PNP, poll candidates warned vs using cops as bodyguards-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
LOCAL Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II warned personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that they will be punished if they provide unauthorized security to candidates in the May 2013 polls.
Roxas instructed the PNP to strictly implement the rules on the provision of security details to candidates, adding the directive against policemen serving as bodyguards is meant to insulate the police force from partisan politics.
“Binibigyang babala ko ang lahat ng kandidato gayundin ang mga tauhan ng PNP, lalo na ang mga station commanders, provincial commanders at regional directors, na mahigpit na sundin at ipatupad ang mga reglamentong nagbabawal sa mga pulis na magsilbing bodyguards sa mga pulitiko sa panahon ng eleksyon,” Roxas said.
He explained that even a photo of unauthorized PNP personnel near or in the company of election candidates will be sufficient evidence to start administrative and criminal proceedings against the offenders.
“I want to ensure that the PNP remains neutral in the conduct of the May 2013 elections and all its personnel to stay out of politics.”
Roxas made the directive to prevent police personnel from being used as private armies by politicians.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is the only agency authorized to issue exemptions to candidates who wish to avail of security details from the PNP during the election period.
Based on Comelec Resolution 9561-A, an election candidate or his or her immediate family within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity may, upon application, be assigned a maximum of two security personnel or bodyguards if there are threats to their lives and security.
Roxas, however, urged the public to report policemen or candidates who would violate this provision.
“Kapag ang PNP personnel ay hindi naka-uniporme o kung ang politiko ay may tatlo o apat o higit pang security escorts, kunan ninyo ng litrato ay ipadala agad sa PNP,” he said in an earlier statement.
Roxas also said PNP personnel who will violate election laws and regulations shall face grave misconduct while those who fail to act on election law violations shall also be ground for administrative and criminal action for nonfeasance.
Heads of police offices and supervisors who disregard the guidelines shall also be liable for neglect of duty.
Based on PNP Command Memorandum Circular 01-12, police personnel who have relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity who are candidates in areas where the policemen are assigned shall be temporarily reassigned to other units. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)