THE five Philippine National Police Directorates for Integrated Police Operations (PNP-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, PNP chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan announced on Monday.
“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.
At present, the five PNP-DIPOs namely DIPO Visayas, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Eastern Mindanao and Western Mindanao are being commanded by Major Generals or 2-star generals with their Deputies and Executive Officers having the rank of Brigadier General.
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 newly-promoted 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,” Cascolan said.
Since their creation during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration, PNP-DIPOs are known to be the ‘dumping ground’ of police regional or national operational support unit directors who have been relieved from their posts for reasons such as completion of their 2-year term or ‘for cause’ either due to administrative lapses or due to the so-called ‘command responsibility.’
However, it has been a perennial complaint of DIPO directors thru the years, especially those who have been efficiently working until they were relieved due to the so-called ‘police politics’ or ‘police-tics’ that DIPOS are not getting the support they need to effectively carry out their mission and functions.
Lack of budget, manpower, parking and of course, the much-needed space is a major complaint of DIPO directors. At present, All five DIPOs are holding office in a small building in Camp Crame which used to be a home for PNP musicians. It is the only small building in Camp Crame which actually houses five 2-star generals and 10 1-star generals.