Police officers wave palm fronds during Palm Sunday mass at the Manila Police District compound yesterday. Edd Gumban

PNP willing to take rebels as cops
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2018 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — Former communist rebels can become police officers.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa over the weekend said rebel returnees could join the police force “if they want to (and if they are) sincere and qualified.”

Dela Rosa made the statement in response to the pronouncement of President Duterte that the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are open to rebel returnees as part of the effort to confidence building and to reform them.

Accepting former rebels is not new in the PNP.

“In fact, we have a lot of former New People’s Army members who joined the police force after their surrender,” Dela Rosa said in a briefing over the weekend.

PNP’s program for former rebels is expected to boost the law enforcement function of the PNP,  particularly anti-insurgency operations.

Dela Rosa said interested rebel returnees should meet the necessary requirements to be able to enter the police organization, which at present has a total strength of 190,000 personnel.

The requirements for police recruits include a college degree, a height of five feet and four inches for males and five feet and two inches for females, and not more than 30 years old.

Duterte has approved the increase in the salary of Police Officer 1, the lowest rank in the police service, to almost P30,000 or double the previous salary.

The government, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government, also has programs to encourage rebels to return to the fold of the law.

They will be given assistance including livelihood projects and cash depending on the firearm they will surrender. The President also promised to give rebel returnees a decent home.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE RONALD DELA ROSA
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