PNP chief: No order to account tattooed cops

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

May 7, 2024, 4:49 pm

<p>PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil <em>(Photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil (Photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil on Tuesday said he did not order an accounting of police personnel having visible tattoos.

During his command visit at the National Capital Region Police Office headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Marbil said he does not want tattooed police personnel to experience discrimination.

“We will just make a memorandum to properly manage the situation but right now, we just suspended the policy because of health issues that we need to fix," he added.

As the PNP is civilian in character, Marbil said they have sought guidance from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) regarding the matter.

“We are just asking for CSC for their guidance but as for us, we still maintain, as I have said, we are police officers and we cannot have our hair dyed or we cannot sport long hair and we are governed by our civil service. We just want to implement what is proper. Initially, we prohibited sporting tattoos but some already have it," he added.

Marbil said he wanted a full review of Memorandum Circular (MC) 2024-023 before it is fully implemented due to medical concerns that may arise from the removal of tattoos, as well as the administrative sanctions to be imposed on those who fail to adhere to the policy.

“We should maintain that kind of dignity. How can we be respected as a police officer na maraming tattoo sa mga katawan (with many tattoos on our body?),” he said.

The MC requires all personnel with tattoos to provide a written affidavit declaring their tattoos and have the visible ones removed.

The policy does not cover aesthetic tattoos, such as but not limited to eyebrows, eyeliner, or lips.

The PNP said unauthorized tattoos include extremist, ethnically, or religiously discriminatory and offensive, indecent tattoos, racist, sexist, and tattoos associated with prohibited or unauthorized groups.

4th PNP reshuffle

Meanwhile, four ranking police officials were included in another reshuffle which took effect on Wednesday.

PNP Special Action Force director Maj. Gen. Bernard Banac was designated as the chief of the Directorate for Police Community Relations.

Replacing Banac as SAF director is Southern Police District (SPD) director Brig. Gen. Mark Pespes.

PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Service (PRBS) director Col. Leon Rosete, meanwhile, will succeed Pespes as SPD chief while Director for Comptrollership Brig. Gen Dindo Reyes will replace Rosete as PRBS chief.

This is the fourth revamp of police officials since Marbil took over as PNP chief on April 1.

Marbil said the latest reshuffle came after the retirement of some high-ranking officials.

“We are trying to preposition those fit for their next assignments. It doesn't mean we are replacing them because they are not working. They need to be transferred because the position fits them," he said. (PNA)