THE National Police Commission has signed a resolution approving the upgrading of the rank of the directors of the five Philippine National Police Directorates for Integrated Police Operations or PNP-DIPOs from Major General to Lieutenant General.
As such, the heads of the PNP-DIPOs for Western and Eastern Mindanao, Northern and Southern Luzon and Visayas will be getting their 3rd-star putting them on par with the three members of the PNP Command Group or the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Deputy Chief for Operations and PNP Chief Directorial Staff.
On the other hand, the Deputy Directors of the five DIPOs will be promoted to the rank of Major General from Brigadier General while their Executive Officers will be getting the one-star rank.
The new prescribed ranks of the PNP-DIPO officials however must be in accordance with existing qualification standards prescribed by the Napolcom.
The Napolcom resolution was signed last October 7 by Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año who is also the concurrent Napolcom chairman; Vice-Chairman Attorney Rogelio T. Casurao and Commissioners Felizardo M. Serapio Jr., Zenonida F. Brosas, Atty. Job M. Mangente and PNP chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan.
The copy of the resolution was forward to the Department of Budget and Management for reference since the upgraded ranks will automatically carries a salary adjustment.
The resolution was made amid Gen. Cascolan’s move to fully utilize the five PNP-DIPOs in their fight against insurgency in the countryside in support to the Armed Forces.
The resolution said that DIPOs are mandated to direct and supervise the conduct of inter-regional anti-criminality, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against lawless elements which transcend regional boundaries and provide a system for the promotion of regional socio-economic development.
Gen. Cascolan has ordered his DIPO commanders to strengthen their coordination and inter-operability with the different AFP operating units and exercise operational supervision over all PNP maneuver forces including the regional offices of the national support units during the conduct of inter-regional and/or joint operations with the military.
Accordingly, he proposed the upgrading of the rank of the DIPO heads in view of their vital functions and greater responsibilities particularly in consideration of their expanded role in support to Executive Order No. 70 to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or ELCAC.
Gen. Cascolan also noted that AFP area commanders who are the counterpart of the DIPO heads already carries the rank of Lieutenant General.
According to the PNP chief, the five DIPOs will be given more muscle in the anti-insurgency campaign soon as it will have operational control of regional and provincial police maneuver units in their areas.
“Our internal security and anti-criminality in support to Executive Order No. 70 to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) is expected to be bolstered further by the realignment of regional and provincial maneuver units to be placed under the operational control of the Directorates for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) that will be under the command of a Police Lieutenant General,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Cascolan said that under the operational supervision of PNP-DIPOs, police maneuver or the different regional and provincial mobile battalions which are the cutting edge of the PNP when it comes to the conduct of internal security operations will be deployed in the heartland and areas of operation of domestic threat groups.
“These units will be within striking distance to the enemy,” said the PNP chief as he instructed the PNP Directorate for Operations headed by d Major Gen. Alfred S. Corpus to prepare the Implementing Rules and Regulations to operationalize the planned changes.
“We will expand the DIPO. They will have a bigger function in Internal Security Operations. Afterall, that is essentially the wisdom and intent behind the creation of these PNP area commands,” Gen. Cascolan said.
In 2018, the previous PNP leadership expressed its commitment to abolish the controversial DIPO posts.
“With or without the DIPO, the PNP can function—even better without. The Chief PNP can directly supervise the Regional Commands all over the Philippines. I strongly support the deletion of the DIPO,” then Pangasinan Representative, now Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo N. Bataoil said in a meeting of the Technical Working Group assigned to tackle the proposed PNP Modernization Act.
Some PNP officials assured the public then that under the Organizational Development component of the proposed bill, the DIPO will be reviewed and will most likely be abolished.