MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) may adopt a system similar to that of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to ensure fair and equal opportunities in the promotion and appointment of police officers, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas said yesterday.
He mentioned the possibility to end, once and for all, the apparent inequitable promotions and placements in the police force favoring graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) over those of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA).
“Meritocracy, those who have a track record and can deliver in our anti-crime campaign, will be given promotion and position,” Roxas said.
The primary task of the JBC is to recommend appointees to the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman for the President’s perusal. The council aims to enhance the quality of the search, screening, and selection process based on accomplishment, educational background and integrity, as well as insulate the process from undue influence of any kind.
The JBC is composed of lawyers and representatives of the three branches of the government – executive, legislative and judiciary. The seven-member JBC vets and recommends nominees seeking appointment as justices and judges in the Supreme Court and all lower courts, respectively, through a series of public interviews.
At present the PNP has its own Senior Officers Placement and Promotions Board, supposedly in charge of the search, screening, and selection process. However, the SOPPB is currently composed of senior police officers – all PMA graduates.
Roxas noted that graduates of PMA hold most of the plum positions in the police force.
Reports also have it that police officials seeking appointment to juicy positions have to seek the “blessing” and support of politicians and religious groups.
The DILG chief also recommended that officers, even those with the rank of inspector, be given key assignments so they would acquire experience and fasttrack their careers.
Roxas met with representatives of the PNPA Alumni Association Inc. recently to hear their sentiments on the inequitable placements and promotions of police officers.
The PNPA alumni thanked Roxas for the assurance that he “will level the playing field in the professionalism of our public safety services” in compliance with the order of President Aquino.
Roxas has instructed Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas, PNP deputy chief for administration, to require all police officers applying for promotion to include in their personal data sheet their accomplishments in their last place of assignment.
The DILG chief also ordered Rojas to scrutinize the application papers of policemen seeking promotion and new assignment.
“I do not want a promotion system based on seniority or merely on the call of PNPA or PMA graduates. Promotions must always be merit-based,” Roxas said.
Roxas also instructed National Police Commission (Napolcom) vice chairman Eduardo Escueta to formulate a policy mechanism to address the flaws in the PNP’s promotion and assignment system.
Roxas, being the DILG secretary, is also the chairman of Napolcom, which has direct supervision and control over the PNP.