TWENTY-EIGHT years after the Philippine National Police was created in 1991 and after serving under five Philippine presidents from Cory Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino Jr. , members of the police force will now be finally addressed in their old ranks, thanks to President Duterte who recently signed into law the bill which modifies the PNP rank classification.
Signed into a law by the former Davao City mayor, the consolidated version of Senate Bill 2031 and House Bill 5236 which amended Section 28 of Republic Act 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or any newspaper of general circulation. Thirty days after that, PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde will issue the necessary rules and regulations for its effective implementation.
Under the new law, the PNP rank classification will 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; and Inspector to Police Lieutenant.
On the other hand, the Senior Police Officer 4 will be 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; and PO1 to Patrolman/Patrolwoman.
Former PNP chief-turned veteran Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, the man who authored Senate Bill 2031 said that the measure seeks a more common rank nomenclature to standardize how law enforcers are called. “This measure is geared toward our collective pursuit of eliminating confusion on how our law enforcers must be addressed and, ultimately bringing our policemen closer to the populace,” the member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1971 explained.
Sen. Lacson also hit the nail right in the head when he said that the ranks to be used in addressing PNP personnel shall be preceded by the word ‘Police’ in order to maintain its clear distinction from the members of the Armed Forces. President Duterte is the top Filipino to be confused by the previous ranking classifications of the police I clearly understand him since I have been one of the main supporters of the move by the police force to revert to the common rank nomenclature which is much easier to remember and understood.
Last Friday, three PNP officials became the last to be promoted as ‘Police Chief Superintendents’ in the national police force’ in the aftermath of the new law. PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde led the donning of rank and oath-taking of the three newly-promoted 1-star police generals namely Chief Superintendent Edgar Monsalve of the PNP Intelligence Group; Chief Supt. Florencio ‘Renz’ Ortilla, the head of the PNP National Operations Center; and Chief Supt Genesis Tolejano, the Executive Officer of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Northern Luzon.
Monsalve was called to active duty in September 1991 and became a true-blue intelligence officer.. He is known for being a ‘silent operator’ who led some very sensitive police intelligence operations in the past earning him recognition from past PNP-IG directors.
Ortilla is a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Bigkis Lahi’ Class of 1990 while Tolejano belongs to PNP Academy Class 1986. A 4th newly-promoted officer is Chief Supt. Adolfo ‘Boyet’ Samala Jr., the Executive Officer of the PNP Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development. A member of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988, Boyet failed to take his oath last Friday since he is on official travel abroad.
My friend, Chief Supt. Jun Azurin of PMA Class 1989 told me that the four actually will go on record as the last PNP Chief Superintendents to be promoted in the PNP since the next promotees will be henceforth addressed as Police Brigadier Generals in their promotion papers.