Press Release
October 8, 2018

To harmonize law enforcement, end 'confusion'
Senate approves Lacson-sponsored bill for PNP rank classification

With a vote of 18 senators present with no abstention, the Senate on Monday, October 8, approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 2031 seeking to modify the rank classification in the Philippine National Police.

The bill, with Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson as principal author, seeks a more common rank nomenclature to standardize law enforcers are being called.

Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, sponsored the bill in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

"This measure is geared towards our collective pursuit of eliminating confusion on how our law enforcers must be addressed and, ultimately bringing our policemen closer to the populace," Lacson said.

"In order to maintain its clear distinction from the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the ranks to be used in addressing the PNP personnel shall be preceded by the word 'Police'," he added.

The bill primarily seeks to amend Section 28 of Republic Act 6975 as amended, also known as the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990.

Under the bill, the PNP rank classification shall be as follows:

Director-General to Police General
Deputy Director-General to Police Lieutenant General
Director to Police Major General
Chief Superintendent to Police Brigadier General
Senior Superintendent to Police Colonel
Superintendent to Police Lieutenant Colonel
Chief Inspector to Police Major
Senior Inspector to Police Captain
Inspector to Police Lieutenant
SPO4 to Police Executive Master Sergeant
SPO3 to Police Chief Master Sergeant
SPO2 to Police Senior Master Sergeant
SPO1 to Police Master Sergeant
PO3 to Police Staff Sergeant
PO2 to Police Corporal
PO1 to Patrolman/Patrolwoman

Lacson also emphasized the need for such a rank classification system for the PNP to coordinate better with other law enforcement agencies in anti-crime and anti-terrorism operations.

"As hyperbolic as it may sound, we cannot afford any delay in coordination in counter-terrorism operations and operations against other threats to national security. You and I would agree that a split second matters if the safety and lives of our people are at stake," he said.

"Experiences both of our policemen and soldiers tell us that unnecessary lags occur when one still finds it necessary to check who his or her counterpart from the police or military is," he added.

On the other hand, Lacson said the rank classification specified in Senate Bill 2031 will not take away the civilian character of the PNP, much less militarize it.

He added the Department of Justice, through a letter signed by Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, said it "finds no clear and categorical infringement of the Constitution."

Because of this, Lacson said the PNP "shall continue to adopt a service-oriented outlook in consonance with its existing police-community relations doctrine consistent with its sworn duty 'To Serve and Protect.'"

The measure is co-authored by Sen. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, and Sen. Grace Poe, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

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