Act No. 175, AN ACT providing for the organization and government of an Insular Constabulary and for the inspection of the municipal police

ACT NO. 175
AN ACT providing for the organization and government of an Insular Constabulary and for the inspection of the municipal police

By authority of the President of the United States, be it enacted by the United States Philippine Commission, that:

Section 1. An Insular Constabulary is hereby established under the general supervision of the Civil Governor for the purpose of better maintaining peace, law, and order in the various provinces of the Philippine Islands, organized, officered and governed as hereinafter set forth, which shall be known as the Philippines Constabulary (see Act 255).

Sec. 2. A corps of inspectors is also hereby created for the purpose of commanding, disciplining, and efficiently directing the Insular Constabulary hereby created and inspecting the municipal police of the various municipalities, which shall consist of not less than one nor more than four Provincial Police Inspectors for each province now or hereafter organized.

Sec. 3. The Insular Constabulary shall consist of not less than fifteen privates, one sergeant and one corporal, and not more than one hundred and fifty privates, four sergeants and eight corporals for each province. The sergeants, corporals and privates to serve in any province shall be selected from the residents of such province. They shall be enlisted for two years unless sooner discharged. The number of privates, sergeants and corporals, within the above limit, shall be fixed by the Chief of the Insular Constabulary, with the approval of the Civil Governor.

Sec. 4. The office of Chief of Insular Constabulary is hereby created, the incumbent of which shall be appointed by the Civil Governor by and with the consent of the Commission. He shall be a peace officer, shall be the head of the Insular Constabulary, and shall have general charge and control thereof and shall see that brigandage, insurrection, unlawful assemblies and breaches of the peace and other violations of law are prevented or suppressed and the perpetrators of such offenses arrested, and peace, law and order maintained. He shall be paid an annual salary of four thousand dollars ($4,000.00). It shall be his duty to see that the Insular Constabulary hereby created is properly selected and organized and that it is suitably armed, uniformed, equipped, governed, disciplined and in all respects made and kept effective for the performance of its duties. He is hereby given authority, and it is made his duty, to appoint at least one Provincial Inspector, and as many more, not exceeding four, as in his judgment the public interest requires for each province in the Philippine Islands, who shall be citizens of the United States or of the Philippine Islands, or have the rights of natives under the Treaty of Paris. The Insular Chief is also given authority to suspend, and, after due hearing, to remove, any Provincial Inspector or other member of the Insular Constabulary for inefficiencv, misconduct, or disloyalty to the United States. He is further given authority to fill all vacancies by making temporary or permanent appointments, occurring by reason of the suspension, removal, resignation, death, or disability to act, of any Provincial Inspector, sergeant, corporal or private of the Insular Constabulary. The Insular Chief is also empowered and directed to make reasonable and proper rules for examination for the appointment of any Provincial Inspector and for selection and promotion of the sergeants, corporals and privates of the Insular Constabulary.

Sec. 5. The offices of First, Second, Third, and Fourth Assistant Chiefs of Constabulary are also hereby created, the incumbents of which offices shall be appointed by the Civil Governor by and with the consent of the Commission, and shall each be paid an annual salary of two thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars ($2,750.00), ranking in order of their number. They shall report to and be under the general supervision and direction of the Insular Chief, but, subject to such supervision and direction, they shall have all the power and be required to perform all the duties of the Insular Chief in their respective districts. It shall be the duty of the Insular Chief to divide the provinces of the Philippine Islands into four districts as nearly equal in population and size as may be, and he shall assign an Assistant Insular Chief to each of the said districts, but the Insular Chief may, in his discretion, change the territorial limits of such districts and may change such Assistant Insular Chiefs from one district to another as the public interests may seem to require. In the event of the temporary absence of the Insular Chief or of his inability from any cause to perform the duties of his office, the same shall be performed by the Assistant Insular Chief highest in rank available for that purpose.

