A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to restore the Philippine Constabulary (PC), with the elite Special Action Force (SAF) as the first batch of officers, to concentrate on suppressing domestic security threats, particularly terrorism and insurgency.
The author of the measure, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as urgent House Bill 3768, which proposes to bring back the PC by revising the 1990 law that created the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the 1998 statute that gave the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) primary jurisdiction over internal security.
“Considering it was the President himself who first broached the renewal of the PC, we’re asking him to certify our bill as urgent. But that is really up to the President, whether he certifies the measure,” Pimentel, a member of the House Committee on National Defense and Security, said.
In any case, the lawmaker added, he is “dead serious” about his proposal to reinstate the PC.
“With the President’s resolve to chart a truly independent foreign policy, it has become absolutely imperative for Congress to release the AFP from its duties in maintaining internal security,” Pimentel said.
The AFP’s three existing service commands – the Army, Navy and Air Force – should now concentrate entirely on preparing to defend the national sovereignty and territory against external threats, the lawmaker added.
As proposed by Pimentel, the new PC would have jurisdiction in civil law enforcement, and its pioneers would be the SAF, the national mobile unit of the PNP patterned after the renowned Special Air Service of the British Army.