MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said his department will wait for a formal directive from President Rodrigo Duterte to see if the Chief Executive will pursue his proposal to revive the Philippine Constabulary (PC).
"We'll come to that kapag nagkaroon ng formal directive ang President na pag-aralan 'yun, then we will study. As of now parang idea niya lang 'yan e," Lorenzana told reporters at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 27, after plenary deliberations on the Department of National Defense (DND) budget.
(We'll come to that when the President issues a formal directive to study the proposal. As of now, it is still an idea.)
"Let's see if we need to revive the PC," Lorenzana added.
The DND chief admitted he has no idea how the President plans to revive the PC, a militarized police force that implemented martial law during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos. It was formerly a major service command under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), along with the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
The PC was dissolved after martial law to make way for the civilian Philippine National Police (PNP).
"Kung ating i-revive 'yun, ano mangyayari sa PNP? Dati silang PC, ginawa nating PCNP, tapos naging PNP. Tapos balik na naman sa PC? So I don't know," Lorenzana said.
(If we revive it, what will happen to the PNP? It used to be the PC, then it became the PCNP, then it became the PNP. It's going back to PC? So I don't know.)
"He's (Duterte) still trying to play it in his mind kung kailangan bang ibalik 'yun (if there is a need to revive it)," he added.
During the plenary deliberations, Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin expressed disapproval of the President's proposal to revive the PC, noting its ugly history during the Marcos regime.
"The key to security reform is the democratic control of AFP. It should not be in the hands of [a] dictator. It should not be in the hands of one person. Never again should dictatorship be allowed in this country," said Villarin.
Lorenzana dismissed the concern. "Unfounded naman 'yun. But let's see kung kailangan natin i-revive ang PC." (That's unfounded. But let's see if we need to revive the PC.)