AS the country’s premier law enforcement agency, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is mandated to secure government officials and other very important persons (VIPs) whose lives are under threat.
However, it is a big no-no for a member of the PNP’s Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) to act as a security guard, gatekeeper, family driver or “umbrella boy” of public officials and VIPs.
There’s an existing PSPG policy that prohibits policemen from doing errands for government executives and private individuals.”This is a big no-no and we don’t tolerate this,” according to the PSPG.
Years ago, the PSPG implemented the policy amid reports that some policemen were seen in public holding umbrellas or carrying bags and other personal belongings of VIPs under their protection.
When he was chief of the PNP, Gen. Ricardo C. Marquez observed that some PSPG personnel inside hotels and other establishments were seen wearing “Barong Tagalog” while on an official mission.
PSPG director Chief Supt. Filmore B. Escobal stressed that policemen guarding VIPs should always be in complete uniform to increase police visibility, which is needed in thwarting criminality.
At the same time, Escobal recalled that several years ago, two PSPG operatives were found to be acting as bodyguards of a daughter of an imprisoned suspected female drug lord.
PNP chief Director-General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered the PSPG to fully implement the “Alunan Doctrine,” which limits to only two the number of security personnel for politicians.
Likewise, Albayalde told PSPG personnel not to tolerate the abuses of VIPs and never follow unlawful orders.
As the 2019 national and local balloting approaches, there’s that urgent need to ensure that armed security personnel for politicians are not used to intimidate candidates and voters.