By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has given its nod to a proposed legislation which seeks to modify the rank classification of police personnel by adopting what is currently being used in the military.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, PNP chief, said that it was President Duterte, himself, who wants the adoption of military-style rank classification for PNP personnel so as to avoid confusion.
“Sa amin nanggaling ‘yang initiative kasi gusto namin ibalik. Sabi ni Presidente confused ang taumbayan (The initiative came from us because we want it back. The President said the public is confused),” Dela Rosa said.
The chief PNP’s statements came after House Bill 5236 has recently been approved in the second reading.
The proposed legislation seeks to “modify the rank classification of the uniformed personnel of the PNP as provided for in Section 28 of the Republic Act No. 6975, also known as the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, by adopting the rank classification currently used in the military.”
The bill was principally authored by Antipolo City Representative Romeo Acop, who said that the measure aims to establish a clearer rank classification for the PNP.
Dela Rosa cited as an example the use of rank “inspector” which could often be referred to many other designations.
“‘Yung ‘inspector’, inspector ba ng Dimple Transit o pulis, o fire, o jail? So gusto natin ng mas klaro (Is an ‘inspector’ an inspector of Dimple [Star Bus] Transit, or police, or fire, or jail officer? So we like to be more clear),” he said in jest while citing a bus transit which was involved in a recent accident.
Aside from inspector, the rank “superintendent” is also currently being used by the PNP, with both terms from the Western and European jurisdictions.
Under the proposed bill, the current highest rank of a PNP officer — director general, like Dela Rosa, will have a rank of Police General.
Other rank adoption include: Deputy Director General to Police Lieutenant General; Director to Police Major General; Chief Superintendent to Police Brigadier General; Senior Superintendent to Police Colonel; Superintendent to Police Lieutenant Colonel; Chief Inspector to Police Major; Senior Inspector to Police Captain; Inspector to Police Lieutenant; Senior Police Officer IV to Police Master Sergeant; Senior Police Officer III to Police Technical Sergeant; Senior Police Officer II to Police Staff Sergeant; Senior Police Officer I to Police Sergeant; Police Officer III to Police Corporal; Police Officer II to Patrolman First Class and Police Officer 1 to Patrolman.
Dela Rosa said that the military-style rank classification had been used by the Integrated National Police (INP), which was among the two major police forces in the country aside from the Philippine Constabulary. The two merged in 1991 to establish the PNP. (Martin A. Sadongdong)