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The Departments of the "Philippine National Police"; Raising the Bar of Excellence

Updated on February 3, 2016

The nationwide police force of the Philippines is called The “Philippine National Police”(PNP), also known as the Pambansang Pulisya ng Pilipinas which was formed on January 29, 1991 by reason of Republic Act 6975 (AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A REORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES) when the Philippine constabulary was merged with the Integrated National Police. PNP is a part of the Department of the Interior and Local Government with a national headquarters at Camp Crame Quezon City Manila with a hundred thousand plus personnel.

The National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) controls and administers the PNP.

PNP at its Best

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Living heroes fighting against crime
Living heroes fighting against crime
Living heroes fighting against crime | Source

Police in Action

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They leave their comfort zones and charge the battlefield.
They leave their comfort zones and charge the battlefield.
They leave their comfort zones and charge the battlefield. | Source

From a Trickle to a Mighty Force; Tackling the Beginnings of PNP

Going back through years and years of innovation, hard work and a series of revolutionary changes within the force, it’s amazing to study how this great organization began. Who would ever think that one which started out as ordinary civilians would end up being called as the men in the blue uniform. Yes, they started out as civilians who later on became soldiers for and in behalf of the local leaders like the lakans, datus and sultans in the islands during pre-Hispanic times. These civilians turned soldiers were also tasked with the enforcement of local laws while serving the communities.

Circumstances began to change when the Spaniards arrived and occupied the Philippine Continent, as well as with the presentation of Western Law and practices. The Spanish Army started to perform policing duties until the year 1868 and on that year, Governor-General Carlos Maria dela Torre y Nava Cerrada ordered the establishment of the local branch of the Civil Guard.

From a single “detachment”, in the Revolutionary period, such local branch expanded into a corps of military police with divisions in scattered areas in the Luzon and the Visayas. Sadly, they were known to be brutal and abused the Filipinos as declared and narrated in the Novels of Jose Rizal, “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” referring to the outright abuses against the Filipinos by the Civil Guardsmen.

When the Americans entered the Philippines, what was known as the Philippine Constabulary became the organization for “law enforcement”, directly reporting to the American government. The year 1901 was also the decade where the Manila Police District became the nation’s first city police force.

On December 13, 1990, the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990 (Republic Act No. 6975), ordered the unification of both the Philippine Constabulary and the Integrated National Police, thus Philippine National Police was born and created. Furthermore, R.A. 6975 was further amended by R.A. 8551, the Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, and by R.A. 9708.

Republic Act 8551 “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE REFORM AND REORGANIZATION OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, AMENDING CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED SIXTY-NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE ENTITLED, "AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE UNDER A RE-ORGANIZED DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES" states in its provision and purposes that the goal of the laws are to “establish a highly efficient and competent police force which is national in scope and civilian in character administered and controlled by a national police commission. That the Philippine National Police (PNP) shall be a community and service oriented agency responsible for the maintenance of peace and order and public safety and it shall be so organized to ensure accountability and uprightness in police exercise of discretion as well as to achieve efficiency and effectiveness of its members and units in the performance of their functions.”

Forward and Fight

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The tough training turn the police into warriors
The tough training turn the police into warriors
The tough training turn the police into warriors | Source

They Guard Even the Street Corners

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The rigid training makes them prepared for just about anything.
The rigid training makes them prepared for just about anything.
The rigid training makes them prepared for just about anything. | Source

The different departmental organizations within the scope of PNP are the following:

Anti-kidnapping Group

How Criminalities Destroy the Sacredness of Life

Why is there a need for a police force? Isn’t it enough that civilians arm and protect themselves against the onslaught of wicked and evil men? What brought rise to the creation of military personnel dedicated, trained and committed into bringing behind bars the offenders of the law and hence, pursue justice and freedom from tyranny at all costs?

