MANILA — The Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry has “contradicted itself when it suggested that the President should have followed the PNP chain of command,” according to Malacañang.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda explained that the President has “full and absolute control and supervision” of every official in the PNP.
“The first and most basic fact is that the [PNP] is a civilian institution, established to replace the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP). As a civilian institution in the executive branch of government, the President, as Chief Executive, exercises full and absolute control and supervision over every official in that branch,” he said.
He added that while the BOI report has recognized this, the report still contradicted the fact when it said that the President should have followed the chain of command.
“The BOI (board of inquiry) itself recognized this in its report when it acknowledged that it was the President’s prerogative to issue direct orders to the Special Action Force (SAF) head,” he said.
“However, the BOI subsequently contradicted itself when it suggested that the President should have followed the PNP chain of command. In invoking the chain of command rule, it is important to point out that this rule applies only within the PNP,” he added.
Lacierda stressed that in the hierarchy of command, the Chief Executive cannot subordinated to any internal process that he exercises supervision over.
“It cannot, as the BOI itself inferred in an earlier part of its report, deprive the Chief Executive of the opportunity to exercise his inherent authority and discretion. The President as Chief Executive cannot be subordinated to an internal process within the PNP when he has control and supervision over all its members, regardless of rank,” Lacierda said.
He added that the President could have been given the chance to explain himself should a request from the BOI was made.
“The BOI in its efforts could have asked the President to clarify matters. The President would have answered any questions they may have had. But no official request was made. Instead, it introduced innuendos and resorted to speculations to reach some of its conclusions,” he said.
“This is all the more unfortunate because the head of the BOI, together with other senior officials of the Philippine National Police was present in a meeting with the President where Senior Supt. Benjamin Magalong had the opportunity to ask the President questions or seek further clarifications. As head of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Senior Supt. Magalong should be particularly aware of the need for due process to be observed,” he said.