MANILA -- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Wednesday that the presence of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) may be causing confusion on who really has administrative control over the Philippine National Police (PNP).

At the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on jueteng, former PNP chief Jesus Verzosa said the Napolcom can overrule orders made by the Local Government secretary.

He added the DILG secretary can only give orders to the PNP when acting as the chairman of the Napolcom.

This came out after Verzosa told senators that the Napolcom issued a resolution in 2006 to stop an operation against a suspected illegal gambling operator because the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) gave the suspected operator a Small Town Lottery (STL) franchise license.

Enrile said when he was defense minister under the late President Ferdinand Marcos he had administrative control over the Philippine Constabulary, the predecessor of the PNP, and had a free hand to go against criminals.

“I could direct them to go against illegal gamblers. There was no question about it,” Enrile said, adding that the old structure made administration of the police more efficient.

But the senator admitted there was a need to prevent the concentration of power in any one department.

At the time, he said, the defense minister was the "most powerful official next to the President."

Enrile added the Napolcom resolution was correct. "How can police arrest an STL operator given a license by the PCSO to operate? It would be stupid." (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)