The police power revolves around the authority granted by the state to punish crimes and to lay down the rules of criminal procedure. That state has a large measure of discretion in creating and defining criminal offenses (People vs. Santiago, 43 Phil. 120, 124).

The right of prosecution and punishment for a crime is one of the attributes that by a natural law belongs to the sovereign power instinctively charged by the common will of the members of the society to look after, guard and defend the interest of the community, the individual and social rights and the liberties of every citizen and the guaranty of the exercise of his rights (U.S. vs. Pablo, 35 Phil. 94, 100).

Crime is defined as “an act committed or omitted in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it (I Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Rawle’s Third Revision, 729). In the Philippines, the sources of Philippine Criminal Law are:

  1. The Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815) and its amendments.
  2. Special Penal Laws passed by the Philippine Commission, Philippine Assembly, Philippine Legislature, National Assembly, the Congress of the Philippines, and the Batasang Pambansa.
  3. Penal Presidential Decrees issued during Martial Law.

“Criminal Law” is that branch or division of law which defines crimes, treats of their nature and provides for their punishment (Revised Penal Code, Book 1, Reyes.)

Criminal Law has three main characteristics:

  1. General, wherein criminal law is binding on all persons who live or sojourn in the Philippine territory (Art. 14, New Civil Code)
  2. Territorial, wherein criminal laws undertake to punish crimes committed within the Philippine Territory. Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code provides that the provisions of said code shall be enforced within the Philippine Archipelago, including its atmosphere, its interior waters and maritime zone.

Article I of the 1987 Constitution provides that the national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

The above paragraph is the general rule. There are exceptions to the territorial application of criminal law as provided for in Article 2 of the Revised Penal Code, that its provisions shall be enforced outside of the jurisdiction of the Philippines against those who:

  1. Should commit an offense while on a Philippine ship or airship
  2. Should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency note of the Philippines or obligations and securities issued by the Government of the Philippines.
  3. Should be liable for acts connected with the introduction into the Philippines of the obligations and securities mentioned in the preceding number;
  4. While being public officers or employees, should commit an offense in the exercise of their functions; or
  5. Should commit any of the crimes against national security and the law of the nations, defined in Title One of Book Two of the Revised Penal Code.

3. Prospective, wherein a penal law cannot make an act punishable in a manner in which it was not punishable when committed. As provided in Article 366 of the Revised Penal Code, crimes are punished under the laws in force at the time of their commission.

The MISSION of PNP in accordance to the PNP Patrol Plan 2030 is to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community while its CORE VALUES are Maka Diyos (God fearing), Makatao (Humane), Makabayan (Nationalistic) and Makakalikasan (Nature Loving).

Wear your Bullet Proof Vest During Operations

Law and Order

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PNP National Headquarters

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Core Groups Comprising the Philippine National Police

The PNP Command Group is headed by the Chief PNP who is granted with the power to directly operate the PNP with the assistance of two deputies.

The Chief of the Directorial Staff who plays the role of a Chief Operations Officer of the PNP with the responsibility to coordinate, supervise, and direct the Directorial Staff and the PNP units in the performance of their mandated roles and assignments.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is a division of the PNP that focuses on the investigation of major heinous crimes all over the nation, including crimes committed by both small and large crime syndicates.

Internal Affairs Service (IAS) which was created on June 1, 1999 that has an assignment to give aid to the Chief in the analysis through various assessment, analysis and evaluation of the character and behavior of the PNP personnel.

The Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) headed by a senior police commissioned officer tasked with the supervision of the implementation of the guidelines and policies on human rights laws.

The Center for Police Strategy Management (CPSM) is the Central facility of the PNP for the coordination and integration of strategy management processes and instilling in the organization a culture of strategy focus.

Philippine National Police Academy is the institution that trains police officers to become hard knocked and knowledgeable officers in the field. It is located at Camp Gen. Mariano N. Castaneda, Silang, Cavite and is the focal training academy for those who desire to enter the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection.

