THE Philippine Regional Office (PRO)-Davao Region backed the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte to revive the decades-gone Philippine Constabulary (PC) to expedite the implementation of disciplinary action against abusive cops that is currently the thrust of the government.
“I really welcome and highly recommend the revival of the PC,” PRO Regional Director Manuel Gaerlan said during the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippines National Police (AFP-PNP) press forum in Davao City on Wednesday, February 1.
Gaerlan was a member of the PC special action force.
Although there have been complaints before due to alleged human rights violations of rogue cops, Gaerlan said he believed the PC could efficiently instill discipline among law enforcers with its Articles of War.
“The commander has the authority to detain one member of the unit, pag nag violate ikulong ko (if someone violated the law, I’ll send them to prison). Unlike in PNP, I am a regional director but I have no power na ikulong ang member ng PNP (to detain a member of PNP),” he said.
Under Article 105, the commanding officers have a disciplinary power to impose disciplinary punishments upon persons of his command without the intervention of a court-martial, unless the accused demands trial by court-martial.
“If the PC will return, we, as police commanders like constabulary commanders would have that power again,” he said.
Gaerlan said during the reign of PC, when a certain police officer committed an offense, within a few days or weeks, the police will face immediate dismissal.
If not, either the enlistment would not be renewed.
“There is an enlistment procedure before wherein every three years parang temporary lang ang mga enlisted personnel ng AFP, pag paabsent-absent siya or parelax-relax? Huwag mo lang i-renew ang enlistment (the enlisted personnel of AFP are temporary. If they’re always absent and relaxing on duty? The enlistment would not be renewed),” he said, adding that the police officers’ appointments now are permanent under Civil Service regulation.
The PC underwent ups and down in history having been abolished during the passage of 1987 constitution that led to the merging of PC and the Integrated National Police, the police force for cities and large towns, then named PNP in 1991.
Duterte mulled the revival of the PC to address urban terrorism and augment the manpower needs of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in its fight against illegal drugs following the suspension of PNP's Oplan Tokhang.