MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday announced that it has started the recall of police escorts assigned to politicians and private individuals who will run for next year’s elections back to their respective units.
In a television interview, Police Security Protection Group (PSPG) spokesperson, Maj. Jackson Cases, said this is part of efforts to insulate police officers from partisan politics.
“Ngayon maga-apply sila sa Comelec (Commission on Elections) para sila ay mabigyan parang katulad po yan ng gun ban exemption, ia-apply po nila yung exemption ng kanilang security para po sila ay maprovide-an ng PSPG ng kaukulang protective security personnel (Now they will submit an application to the Comelec just like when applying for a gun ban exemption, they will apply for their security exemption so that the PSPG can provide them with the appropriate protective security personnel),” he said.
Candidates whose applications were rejected by the poll body may still apply for security which will undergo a strict vetting process.
“Kung hindi po sila ia-approve ng Comelec, hindi po sila bibigyan ng protective security, doon po manggaling ang mandato ng PSPG (If the Comelec does not approve their application, they will not be given protective security, that is where the PSPG mandate comes from),” he added.
An individual is only allowed to have up to two police security escorts if they are proven to be under threat.
He warned police escorts to politicians that their job is limited to providing security.
“Ang pulis na naka-detail sa isang pulitiko ang concentration niya ay mag provide lang ng protective security, hindi po sya pwedeng gamitin na driver, hindi sya pwedeng gamitin sa pangangampanya, violation po yan ng ating circular, hindi po sila pwedeng magbitbit o mag distribute ng campaign materials, maaari po silang imbestigahan at pag napatunayan ay magkakaroon po sila ng administrative case po (The policeman who detailed to a politician his concentration is only to provide protective security, he cannot be used as a driver, he cannot be used for campaigning, that is a violation of our circular, they cannot carry or drive distribute campaign materials they can be investigated and if proven they will have an administrative case),” he explained.
Earlier, PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, ordered all chiefs of police to identify police officers who have relatives running in next year’s elections, especially at the local level.
Citing cases in the past years, Eleazar said there were complaints and reports about some policemen actively campaigning for their relatives and engaging in partisan politics.
While some of the allegations are not true, Eleazar emphasized that these incidents only show that police officers may also be subjected to harassment and victims of false allegations. (PNA)