By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is pushing for direct control over the police force that would be formed once the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is signed instead of being under the supervision of the head of the Bangsamoro government in Mindanao.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said what they are pushing for is the retention of the status quo, wherein all the orders would still come from the National Headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
“Ours is to remain as is. Our stand is that we will be putting up different police regional offices there. Or even one police regional office will do,” Albayalde said.
Under the proposed BBL, the chief minister of the Bangsamoro government will have control over the local police force which will be called Bangsamoro Police.
While the same provisions states that the Bangsamoro Police will still be part of the PNP, Albayalde said he has some concerns over such setup.
“It is but logical. What we want to avoid is that there might come a time that the local police force would be politicized, that they are on their own and we no longer have control over them,” Albayalde said.
Until now, there are some concerns over the loyalty of policemen assigned in Mindanao, with some groups accusing some of the cops of being loyal to political warlords.
During the Maguindanao massacre for instance, a number of policemen were implicated after they were accused of setting up the checkpoint that intercepted the convoy of a political rival of the Ampatuans and the local media.
Some policemen also escorted the convoy to the killing field where 58 people were killed. Some of the policemen were also accused of staging a coverup on the incident.
“What we do not want to happen is the scenario wherein we no longer have command and control. We don’t want them (local police force) to be turned later to a large private armed group,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde said they are pushing for such amendment, along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).