Duterte wants return of 'militaristic training' for police

In this Nov. 24, 2017 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a photo with Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Rey Guerrero during a military capability demonstration during the 67th Founding Anniversary of FSRR at at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan. PPD/Simeon Celi Jr.

Duterte wants return of 'militaristic training' for police
Audrey Morallo (Philstar.com) - May 22, 2018 - 10:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is considering returning “militaristic” training to the country’s police force as he claimed that the civilian character of the Philippine National Police led to “lousy” cops.

Speaking during the anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy in Pasay City, Duterte said correcting things in the police force is a struggle despite choosing the best of “disciplinarians” known for strict military ways.

“I think that I might return the training itself and the militaristic activity training of the police back to the PNP itself. It has not done good since we transfer it to public safety,” the president said in his speech, referring to the Philippine Public Safety College, which runs the Philippine National Police Academy and other police training institutions.

According to the 1987 Constitution, the country’s police force should be national in scope and civilian in character and should be controlled by a national police commission.

“The preservation of peace and order within the regions shall be the responsibility of the local police agencies which shall be organized, maintained, supervised, and utilized in accordance with applicable laws,” the 1987 charter said.

Philippine Constabulary revival

Early in his term, Duterte expressed his desire to revive the Philippine Constabulary and make the PNP a part of it to boost the government’s fight against criminality and drugs.

The PC, one of the lead implementing agencies President Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law, used to be one of the four service commands of the military and was merged with the Integrated National Police during the time of the late strongman. This combined entity became the PNP in 1991.

Duterte lamented the fact that many nefarious individuals with questionable backgrounds got into the service. He added that these were some of the police officers who were involved in the trade of illegal drugs in the Philippines.

He warned these officers that they would be “first to go” should they be discovered to be involved in the illegal drug trade in the country.

“Drugs would destroy the nation, period. And the drug war will include the military and the police,” Duterte said.

The chief executive also reiterated his previous vow to shield police and military officers from criminal prosecution for acts they did in the performance of their duty.

Critics have criticized this presidential assurance and said that this had led to indiscriminate killings of drug suspects.

Duterte, who won the presidency on the back of a strong anti-drug platform, has been slammed by local and international rights groups for the extrajudicial killings which attended his flagship domestic policy, which has killed thousands and led to the surrender of thousands more.

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