Revival of Philippine Constabulary (PC) under a federal system of government is a good idea as it gives more strength to the government’s fight against criminality and terrorism.
This was the assertion of Jose Antonio Goitia, head of the PDP-Laban Policy Studies Group, saying, “In the face of greater threats to national security and public safety, we must take a second look at the idea broached by President Rodrigo Duterte in reviving the Philippine Constabulary (PC), especially that the threat of terrorism is not going away anytime soon given the spreading influence of extremist groups around the globe.”
Goitia, also the chairman of the PDP-Laban Membership Committee in the National Capitol Region (Metro Manila), explained that “the PC will be under the purview of the Department of National Defense (DND), unlike the current set-up of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that is under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that must have a national scope [tasked to]address issues of fragmentation and gaps in the chain of command because the current local police forces are under the command and supervision of the local governments.”
“The problem of terrorism necessitates a national [effort]in scope policing and intelligence work. The DND, which has broader view of the national security situation, is better equipped to handle such issues, which cannot be left to the local governments alone,” said Goitia, also the PDP-Laban San Juan City (Metro Manila) Council president.
“Aside from the issue of terrorism, another issue to be considered is character of criminal activities, which are becoming increasingly global and transnational. Globalization and technological advances have influenced the conduct of criminal activities such as terrorism, cybercrime, transnational crimes involving drugs and human trafficking, among others,” he noted.
According to Goitia, the local police, which is limited by their mandate and jurisdiction, are constrained to perform enforcement functions to address crimes of such magnitude and complexity and multi-agency task forces, which are temporary and ad hoc in nature, are often formed to overcome the limitations of the capacity of the police and they are short-term solutions to ever-evolving problems.
“Reviving the PC will also instill discipline among the ranks of the police. The PC revival is in line with President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs and criminality. Police officers and local government officials were implicated by the President in the illegal drug trade,” he said.
“This means the local police and the local government officials are often in cahoots, either as protectors or the main drug peddlers in local communities. The current structure of the local police being under the local government has made such set-up permissible,” according to Goitia.
NELSON S. BADILLA