Sec. 6. The Insular Chief shall prescribe for the Insular Constabulary suitable arms, uniforms and equipment and shall report to the Commission, through the Civil Governor, his action in this regard, together with a statement of the cost, to the end that appropriation may be made to defray the cost thereof. The guns, revolvers and ammunition needed to equip the insular and municipal police shall be purchased by the Insular Purchasing Agent on the order of the Chief of Insular Constabulary, by whom they shall be distributed to the chief provinces and municipalities as they may be needed. The Chief of Insular Constabulary shall keep a record of the guns and revolvers distributed by their numbers to municipalities and provinces. The Insular Chief may, in his discretion, subject to the approval of the Civil Governor, direct that all or any part of the Insular Constabulary shall be mounted on horses and act as a mounted patrol for their respective provinces. The Insular Chief shall, with the approval of the Civil Governor, prepare a manual of discipline for the provincial and municipal police, and a code of rules defining their lawful powers and duties. Such manual and code shall be translated into Spanish, Tagalog, Visayan, Ilocano and Bicol, and circulated among all the provincial and municipal police.

Sec. 7. Whenever the Insular Chief or Assistant Insular Chief deems it necessary on account of lawlessness or opposition of a lawless nature against the properly constituted authorities, he may unite the constabulary of two or more provinces under his own command or under the command of a Provincial Inspector whom he shall name, but such consolidation shall not be permanent nor last longer than the immediate exigency requiring it.

Sec. 8. The payment of the Insular Constabulary is assumed by the Insular Government.

Sec. 9. The Provincial Inspectors, under the general supervision, direction and control of the Insular Chief and the Assistant Chiefs of Constabulary, shall have command of the Insular Constabulary of their respective provinces, and are empowered to suspend, and, after hearing, to dismiss, any member of the force under their charge for inefficiency, misconduct or disloyalty to the United States, subject to the approval of the Assistant Insular Chief in charge. The Insular Constabulary are hereby declared to be peace officers and are authorized and empowered to prevent and suppress brigandage, unlawful assemblies, riots, insurrections and other breaches of the peace and violations of law. They, and each of them, are empowered to make arrests upon reasonable suspicion without warrant for breaches of the peace or other violations of the law, and are also empowered and required to execute any lawful warrant or order of arrest issued against any person or persons for any violation of the law by any Judge of the First Instance or Justice of the Peace or any other officer authorized by law to issue a warrant. When any arrest is made under the provisions of this section without warrant the officer making the arrest shall obtain a warrant from competent authority at the earliest practicable moment under the circumstances. Prisoners, with or without warrant, shall in all cases, within twenty-four hours if reasonably practicable, be brought before a Judge or Justice of the Peace having jurisdiction over the offense, for examination and release after bail, if the offense is bailable. When in pursuit of criminals the Provincial Inspector of one province in charge of Insular Constabulary is authorized to continue the pursuit beyond the borders of the province in which he has ordinary jurisdiction, and arrest the offenders.

Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of the Provincial Governor, whenever any Provincial Inspector or other member of the Provincial Constabulary is, in his judgment, guilty of any official oppression, extortion or other violation of duty, to make immediate report of the same to the Civil Governor, with all the particulars thereof.

Sec. 11. Upon the call of the Provincial Governor, the Provincial Inspector or Inspectors in charge of the Insular Constabulary in any province shall suppress riot or lawlessness, or apprehend offenders against the law, or assist the municipal police in the discharge of their duties, and shall furnish a suitable guard for the Governor or any other provincial officer to accompany and protect him in the proper discharge of his duties.

Sec. 12. It shall be the duty of each Provincial Inspector to make as frequent inspections as may be of the police force or each and every municipality within his province and make due report to his Assistant Insular Chief as to their equipment and efficiency and generally as to the conditions as regards peace, observance of law and order which prevail in the several municipalities of his province. The Insular Chief or the Assistant Insular Chiefs under his direction shall make suitable rules and regulations for the direction and guidance of the Provincial Inspectors in making such inspections, and may require reports from the Chief of Police of each municipality as to the number, equipment and state of discipline of the police force of such municipality, together with any information which may be deemed desirable as to the operations of such police force and as to the conditions as regards peace, law and order prevailing in such municipalities.

Sec. 13. In the event any Provincial Inspector in charge shall find that the officers or men of any municipal police force are inefficient, dishonest, disloyal to the United States, or guilty of any violation of law or duty, authority is hereby given him to suspend the offender, and, after due hearing, to dismiss him, and the vacancy thus occasioned shall be filled as provided by the provisions of the Municipal Code.

