Press Release
November 13, 2007

Senator Aquino leads investigation on the
exercise of powers of local chief executives

Senator Benigno "Noynoy" S. Aquino III, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, presided today's hearing on the exercise and implementation of the powers of local chief executives who have asserted their serious concerns relative to the assignment of police chiefs in their respective jurisdictions either without their approval or against their consent.

Under Article II, Section 25 of the Philippine Constitution, the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act 7160), the Philippine National Police (PNP) Law (Republic Act 6975) and the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 (Republic Act 8551), the State is mandated to ensure the autonomy of local governments and to empower local chief executives, from the provincial governors to the city and municipal mayors, to choose their respective local police heads in their respective jurisdictions.

"The chairman of the Peace and Order Council should be given the necessary tools to perform his functions, such as ensuring that provincial governors, city mayors and municipal mayors are able to select a police head they feel can best address the peace and order situation in their jurisdictions. This is embodied already in the law, both explicitly and in spirit."

"Lately, however, there have been assertions that the police officers-in-charge hold their positions indefinitely, bypassing the right of the local chief executives to select and put in place a police head they have chosen from a list of potential candidates provided by the PNP."

"This hearing and the subsequent hearings on the matter are meant to identify the need for necessary amendments to existing laws. However, even at this stage, it seems that a lot of the issues raised by our local chief executives may be resolved by the faithful implementation of existing rules and regulations, something which is not consciously practiced today."

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