A police force with no chain of command? You’ve got to be kidding, according to Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who was reacting to statements from Malacanang and the Justice Department that the chain of command does not apply to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“You cannot have a police force that does not have a chain of command. That simply will not work… it is a totally illogical contention that you can have a police force without a chain of command,” Marcos told reporters Monday.
Malacañang and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima refuted the PNP-Board of Inquiry’s (BOI) report on the Mamasapano incident that President Benigno Aquino violated the chain of the Command.
De Lima said the President is not commander-in-chief of PNP because under the 1987 Constitution, the PNP is no longer part of the armed forces.
She said the President is only commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the PNP, being a civilian law enforcement agency, is not part of the military.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, said if the PNP has no chain-of-command how would its members know who should give orders and who would follow those orders.
“Let’s remove the phrase chain of command and call it hierarchy. In any organization, be it a business or military, there has to be hierarchy, which identify who is making the decisions. You cannot operate any organization without that,” he said.
Marcos disagreed with assertions that Aquino has the prerogative not to follow the chain of command because, as commander-in-chief, he is on top of the chain of command.
“That is what we (senators) have been asking from the beginning. Why did you (President) bypass the normal chain of command? Maybe, he has a very good reason, and we would like to hear it,” Marcos said.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, a former Navy lieutenant and a political ally of the President, maintained that Mr. Aquino is not bound by the chain of command and said the President can order his subordinates to coordinate directly or laterally.
Trillanes said nobody could compel the commander-in-chief to follow the chain of command.
“The commander-in- chief can go directly to any subordinate of a unit and it’s up to the subordinate of that unit to invoke the chain of command,” Trillanes added.