PNP firm on visible tattoo ban for cops

Emmauel Tupas - The Philippine Star
PNP firm on visible tattoo ban for cops
A police officer checks the firearms of the members of the Manila Police District on Saturday, during the weekly routine checks to ensure that the guns are still functioning properly.
Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Despite criticisms from some lawmakers, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is not backing down from its policy prohibiting police officers from bearing or sporting revealing tattoos.

Col. Jean Fajardo, the PNP’s chief information officer, maintained that Memorandum Circular 2024-023, which prohibits their personnel from having visible tattoos, is allowed as part of their organization’s internal disciplinary mechanisms.

She said the memorandum circular, which was approved last March 15, is not discriminatory, stressing there was consultation before the new rules and regulations were made public.

“There are certain norms and code of conduct we need to implement within the PNP so we can maintain discipline within our ranks,” she said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum.

Rep. Joel Chua of Manila’s District 3 said the PNP’s ban is unconstitutional as it has no basis under Republic Act 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act, and RA 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Bukidnon District 2 Rep. Jonathan Keith Flores also does not agree with the PNP’s policy against tattoos on police aspirants and police officers.

Flores said the PNP needs reorientation, stressing that police officials should not make tattoos a proxy or indirect indicator of good moral conduct or of sound mind and body.

In response, Fajardo said people are free to question the PNP’s policy before the courts.  She added that freedom of expression is not absolute.

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