Sen. Lacson insists on need to abolish ‘padrino system’ in PNP appointments

MANILA — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday stressed anew the importance of giving the provincial/district directors of the Philippine National Police (PNP) the authority to select the city or town chief of police in an effort to abolish the ‘padrino system’ (political patronage) among uniformed men and women.

“Professionalism is missing here because police officers who want to be COPs (chiefs of police) or PD (police directors) simply approach governors and mayors,” Lacson, a former PNP chief, told reporters in an interview.

“What happens is, the principle of the chain of command is invalidated. The loyalty goes to the local government executives. That’s why there are abuses,” he added.

Lacson’s measure, Senate Bill 971, also gives the PNP regional director the authority to choose the provincial/district director.

He explained that this measure is meant to encourage local police commanders to concentrate on their job and not be indebted to local executives who invoke their appointive authority.

The senator pointed out that past controversies have developed the perception that conflict of interest arises when provincial directors and police chiefs are indebted to local chief executives because of the latter’s appointive authority.

At present, the law considers governors and mayors as deputized representatives of the National Police Commission in their respective territorial jurisdictions, with governors choosing the police provincial director and mayors selecting the local city or town chief of police. Azer Parrocha/