Group.
There are also 21 Police Directors at present including the RD, NCRPO, the Director, CIDG, the Director, CSG, the Director, PNP-SAF, all 10 members of the PNP Directorial Staff, the Directors of the five PNP Directorates for Integrated Police Operations; and the Deputy Director General of the PNP Internal Affairs Service.
There are also a total of 106 Police Chief Superintendents including the rest of the Police Regional Office directors outside of Metro Manila. The Napolcom resolution will mean that 18 of the 106 will be promoted to the rank of Police Director namely the Directors of the PNP-HPG, the PNPA and the remaining 16 other heads of the Police Regional Offices.