National Police Anniversary Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: January 29, 2024

National Police Anniversary Day in the Philippines National Police Anniversary Day (Araw ng Pagkakatatag ng Pambansang Pulisya) is celebrated in the Philippines every year on January 29. It was established to commemorate the formation of the Philippine National Police on this day in 1991.

The history of the Philippine National Police is long and somewhat complicated. The first law enforcement agency in the Philippines was the Civil Guard (Guardia Civil), a military gendarmerie force organized by the Spanish during their rule in the Philippines.

After the defeat of the First Philippine Republic in the Philippine-American War, the American occupational government replaced what was left of the Civil Guard with the Philippine Constabulary. Like the Civil Guard before it, the Philippine Constabulary was a military police force tasked with maintaining peace, law and order in the Philippines. One of its main tasks right after the war was finding and capturing Irreconcilables (Philippine revolutionaries who refused to swear allegiance to the U.S. government).

For more than seven decades, the Philippine Constabulary was tasked with maintaining law and order on a national level, while independent municipal and city police forces were responsible for law enforcement on a local level. This changed in 1975, when Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos merged the police, file, and penitentiary services of more than 1,500 cities and municipalities to create the Integrated National Police.

The INP was a paramilitary police force that shared its command structure with the Philippine Constabulary. Due to the INP having a joint command with the Constabulary, it was regarded as part of the Philippine Armed Forces. During its relatively short existence, the INP was heavily criticized for corruption and abuse of power.

Marcos was ousted and fled the country in 1986 as a result of the People Power Revolution. The new government initiated reforms, which including asserting civilian control of the military and replacing the military police with the civilian police. After some investigation and deliberation, the Philippine parliament passed an act that enabled the creation of the civilian Philippine National Police and placed it under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Republic Act No. 6975 was passed on December 13, 1990 and the Philippine National Police (PNP) was formed on January 29, 1991 by merging the Philippine Constabulary and the Integrated National Police. The PNP is headquartered in Quezon City and has approximately 228,000 active personnel.

National Police Anniversary Day is a working holiday commemorating the formation of the PNP and honoring the thousands of men and women who serve in the police force and put their lives on the line every day to protect peace, law and order. It has been observed every January 29 since 1992.

National Police Anniversary Day should not be confused with another holiday celebrating the Philippine National Police, National Police Service Day. The latter is observed on August 12 to commemorate the establishment of the Philippine Constabulary in 1901.

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National Police Anniversary Day in the Philippines, holidays in the Philippines, professional observances, Philippine National Police