Brief Background of the PNP
Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves..... What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.
The Philippine National Police and Policing in the Philippines began on June 23, 1898 when the Department of Police and Internal Order was established by the Constitution of the Revolutionary Government under General Emilio Aguinaldo.This paved the way for the earliest accounts of Policing in the Philippines which can be traced back to the organization of the Insular Constabulary established on August 8, 1901 which was created by Commission Act No. 175 with Capt. Henry T. Allen as its first Chief. The Insular Constabulary became the forerunner of National Policing in the Philippines.
In December 1902, the Insular Constabulary was renamed as the Philippine Constabulary. Since then, the national police have undergone several organizational changes and transformation to cope with the demands of the times and the needs of the country. In 1950, the Philippine Constabulary became a Major Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by virtue of Executive Order No. 389.
To address the need for integrating the peace and order and anti-criminality efforts of the diverse and fragmented local or municipal police units into the national peace and development program, the Philippine Constabulary (PC) and Integrated National Police (INP) were merged into a new organization, the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC/INP) by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 765 issued on August 8, 1975.
After the People Power Revolution in 1986 (EDSA 1), a new Constitution was promulgated providing for a police force, which is "national in scope and civilian in character". On January 29, 1991, Republic Act No. 6975 entitled, "An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government, and For Other Purposes", mandated the abolition of the PC/INP and the creation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) with the members of the PC/INP as its nucleus and the absorption of selected members from the major service units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines like the Philippine Air Force Security Command (PAFSECOM), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Navy (PN), and the Philippine Army (PA), to be the national police force.
To further strengthen the PNP to become a highly efficient and competent police force that is community service-oriented and accountable in the performance of its functions, Republic Act No. 8551 known as the "PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998" was enacted on February 17, 1998, amending certain provisions of Republic Act No. 6975 and allowed the reorganization of the PNP to effectively perform its mandate -to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community.
The PNP Organization
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is the primary law enforcement agency of the country, which is national in scope and civilian in character. It was activated on January 29, 1991 under Section 23, Chapter III, of Republic Act No. 6975, entitled "An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government,". It was constituted from the full merger of the former Philippine Constabulary (PC) and the Integrated National Police (INP) with Police Director General CESAR NAZARENO as the First Chief, PNP. It is currently led by the 18th Chief, PNP, Police Director General ALAN LA MADRID PURISIMA.
The PNP is vested with the following powers and functions:
1. Statutory Power of the Police:
- To enforce laws and ordinances relative to the protection of lives and properties;
- To maintain peace and order and take all necessary steps to ensure public safety;
- To investigate and prevent crime , effect the arrest of criminal offenders, bring offenders to justice and assist in their prosecution;
- To detain arrested person/s for a period not beyond what is prescribed by law, informing the persons so detained of all rights under the constitution; and,
- To exercise the general powers to make arrest, search and seizure and enforce pertinent laws.
2. Licensing, Supervisory and Control, and Training:
- To issue licenses for the possession of firearms and explosives in accordance with law;
- To supervise and control the training and operations of security agencies and issue license to operate security agencies, and to security guards and private detectives for the practice of their profession;
- To train students taking up their baccalaureate, vocational or technical courses in undergoing Law Enforcement Service Program in compliance to the National Service Law.
3. Deputized Statutory Power of the Police to perform such other duties and exercise all other functions as maybe provided by law such as:
- To enforce election laws during the conduct of election;
- To enforce laws on agriculture, environment and natural resources;
- To enforce laws on land transportation; and,
- To enforce other laws under the jurisdiction of various departments and/or offices of the government where the PNP is deputized under the principle of intra-coordination between and among offices/departments of the government.