Sec. 14. Whenever the Presidente of any municipality is unable to preserve the peace within his municipality with the municipal police under his control, he is hereby required to report that fact to the Provincial Inspector in charge, whose duty it snail be to render such assistance in the maintenance or restoration of peace and order as may be requisite to that end, and the Provincial Inspector, in the event he is so notified, is authorized and empowered temporarily to take command of and direct the operations of the police force of said municipality in conjunction with the Insular Constabulary under his command until peaceful conditions are restored.

Sec. 15. Each official and member of the Insular Constabulary shall, before entering upon the duties of his office or position, make and sub- scribe the following oath:

I, ___________________ , having been appointed as ____________________ of the Insular Constabulary in the Province of ____________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the United States of America, and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that I will obey the laws, legal orders and decrees promulgated by its duly constituted authorities; that I impose upon myself these obligations voluntarily, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; so help me God. (Last four words to be stricken out in case of affirmation.)

(Signature of officer or member.)

Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me this day of ____________________, 19 ""_"

The oath may be taken before any Judge or Justice of the Peace, or Notary Public, and when taken shall be filed in the office of the Insular Chief.

Sec. 16. The annual salaries of the Provincial Inspectors shall not be less than eight hundred dollars ($800.00) and not more than fourteen hundred dollars ($1,400.00). They shall be divided into four classes, according to the salaries to be received by them. Those receiving eight hundred and not more than nine hundred dollars shall be designated 4th Class Inspectors; those receiving nine hundred and not more than one thousand dollars shall be designated 3d Class Inspectors; those receiving one thousand and not more than eleven hundred dollars shall be designated 2d Class Inspectors; and those receiving eleven hundred dollars or more shall be designated 1st Class Inspectors. The Insular Chief shall classify and assign the Provincial Inspectors to provinces, subject to the approval of the Civil Governor.

Sec. 17. All salaries provided for in this act shall be payable monthly.

Sec. 18. The rate of compensation of the sergeants, corporals and privates of the Insular Constabulary shall be fixed by the Insular Chief, subject to the approval of the Civil Governor. But he shall not be compelled to fix the same rates for all provinces, but in his discretion may fix different rates in different provinces, having reference to the rate of wages and cost of living therein.

Sec. 19. Any officer or member of the Insular Police Force found guilty of obtaining for his own use any money or property from any person by threats of arrest or actual arrest or intended prosecution shall be guilty of a crime, and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than ten years.

Sec. 20. No member of the Insular Police Force shall interfere in any way with any elections held in the province for municipal or provincial officer. Any member of the Insular Police who is a resident of the province and entitled to vote may exercise such right, but he shall neither take part as an officer of the election nor solicit votes for any candidate nor be a candidate himself at any election. Any violation of this section shall be ground for his removal from office. Upon conviction before a Justice of the Peace of a violation of this section, he shall be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00), or imprisoned for any time not exceeding six months, or both.

Sec. 21. Section 7 of the Provincial Government Act, as amended by Act No. 133, shall be further amended by striking out the following clause: "Whenever lawless violence or seditious conspiracy and disturbance of the public peace shall occur of so formidable a character as to be beyond the power of the local police of the province to suppress, it shall be the duty of the Governor to call upon the Chief Executive of the Insular Government, or the military officer commanding the district in which the province lies, to send troops to suppress the disturbance," and by substituting in said section, after the clause thus stricken out, the following: "Whenever, in the opinion of the Governor, the public interest requires it, he shall call upon the provincial inspectors in charge of the police of the province to suppress disorder, riot, lawless violence or seditious conspiracy or to apprehend all violators of law. Whenever lawless violence or seditious conspiracy and disturbance of the public peace shall occur of so formidable a character as to be beyond the power of the local and insular police of the province to suppress, it shall be the duty of the Governor to call upon the Civil Governor of the Islands to request the Military Governor and Commanding General to order troops of the Army of the United States to aid the local authorities in suppressing the same. In the provinces of Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, Marinduque and Surigao, between which and Manila there is no telegraphic communication, the Governor of the province may in such cases make a direct call for aid upon the Military Commander stationed in the province, without awaiting the result of an application to the Civil Governor and through him to the Military Governor."

Sec. 22. This act shall take effect on its passage.

Enacted, July 18, 1901.