OUTGOING Davao City Mayor and incoming Vice President Sara Duterte thanked the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for granting her request to have a separate security unit to the Office of the Vice President.

AFP launched the Vice-Presidential Security and Protection Group (VPSPG), a unit dedicated to ensuring the security of the Vice President of the country and her family on Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Duterte, who is a Philippine Army reserve officer with the rank of colonel, said in a statement on the same day that VPSPG "is commendable as it will resolve the matter of continuity in security for all vice presidents of the Philippines."

"This AFP initiative also highlights the importance of having an independent group that will provide all Philippine vice presidents with the necessary security and protection," the incoming vice president said.

She added, "That foresight was demonstrated in this activation was likewise highly laudable — that it may be expected to solve the challenges if, in future elections, the vice president and the president face the misfortune of having strained relations."

She also thanked DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino, and the entire agency for responding to her request.

Centino led the activation ceremony on Friday, June 24, at the AFP General Headquarters with other top AFP leadership.

Lieutenant Colonel Rene Giroy of the Philippine Army was named as the first group commander of VPSPG.

“The AFP saw it fitting to provide the Office of the Vice President a dedicated unit that shall ensure the safety and security of the second-highest elected official in the country,” said Centino.

The VPSPG is formerly the Vice-Presidential Security Detachment which is attached to the Presidential Security Group.

With its activation, the VPSPG is now a separate unit and is headed by an officer with the rank of colonel or Navy captain.

“I am confident that the newly-designated acting VPSPG Commander and the rest of the Officers and Enlisted Personnel entrusted to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the Vice President and her family shall perform their responsibilities to the best of their abilities,” said Centino. RGL with reports from SunStar Philippines