The Philippine Constabulary (PC) was one of the four service commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). It was a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations established on 8 August 1901 by the United States-appointed administrative authority to replace the Spanish Guardia Civil. It was organized as an instrument in the maintenance of peace and order in the country.
PC was created under the Commission Act No. 175 by Captain Henry T. Allen, an American, who was later dubbed as the “Father of the Philippine Constabulary”. It was first named as the Insular Constabulary and later renamed to Philippine Constabulary on December 1902. Its establishment then was meant to assist the United States military forces in fighting the remaining Filipino revolutionaries.
The Philippine National Police and Policing in the Philippines started on 23 June 1898, when the Department of Police and Internal Order was established by the Constitution of the Revolutionary Government under the administration of Emilio Aguinaldo. The accounts of policing in the Philippines can be traced back to the organization named Insular Constabulary created on 8 August 1901. It was in December 1902 when the name was changed to Philippine Constabulary. Since then, the national police has undergone several organizational changes, innovations, and transformations to cope with the public security demands.
In 1950, the Philippine Constabulary became a Major Command of the AFP by virtue of Executive Order No. 389, the reorganization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
On 8 August 1975, the PC and Integrated National Police (INP) were merged together into a new organization. The Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC/INP) addressed the need for peace and order and anti-criminality efforts of the diverse and fragmented local or municipal police units into the national peace and development program.
After the 1986 People Power Revolution or EDSA 1, a new Constitution was proclaimed providing for the country’s police force. On 29 January 1991, PC/INP was abolished under the Republic Act No. 6975 entitled, “An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government and For Other Purposes”. Furthermore, it allowed for the creation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be the national police force, absorbing the members of the PC/INP as its nucleus and selected members from the major service units of the AFP like the Philippine Air Force Security Command (PAFSECOM), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine Navy (PN), and the Philippine Army (PA).
- Preserve peace and order and enforce the law throughout the country and also to arrest law violators and those who will violate such law
- Inspectional supervision over and, and undertake the training of municipal and city level police forces, fire departments and jail services
- Assist civil government and semi-government agencies in the accomplishment of their missions
- Perform home defense in rear areas and such other services as the Chief of Staff, AFP may direct.
The PC also enforced the following:
- Motor vehicles law
- Fishing and games law
- The alien law for registration and fingerprinting
- Anti-dummy law
- Nationalization of retail trade law.
By direction of the President, PC enforced the following:
- Tenancy law
- Law on scrap metal, iron and gold
- Ban on slaughter of carabao, etc.
By deputation, it enforced the following:
- Immigration law
- Customs law
- Forestry law
- Quarantine law
- Election law
- Public service law
- Amusement law
- Weight and standards on rice and palay
As a civic function, it performed in conjunction with the SWA and the Philippine National Red Cross disaster relief operations during calamities. The security of VIPs was a routine requirement for the constabulary.
- “Today in Philippine History, August 8, 1901, the Philippine Constabulary was organized”.The Kahimyang Project. (Accessed 15 November 2014).
- “Brief Background of the PNP”.Center for Police Strategy Management.(Accessed 15 November 2014).
- “History of Police Regional Office 7”.Official Homepage of the Philippine National Police: Police Regional Office.(Accessed 15 November 2014).
- “Executive Order No. 389, s. 1950”.Official Gazette.(Accessed 15 November 2014).