BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged lawmakers to strengthen the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Law that also established the Philippine National Police (PNP) instead of removing the power of the local chief executives to appoint the chief of police in his or her area of jurisdiction.
The local chief executive pointed out that if lawmakers remove the authority of governors and mayors to appoint their respective chiefs of police, then the national government should also make sure that it will fully fund the needs of the PNP so that local governments will no longer allocate budgets for the operation of the police in their places.
“It is better for our lawmakers to strengthen the law instead of removing the power of local chief executives to appoint the chief of police in their places. The local government and the police should be partners in sustaining peace and order for the benefit of a peaceful community,” Domogan stressed.
The city mayor lamented the practice of PNP officials in unjustly relieving chiefs of police and using their prerogative to assign officers-in-charge just to accommodate their close allies who were not given positions in the PNP hierarchy, saying that such practice should be the one that must be corrected and stopped in order to prevent demoralization among affected police officials.
According to him, people usually blame local officials for poor peace and order situations thus it is still best for the national government to give authority to local chief executives to appoint their own chiefs of police who will be their partner in the implementation of peace and order strategies for their communities.
It was learned that the City Government allocates some P38 million annually from its budget as assistance to the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to sustain its operational requirements in the implementation of appropriate peacekeeping and anti-criminality strategies towards making the city a peaceful place.
Under existing rules and regulations, the PNP is mandated to submit a short-list of qualified senior police officials to the concerned local chief executive from where the latter can choose, within a period of ten days upon receipt of the said list, the next chief of police in his or her area of jurisdiction. In case the local chief executive has not chosen anybody, he or she will write the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) informing the Commission the need to include the name of the police official that he or she desires to appoint, provided that, the police official is qualified for the position.
He claimed for several occasions, Baguio City has been a victim of the alleged unjust re-assignment of the BCPO chief of police and replaced by the alleged anointed police officials of high-ranking police officials based in the Police Regional Office (PRO) and the national headquarters./By Dexter A. See