Año: No-tattoo rule protects cops’ image as ‘role models’

Rambo Talabong
Año: No-tattoo rule protects cops’ image as ‘role models’
'We want our police to look dignified, wearing proper uniform, and with no tattoos,' says DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has rejected the proposal to lift the no-tattoo requirement for aspiring cops, saying that this would hurt the image of the police as “role models.”

“Call it old school, but the police service should not only deliver excellent law enforcement service but should be comprised of men and women who acknowledge that they are role models to the people and the youth,” Undersecretary Eduardo Año, DILG Officer-in-Charge  said in a statement on Wednesday, April 4.

“We want our police to look dignified, wearing proper uniform, and with no tattoos,” the retired military chief added.

Año was reacting to the proposal of Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles to lift what he called the “archaic” rule and to allow people with tattoos to join the police or military service.

Año is the latest top security official to oppose Nograles’ proposal.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that tattoos “are ugly and connote gangster image,” while Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said tattoos would make cops look like “criminals.” (READ: Tattoos make cops, soldiers look like gangsters, criminals – DND, PNP chiefs)

Lorenzana, Año, and Dela Rosa are all graduates of the Philippine Military Academy. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.