Bangsamoro police to follow regular hiring process — Ferrer PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 October 2014 13:21

Government chief negotiator Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer explained on Tuesday that Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces will not automatically become the Bangsamoro police.

“It is not true that the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, the armed component of the MILF will be the future Bangsamoro police. That is a common misconception,” Coronel-Ferrer said during the fifth hearing of the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.  The chief negotiator explained that it is specifically stated in the Bangsamoro Bill, or House Bill 4994 “that a regular process and law of hiring police officers will be followed.”

Article XI, Section 4 of the Bangsamoro Bill provides for the structural organization of the Bangsamoro Police. “Just as the Philippine National Police (PNP) has a regional head and command in the ARMM, the PNP will have a counterpart in the future Bangsamoro region which will still remain part of the PNP’s chain of command,” Coronel-Ferrer said.

The Bangsamoro Police shall be headed by a Police Director and assisted by at least two deputies with the rank of at least Police Chief Superintendent. It is assumed that one deputy will be assigned in the Central Mindanao part of the Bangsamoro while the other deputy will be posted in the islands. The Bangsamoro Police is expected to have regional, provincial and city or municipal offices.

At the same time, a Bangsamoro Police Board that will be part of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) and perform the functions of the latter in the Bangsamoro region will be created. The NAPOLCOM shall ensure that the Bangsamoro Police Board performs its powers and functions within the bounds of its authority.

Public order and safety, a shared responsibility

Coronel-Ferrer noted that public order and safety will be a shared power of the Central and Bangsamoro governments.

“The power given to the chief minister of the Bangsamoro government to exercise operational control and supervision is similar to the power given to other local chief executives in the Local Government Code.  But it does not take away powers from the PNP. Command and direction come from the chief of the PNP,” Coronel-Ferrer stressed.

“In the case of the NAPOLCOM, it shall continue to have administrative control and supervision [over the Bangsamoro police]. With matters of hiring and recruitment of the Bangsamoro, that is embedded in the NAPOLCOM and the PNP,” she said.

“Salaries, training and promotion of personnel, the acquisition of firearms and other adjunct services shall also remain under the PNP’s jurisdiction,” Coronel-Ferrer added.

Meanwhile, security sector executives coming from the PNP, Department of Interior and Local Government, Armed Forces of the Philippines, NAPOLCOM, Department of National Defense, and National Security Council agreed that the creation of a Bangsamoro police respects the constitutional provision of one police force.

“The PNP strongly supports the legislative proposal  of House Bill 4994 (for the creation of the Bangsamoro) which is the instrument of peace in the (future) Bangsamoro region,” said Police Director Edgardo C. Ingking.

The “BBL is in accordance with the Philippine Constitution and it upholds the territorial integrity and national sovereignty” of the country, DND Undersecretary Lorenzo Batino said.

Anak Mindanao Representative Djalia Hataman appealed to her fellow lawmakers to contextualize the issues on the Bangsamoro Police force within the bigger picture of the Bangsamoro struggle. “Perhaps it would not hurt us to be reminded... this Constitutional provision on the creation of autonomous region [of the Bangsamoro] is in recognition of that historical struggle.”