MANILA - Fifty-eight people--politicians, other government officials, private individuals--have applied for police escorts for the midterm elections in May, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Protection and Security Group (PSPG).
This comes after their police escorts were recalled as the election period began on January 13.
The PSPG said VIPs have to apply for police protection from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
PSPG Director Chief Supt. Filmore Escobal gave a breakdown of the 58 who applied:
28 -- congressmen
4 -- senators
2 -- governors
24 -- private individuals.
Fourteen of the 58, including a private individual, were endorsed by PSPG to the Comelec.
Fifteen applications have already been approved by the Comelec, allowing them two police escorts.
“Meron kaming on process na 29. Meron na kaming na-endorse sa Comelec na 14. As of today, 15 na yung may approved na certificate of authority. Isang kandidato at isang government official yung approved, the rest around 13 private individuals with approved certificate of authority from the Comelec,” Escobal said.
(We are processing 29 applications. We have endorsed 14 applications to Comelec. As of now, 15 applications have been approved. A candidate and a government official were among those whose applications were approved, the rest are private individuals.)
The PSPG said those who want to request for police escorts have to go through a process.
"Yung mga requirements, they have to download yung forms from the Comelec website, the application and the forms to be filled up regarding the security personnel na requested nila. And, of course, yung threat assessment and the endorsement from the chief PNP,” Escobal said.
(The requirements, they have to download the forms from the Comelec website, then they have to fill up their request. Of course, the threat assessment and endorsement from the PNP chief.)
“Meron tayong proseso kung paano tayo makapag-avail. Instead na mag-apply sa central office ng Comelec to the Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel, meron pong mga created na regional security coordinating center sa regional offices. Yung RJSCC [Regional Joint Security Control Center], sila yung binigyan ng authority ng Comelec na mag-issue ng temporary authority for 30 days,” he added.
(We have a process on how to avail of police escorts. Instead of applying at the Comelec central office, at the Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel, we created regional security coordinating centers in regional offices. Yung RJSCC, they have the authority from Comelec to issue temporary authority for 30 days.
Four-hundred fifty-seven police escorts have been recalled nationwide.
“All authority regarding deployment and employment of bodyguards were revoked by the Comelec by virtue of Resolution 10446,” Escobal said.
VIPs who are considered high-risk will have their police escorts retained.
“Merong mga VIPs tayo na they are authorized to retain their PSPs [Protective Security Personnel]. Ito yung mga mentioned sa Comelec resolution, yung those who are providing security to the President, the Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary of National Defense, DILG secretary, and then yung Chairman of the Comelec and the Commissioners, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and major services commanders, Chief PNP and senior officers of the PNP. So, specifically mentioned sila na their security will subsist. At saka yung members naman of the Senate at saka Congress, judges, they are allowed to retain 2 but they are have to apply in writing. Dahil kailangan yung certificate of authority should be in writing,” Escobal said.
Victims of heinous crimes and kidnapping will also have their police escorts retained.
“For example, yung mga nagiging biktima ng kidnapping, mga heinous crime, naging victims ng assassination, liquidation. 'Yan ang tinatawag nating high risk, at saka mga individuals na targeted by bad elements and criminals. Nagre-reflect naman yan sa kanilang threat assessment,” Escobal said.
(For example those who have been victims of kidnapping, heinous crimes, assassination, liquidation. They are what we call high risk, as well as individuals targeted by bad elements and criminals. That will all reflect in the threat assessment.)
“That will be part of the threat assessment. Makikita naman yan. The threat assessment will be conducted by the regional officers, commands and local police units. Those threat assessments will be validated by the directorate for intelligence. Magiging part yan ng document na isa-submit nila sa Comelec,” he added.
Those whose availment for protective security that have not expired will have their police escorts back after the election period.