The Animosity Between
the Philippine Military and National Police
by Apolinario Villalobos
The professional jealousy between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is very obvious. No amount of cover-up can hide it. I have talked to a retired military officer and he told me that there is a popular impression in the AFP that the police is apparently pampered not only on the aspect of pay but benefits as well. My friend added that while the AFP soldiers who are exposed to the elements and danger of fired bullets from the enemy line in the field, the police field personnel comfortably commute to their posts on expensive motorcycles or stay in air-conditioned offices.
On the other hand, when I talked to a police friend, he told me that compared to the military, they are more “professional”, as they are degree holders, some even are lawyers, so they deserve appropriate compensation.
The Mamasapano massacre is one instance during which this animosity was manifested. Although, on papers, the two national security agencies are supposed to be “closely coordinating” with each other, in actual practice, there is much to be perceived. The two parties practically pointed accusing fingers at each other, for alleged negligence that led to the gruesome massacre of SAF44 at Tocanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao Province (Mindanao). Until the re-opened Mamasapano hearing in the Senate has finally wrapped up, late in the afternoon of 27 January, 2016, the AFP and PNP are viewed as far from being reconciled.