Press Release
January 14, 2007


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called on the leadership of the Philippine National Police not to allow favoritism or the palakasan system to hold sway in making police assignments as he assailed its alleged failure to seek the approval of provincial governors in designating new police directors of various provinces.

The governors complained to Pimentel about this erroneous practice when he addressed a conference of the League of Provinces, in Century Park Hotel, Manila.

Pimentel reminded the PNPs top brass about the requirements of the Local Government Code (Republic Act 7160) which authorizes the governors to choose the new provincial police director out of three names submitted by the PNP.

He said he was told by some governors that after they have made their choice for provincial police director, the latter is arbitrarily removed and replaced with another in an acting capacity.

They cannot just subvert the intention of the law, which is for the governor to have a say, by allowing him to choose the new police director and then removing him unceremoniously the choice to be replaced by an acting police director. That is what they are doing, the senator said.

In an order signed by PNP Director General Oscar Calderon, a total of 33 provincial commanders and five city chiefs of police chiefs, with ranks ranging from senior superintendent to superintendent, were reportedly replaced effective Jan. 11. Most of the police commanders were replaced after completing their tow-year tour of duty.

Pimentel, principal author of the Local Government Code, said Director General Calderon should explain his action and respond to the gripe of the governors in the reshuffle of the provincial police directors without due consultation with them in flagrant violation of the law.

Director General Calderon will have to answer a lot of questions regarding the apparent malpractice of doing away with the requirement of the law on the placing of PNP directors in the provinces. And secondly, we will have to look into the motivations, he said.

If warranted by circumstances, Pimentel said the PNP chief must take appropriate steps to correct any breach of the law and to preserve harmonious relations and cooperation between the local government officials and police authorities.

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