Press Release
August 27, 2010


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago called for the immediate reorganization of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) as a solution to improve the performance of the country's police force in the wake of Monday's bloody hostage-taking incident.

"The entire Philippine National Police is in crisis and the situation calls for drastic measures. Considering the increasingly disturbing and controversial police-related incidents reported in the past weeks, I can only assume the worst is yet to come. Our police officers should shape up or ship out," Santiago said.

Santiago was referring to the reported torture practices by police in Tondo, and the alleged police involvement with the death of carnapping suspect Ivan Padilla.

"The incidents and reports keep getting worse. They even made international headlines. The PNP should get its act straight for our countrymen and redeem itself to the international community," Santiago said.

Santiago's Senate Bill No. 1748, or the National Police Commission Reorganization Act, aims to maximize the commission's constitutional mandate to take charge of police operations and ensure the proper administration of areas of concern such as police education, communication, equipment, criminal identification, and criminal statistics.

"The quality of our police force depends on the hands that guide it. As peace and order is crucial our country's socio-economic development, Napolcom should be much more than glorified nannies of cops," Santiago said.

In order to achieve this goal, Santiago's bill proposes that the Napolcom be subsumed under the Office of the President rather than the Department of Interior and Local Government.

"This way, the President will have a more direct hand in overseeing the police force, much like he handles the Armed Forces as its Commander-in-Chief. The Napolcom under the DILG at present only makes the chain of command longer," Santiago said.

Santiago added that a direct line between the Napolcom and the president would facilitate police activities under crisis situations such as large scale disasters and those that involve foreign nationals.

Santiago explains that reorganizing the Napolcom in that manner also concretizes the abstract description of the police system in the Constitution.

"The PNP is national in scope and civilian in character. While the Constitution speaks of a national range of operation, it at the same time stipulates that the local executives shall exercise a degree of authority of the over the police force. The Napolcom becomes the unifying element between the national and local as mandated by the Constitution," Santiago said.

The bill also designates an Internal Affairs Bureau within the Napolcom. The PNP currently has an Internal Affairs Service as its disciplinary arm that investigates and adjudicates administrative cases of police anomalies and irregularities.

"Moving the jurisdiction of internal affairs to the Napolcom ensures the independence of investigation of graft and corruption within police ranks. This will help in weeding out the bad cops from the good ones," Santiago said.

News Latest News Feed