MANILA, Philippines - The proposed grant to the chief minister of the envisioned Bangsamoro region of operational control over police forces in the area is consistent with THE CONSTITUTION, a senior administration lawmaker said yesterday.
Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite made the statement to allay the fears of his colleagues that the proposal, contained in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), would violate the Charter.
“In this issue, I don’t see any inconsistencies between the BBL and THE CONSTITUTION. It is clear in the proposed BBL that the Bangsamoro police will be part of the Philippine National Police (PNP), while the Bangsamoro Regional Police Board (BRPB) will be part of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and will carry out Napolcom’s mandate in the region,” he said.
He added that under THE CONSTITUTION, control over the regional police should be in consonance with Republic Act 6975, the law creating the PNP, which authorizes Napolcom to deputize mayors to exercise such control.
Barzaga noted that Napolcom has deputized local officials to have such power in the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“There will not be any major difference under the proposed BBL, since such power will only be transferred to the planned Bangsamoro Autonomous Region whose leaders will also be elected by the people. The Bangsamoro region will replace ARMM and control by local officials over police forces under the present set-up will be given to the Bangsamoro chief minister,” he stressed.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, CHAIRMAN of the House ad hoc committee on the draft BBL, has said the provision on the grant to the chief minister of operational control over police forces would be one of eight parts of the proposed legislation that are constitutionally questionable.