Why Duterte wants to revive Philippine Constabulary

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2017 10:08 PM

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte likely sees the revival of the Philippine Constabulary as a "cure" to the country’s drug problem and the erring policemen in the Philippine National Police (PNP), an official of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) said.

NAPOLCOM vice-chairman Atty. Rogelio Casurao said Duterte may be eyeing the PC as an overseer of law enforcement operations in the country.

“The idea of the revival of the Philippine Constabulary came in the wake of the problem on drugs and the breakdown in the discipline in the PNP,” Casurao said on Monday’s episode of ANC’s “Talkback.”

The PC was first established in 1901 for the purpose of maintaining peace, law, and order in different provinces. 

It was abolished in the early 1990s and was subsequently merged with the Integrated National Police (PC-INP) to form the present PNP.

Malacañang earlier floated the idea of reviving the PC to augment the manpower of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, which now leads the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

[FLOATED: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/31/17/philippine-constabulary-may-be-reactivated-for-anti-drug-ops-palace]

“I would assume that the Philippine Constabulary as an added feature na to what is existing is actually a cure that the President would like to inject on the present system,” Casurao added.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Chief Col. Edgard Arrevalo said the idea of reviving the PC is one of the “unorthodox” solutions that Duterte is eyeing for law enforcement.

“He surely has the wisdom in thinking about this non-traditional approaches and by doing this, (Casurao) has already mentioned an additional good. To me this is using all available resources,” Arrevalo said.

Arrevalo added that the public should give the President the benefit of the doubt on his plans since studies will be conducted before changes are implemented.

“One thing is sure, he would like to defeat the menace of that illegal drugs in the country by all means—whether already present or already created,” he said.

Asked whether the revival of the PC would drive a wedge between the AFP and the PNP, Arrevalo said it all depends on how law enforcers accept Duterte’s criticisms.

“Kung meron man siya tila papuri o pagtitiwala sa AFP, hindi naman ibig sabihin na mararamdaman naming na we are better, we are greater than the PNP… nagkataon lamang na ito ang panahon na dumadaan sila sa pagsubok,” he said.

“Lahat naman ng organisasyon dumadaan sa ganito,” he added.