National Operations Center (NOC), located at at Camp Crame. Chief Superintendent Constante Azares Jr., chief of the PNP-NOC, states that "the NOC is the hub and nerve of this facility." – (, PNP unveils state-of-the-art operations center)

Scene of the Crime Operations (SOCO)/ PNP Crime Lab is the department of the Philippine National Police that pertains to the forensic pathology, ballistics, chemical analysis and criminal psychological services to all Law Enforcement services in the Philippines.

The National Headquarters is divided into Regional Police Offices that are the establishments and groups managing and administering the numerous Police Stations within the different regions of the Philippines with the corresponding cities and provinces within the jurisdiction of such offices.

PNP Ranks


Tactical Plans and Strategic Actions; Training the Newbies

The police organization holds regular and consistent systematical trainings that are dependent on the annual budget. The new recruits will undergo Public Safety Basic Recruit Course for six months, and a Field Training Program for another six months. In addition, they are required to undergo the mandatory special training of PNP SCOUT or PNP Special Counter-insurgency Unit Training course for 45 days to 5 months to enhance them in militaristic/tactics for future assignment in the field.

If you became a police officer through lateral entry, you will be called a commissioned officer. Commissioned Officers are usually lawyers, doctors, engineers, chaplain and other technical positions. There are however those called the rose-from-the-rank personnel who have desired qualifications needed to be a commissioned officer.

Commissioned officers

1. Director General (DGen.) - General
2. Deputy Director General (DDG) - Lieutenant General
3. Director (Dir.) – Major General
4. Chief Superintendent (C/Supt.) - Brigadier General
5. Senior Superintendent (S/Supt.) - Colonel
6. Superintendent (Supt.) - Lieutenant Colonel
7. Chief Inspector (C/Insp.) - Major
8. Senior Inspector (S/Insp.) - Lieutenant

Non-commissioned officers

1. Senior Police Officer IV (SPO4) - Master Sergeant
2. Senior Police Officer III (SPO3) - Technical Sergeant
3. Senior Police Officer II (SOP2) - Staff Sergeant
4. Senior Police Officer I (SOP1) - Sergeant
5. Police Officer III (PO3) - Corporal
6. Police Officer II (PO2) - Private First Class
7. Police Officer I (PO1) - Private

Crime Laboratory

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Evidences prove the crime committed.
Evidences prove the crime committed.
Evidences prove the crime committed. | Source

Getting Acquainted with the Branches in PNP

Do you know that PNP has over 23 National Support Units? Eleven (11) of which are administrative while twelve (12) are operational in nature.

The eleven Administrative Units are as follows:

  • Logistics Support Service (LSS).
  • Information Technology Management Service (ITMS).
  • Finance Service (FS).
  • Health Service (HS)..
  • Communications and Electronics Service (CES).
  • Chaplain Service (CHS).
  • Legal Service (LS).
  • Headquarters Support Service (HSS).
  • Engineering Service( ES).
  • Training Service (TS). and
  • PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Service (PRBS).

While on the other side are the twelve (12) operational support units and their respective functions:

  • Maritime Group (MG). performs all police functions over Philippine Territorial waters, lakes, and rivers along coastal areas to include ports and harbors and small islands for the security and the sustainability development of the maritime environment.
  • Intelligence Group (IG). Has the reputation as an intelligence and counter-intelligence operating unit of the PNP.
  • Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG). provides security to government vital installations, government officials, visiting dignitaries and private individuals required protection.
  • Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). Charged with monitoring, investigating, prosecuting all crimes involving economic sabotage, and other crimes committed by highly placed or professional criminal syndicates and organizations. It also operates against major cases involving violations of the revised penal Code, violators of SPECIAL LAWS assigned to them such as Anti-hijacking, Anti-Carnapping and Cyber crimes among others and atrocities committed by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)/New People’s Army (NPA)/National Democratic Front (NDF).
  • Special Action Force (“SAF”). Known to be a special group or a mobile strike force or a reaction unit to augment regional , provincial, municipal and city police force for civil disturbance control, internal security operations, hostage-taking rescue operations, search and rescue in times of natural calamities, disasters and national emergencies and other special police operations such as ant-hijacking, anti-terrorism, explosives and ordnance disposal. Also be aware that the PNP Air Unit is directly under the supervision of SAF.
  • Aviation Security Group (AVEGROUP). Handles the security to all airports within the country.
  • Highway Patrol Group (HPG). Are the enforcers of traffic laws and regulations, promote safety along the highways, enhances traffic safety consciousness through inter- agency cooperation concerning Police Traffic Safety Engineering, Traffic Safety Education and Traffic Law enforcement functions and develops reforms in the crime prevention as opposed all classes of lawlessness committed along National Highway with the use of motor vehicles.
  • Police-Community Relations Group (PCRG). Creates programs and activities n cooperation of the respective government agencies, the community, and volunteer organizations to solve and prevent further commission of crimes and maintain a safe environment.
  • Civil Security Group (CSG). regulates business operations of all organized private detectives, watchmen, security guards/agencies and company guard forces. It also in-charge with the licensing and registration of firearms and explosives.
  • Crime Laboratory (CL). scientific and technical, investigative aide and support is given by this unit to the PNP and other investigative agencies. Additionally grants crime laboratory examination, evaluation and identification of physical evidence gathered at the crime scene with primary emphasis on medical, biological and physical nature.
  • PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG). solves kidnapping menace in the country and in handling hostage situations.
  • PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP- ACG). Enforcers of the laws pertaining to cybercrimes and anti-cybercrime campaigns of the PNP.

PNP Anti Cyber Crime group

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List of Chiefs of the Philippine National Police

Cesar P. Nazareno
31 March 1991 - 28 August 1992
Raul S. Imperial
28 August 1992 - 6 May 1993
Umberto A. Rodriguez
6 May 1993 - 8 July 1994
Recaredo A. Sarmiento II
8 July 1994 - 15 December 1997
Santiago L. Alino
15 December 1997 - July 1998
Roberto T. Lastimoso
July 1998 - 1999
Edmundo L. Larroza
1999 - 16 November 1999
Panfilo M. Lacson
16 November 1999 - January 2001
Leandro Mendoza
16 March 2001** - July 2002
Hemogenes E. Ebdane Jr
July 2002 - 23 August 2004
Edgar B. Aglipay
23 August 2004 - 14 March 2005
Arturo Lomibao
14 March 2005 - 29 August 2006
Oscar C. Calderon
29 August 2006 - 1 October 2007
Avelino I. Razon Jr.
1 October 2007 - 27 September 2008
Jesus A. Verzosa
27 September 2008 - 14 September 2010
Raul Bacalzo
14 September 2010 - 9 September 2011
Nicanor Bartolome
9 September 2011 - 17 December 2012
Alan Purisima
17 December 2012 - 5 February 2015
Leonardo Espina (OIC)
5 February 2015 - 16 July 2015
Ricardo C. “Marquez”
16 July 2015 – Present

Police Training

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Upholding the Rule of Law with Integrity, Honor and Fair Play

Decades have lapsed, sometimes history repeats itself in terms of the criminal offenses taking place in several areas in the Philippines. The standardization and improvements being worked out within the confinements of PNP are considered to be achievements and must be appreciated.

Our police force is working its way beyond the nation’s limited capabilities and technologies in order to fight a continuing war against the wicked forces of evil that engulf our nation. Administrative remedies are also expanding applicable to erring officers so that the civilians would feel safe that no police officer could go beyond its authority and power in enforcing the law with an iron fist and with the use of brutal force. The difficulties of being a police officer arise out of their mandate to act professionally in every circumstance and to perform their duties in such a manner worthy of respect and applause. There is no hard or fast rule in being a cop, it entails sacrifice and long years of harrowing experiences upon which only a few survive.


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