WITH elections drawing near, several mayors have started requesting the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) for bodyguards.

Though acting CPPO Director Erson Digal would not name all those who have sent requests, he confirmed that one of them is Consolacion Mayor Avelino Gungob Sr.

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Digal, however, said only the Commission on Elections (Comelec) can grant permission to deploy bodyguards because the election period has already started.

With the start of the election period last Jan. 10, all bodyguards assigned to private individuals and government officials were recalled.

He said that what Gungob and the other mayors can do is file a request before the Regional Joint Security Control Center based at the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.

The RJSCC is chaired by the Comelec regional director, who will endorse all requests to the poll body’s central office for approval.

Digal said the most they could do is conduct a threat assessment to determine if the person requesting for security detail is in need of bodyguards.

They can attach the threat assessment to the application.

Asked if there have been persons who were already granted security details, Digal said Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is among those who have bodyguards. He also said some congressmen and mayors also have security escorts.

Digal did not name those who have security details and those who have applied for them.