Removal of local execs' power over cops 'in support of martial law'
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday, July 11, justified a National Police Commission (Napolcom) resolution that stripped more than 100 local chief executives of their power over police as a move “in support of the declaration of martial law.”
The PNP chief also said it was a move to help the martial law administrator – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana – have a “free hand” in deploying police units in the island.
“'Noong nagmeeting kami, Cabinet meeting kami sa Davao noong declaration of martial law...doon sinabi ni President 'yung mga provinces, mga areas na tutukan natin. Sinabi nga, martial law buong Mindanao [so] will it follow na magkakaroon rin ng curfew buong Mindanao? Sabi ni Presidente, hindi lahat. Kaya nasabi ang mga provinces na 'yun,” said Dela Rosa, when asked about the resolution.
(When we had the Cabinet meeting in Mindanao on the declaration of martial law...the president mentioned the provinces, areas that we should focus on. Martial law in the entire Mindanao, so will it follow that there will be curfew in the whole of Mindanao? The President said not all. That's why those provinces were mentioned.)
He was referring to a meeting in Davao City held two days after Duterte placed the entire Mindanao island under martial law in response to an attempted takeover of Marawi City by two local terror groups.
Duterte gathered his Cabinet and top military and police officials at the May 25 meeting.
Dela Rosa, referring to the Napolcom resolution, added: “So 'yung mga provinces na 'yun, it followed also na pinag-isipan ng Napolcom na in support to the declaration of martial law, yun nga, i-recall muna yung mga powers ng local chief executives over the police para magkaroon ng free hand ang martial law administrator to deploy, operationally lahat ng police units sa Mindanao.”
(Those provinces, it followed that the Napolcom thought of this in support to the declaration of martial law – temporarily recall the power of the local chied executives over the police so that martial law administrator will have the free hand to deploy operationally, all the police units in Mindanao.)
Lorenzana, however, had already distanced himself from the resolution. (READ: FACT CHECK: Errors in papers revoking execs' power over cops)
“No. I think that has to do more on the fight against illegal drugs,” Lorenzana told Rappler on July 5, when asked if he, as the martial law administrator, asked Napolcom to issue the resolution.
The Napolcom does not need martial law to revoke the deputation of local chief executives. Under Republic Act 6975 or the DILG Act of 1990, if a local official is found to have abused his or her authority, provided support to criminals, or engaged in acts that hamper national security or negate peace and order campaigns, the commission can revoke this power.
Through two resolutions issued on June 8, the Napolcom revoked the deputation of 7 Mindanao governors and 132 mayors because they allegedly failed "to suppress terrorists acts and prevent lawless violence in their jurisdiction," or had purported links to illegal drugs or terrorism.
The resolution cited RA 6975 and and martial law in Mindanao.
Interior Undersecretary Catalino Cuy, Napolcom chairman and officer-in-charge of the interior department, later said the list was under review, following a meeting with several local chief executives in the list. – Rappler.com