Congressmen may lose police security escorts-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) may not be able to provide security to all members of the House of Representatives any longer during the election period.
“The number of policemen couldn't accommodate all the candidates if we include all local officials. They will be outnumbered,” said Commissioner Elias Yusoph, head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) –Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP).
All existing authority granting security personnel or bodyguards is deemed revoked by the commission as the election period starts Sunday.
The ban, however, does not include the President, Vice President, senators who are not running for re-election, justices, judges, Cabinet secretaries, chairman and commissioners of the poll body, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff and AFP major service commanders, and director generals and senior officers of the (PNP).
On the other hand, upon application, the Comelec has said candidates for senator can be assigned regular members of the PNP or AFP while candidates for all local elective positions may be authorized to employ, avail and engage the services of no more than two private security personnel.
Yusoph said congressmen are considered local officials because they are elected locally.
He, however, stressed that they are still set to discuss the matter further to consider the request of some lawmakers to retain their PNP security detail.
As for businessmen, the commissioner said they can also try their luck for being given permission by the poll body to continue employing bodyguards.
He said businessmen, whose lives are facing threats, may apply to the CBFSP to be allowed to have bodyguards and be exempted from the ban.
“They can apply and they have to prove to the committee that their lives are in danger,” said Yusoph.
If allowed, those given authority may enlist a maximum of two security personnel or bodyguards, who, in turn, are only allowed to carry two firearms, whether one short and one long; or two short.
In providing security, the Comelec said the bodyguards must wear their authorized uniforms, display their agency issued identification cards, and possess the required Certificate of Authority from the CBFSP. (HDT/Sunnex)