PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said they fully recognize the autonomy of the University of the Philippines but reminded the U.P. community that the Philippine Constitution states that there is only one police force in the country which is the PNP.
In the past, police have encountered problems in investigating crimes which have taken place inside the compound of U.P. Diliman and Los Baños due to the presence of its own police force.
Albayalde said he has asked the PNP Legal Service to review the memorandum of agreement between U.P. and the Armed Forces concerning its security.
However, Albayalde explained that the recent controversy surrounding the presence of some uniformed personnel from the Police-Community Relations Group (PCRG) inside U.P. Diliman in Quezon City is purely a “misunderstanding” since the PCRG’s intention is really good.
The PCRG, headed by Chief Superintendent Rhodel O. Sermonia, has already extended its sincerest apology to the U.P. community “for whatever perceived displeasure, antagonism or resentment that may have been caused to the students and administration by the visit of personnel of the Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) to the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) last September 12.”
The PCRG assured the U.P. community of the pure good intention behind the presence there of four uniformed personnel of the PCRG led by a responsible senior Police Commissioned Officer.
The purpose of the visit was purely official business, as expressed in the communication that they were supposed to hand over to Dr. Maria Bernadette Abrera, inviting U.P. students to undergo on-the-job-training and participate in the development of the PNP Museum and Library in Camp Crame.
The PCRG officers were in proper uniform since they were performing official function then.
The PCRG said despite the unavailability of Dr. Abrera, the group was introduced to Prof. Elsa, who graciously provided them with the names and contact information of the concerned department heads.
The unit said that U.P. Diliman was actually the second stop in the itinerary of the PCRG team that day, having been to the University of Sto. Tomas earlier for the same purpose where they were cordially received with an impromptu briefing and tour of the UST Museum.
“It is unfortunate that U.P. may have looked differently at the otherwise purely academic and noble purpose of the PNP visit. Rest assured the PNP is completely aware of existing instruments of understanding concerning the presence of police personnel in the UP campus for law enforcement purposes,” the PCRG leadership said.