64 bets in 2019 polls want security escorts

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2018 11:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 05 2018 11:44 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - A number of politicians who are running in the 2019 midterm elections have requested police security from the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to PSPG Director Filmore Escobal, 64 candidates had asked for security. Among those who had filed for requests are 3 senators, 49 congressmen, 6 local chief executives, 3 former government officials, and 3 private individuals running for office in 2019.

The requests came after recent attacks targeting politicians in Batangas, Cavite, and La Union.

Applicants will have to undergo assessment first before PSPG deploys security detail.

"We consider the history kung na-target sila ng political violence," Escobal said.

"We also consider the situation on the ground like presence of private armed groups, hired killers and enemies of the government," he added.

PSPG will assign some 116 police escorts or police security personnel to successful applicants. Approval from the Commission on Election (Comelec) is necessary too.

“For those who will be running for elective positions they have to re-apply with the Comelec, so they have to download the requirements from Comelec website. Ang magiging role lang po ng PSPG is to certify that the personnel is a member of PSPG and the firearms are issued for the personnel of PSPG,” Escobal said.

PSPG is expecting more requests, especially in areas where political rivalry is intense.

“There are certain instances na merong intense political rivalry na nare-report in some areas, so ang security personnel ay isang preventive measure para ma-achieve natin 'yung goal natin na maging peaceful ang elections,” Escobal said.

PSPG will also retain the police security detail of politicians who are not running in 2019.

PSPG reminds politicians to coordinate with the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies (SOSIA) and the Comelec if they want to add more security personnel to avoid being tagged as having a private armed group.