President Rodrigo Duterte is considering reviving the Philippine Constabulary (PC), according to his spokesperson on Tuesday, January 31.
“It’s not yet official, as far as I know, but the PC may be reactivated,” Secretary Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.
Abella said that the “new project” or PC may be reactivated to help the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which has been tasked to lead “Oplan Tokhang”, Duterte’s campaign against drugs.
“Oplan Tokhang” was handled previously by the Philippine National Police (PNP) but has since been transferred to the PDEA, following the murder of Korean national Jee Ick Joo inside the PNP’s Camp Crame headquarters.
Abella said that the reactivation of the PC was discussed during a joint command conference, although an official announcement has yet to be made.
Abella was asked about where Duterte was coming from when he floated the idea of the revival of the Constabulary, he said: “His main concern is really anti-corruption”.
Abella echoed Duterte in saying that the PC “would be composed of gentlemen from the Armed Forces and from the military which would be different from the PNP. So he is basically saying that, they would be, in a sense a more trustworthy organization”.
When asked on how the government was assured that the PDEA was not corrupted, Abella said: “I think we just need to trust the process”.
Abella clarified that the anti-illegal drug operations or the Oplan Tokhang have not been stopped.
“The impression is that it stopped, no. What happens is the PNP has been asked to desist in engaging in anti-drug operations, but the operations will continue under the PDEA,” he said.
But unlike the PNP, the PDEA is short on its forces.
“Nothing is official yet but I believe that the forces will be supplemented… police forces will be supplemented through another project coming up,” said Abella.
The PC was a police force established on 1901. It was abolished in 1991 when it merged with the Integrated National Police (PC-INP) to form the PNP under Republic Act No. 6975.
The PC was one of the four service commands of the AFP together with the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and Philippine Air Force.