President Benigno S. Aquino III witnesses the change of command ceremony of Philippine National Police with former PNP Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina ceding to newly appointed Chief Police Director Ricardo Marquez the symbolic Transformation Torch during the PNP Change of Command Ceremony and Retirement Honors for P/DDG Leonardo Espina at the Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame in Quezon City on Thursday (July 16). (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III witnesses the change of command ceremony of Philippine National Police with former PNP Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina ceding to newly appointed Chief Police Director Ricardo Marquez the symbolic Transformation Torch during the PNP Change of Command Ceremony and Retirement Honors for P/DDG Leonardo Espina at the Multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame in Quezon City on Thursday (July 16). (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez on Thursday said he would not leave the organization until he fulfills his promise of increasing police visibility in communities.

“The instruction is, I just want to see very, very few personnel at the police station,” Marquez said at the sidelines of the Senate committee hearing on modernization efforts for the PNP. “My personal timetable is hindi ako magre-retire hangga’t hindi ko nagagawa ‘yan.”

Marquez, who was appointed last month to replace PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, will retire in August 2016.

Increased police presence on the streets was also the commitment Marquez made during his inaugural speech. He said he plans to inspect police stations to find out if his men are complying with his instructions. First on his list is the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

“I have instructed the rational and immediate deployment of police officers on the ground based on a properly-crafted police plan. We have also published a manual [on] how to arrive at that end state,” he said.

“Balik back to basics ang patrolya ng mamamayan so I’m asking for your patience. Nakikita niyo naman may pulis na sa kalsada. Gusto ko makita they are really patrolling,” Marquez added.

Police visibility to deter crimes was one of the issues raised in the hearing held by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Senator Grace Poe.

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) chairman Martin Dino said the PNP should tap barangay officials to help ensure peace and order in the communities.

“Kailangan ninyo ng katulong. Ang problema, hindi niyo mautusan ang mga barangay. Dapat nandito ang DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” he said.

Dino said DILG should mandate all barangay officials up to mayors and governors to assist police officers and station commanders to remove the “culture of fear” brought about by street crimes.

Non-college grads

To increase the number of police patrollers, Marquez also proposed to accommodate non-college graduates to enter the police force, an idea opposed by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

“Allowing K-12 graduates into the uniformed ranks of the PNP may reverse professionalism. If you want to maintain professionalism in the PNP, we should maintain the college degree requirement,” lawyer Krunimar Escudero of the CSC said.

To remedy this, Marquez said the PNP can accept students as police patrollers but they are not going to be promoted to the next higher rank unless they finish their education.

Poe welcomed the idea, saying there should be a mechanism to integrate other positions in the force with the K-12 program.

“Para ‘yung mga hindi nakapagtapos ng college, pwedeng kunin taga-patrol pero may continuing education sa TESDA or another institution within the PNP,” she said in an interview.

Poe’s committee will resume its hearing on the PNP modernization bills on Wednesday next (MNS)