PNP urges closer coordination with local executives

Published July 10, 2018, 8:40 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has urged local elected officials to establish closer ties with them in the wake of the string of killings involving two city mayors and a vice mayor last week.

PNP Chief Dir. Gen Oscar Albayalde, speaks during a press conference about the recently concluded Barangay and SK Election 2018, at the PNP National Election Monitoring Center (NEMAC) at Camp Crame in Quezon City, May 15 2018. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP Chief Dir. Gen Oscar Albayalde (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said local executives who are receiving threats on their life in the fulfillment of their duties should immediately inform the police so that appropriate security measures will be provided to them.

“If they are aware of any threat on their life, they have to inform us. We cannot act on something that we do not know so they have to coordinate with us,” Albayalde said.

Usually, Albayalde said a local executive is entitled to up to two police personnel as security detail. As for those who still have no security personnel, he explained that local executives just have to request to them if they need any.

“If there are concerns because they have no security detail, they can write a letter addressed to the national headquarters and we will do our best to address it,” he assured.

The request for security will then be assessed by the Directorate for Intelligence before the PNP could finally issue a security detail to a local executive, Albayalde said.

However, some elected officials are hiring their own security team so that they can have more than two personnel. Albayalde said this would also work as long as local executives are hiring personnel from an accredited security agency.

“Hindi basta-basta ‘yan [forming security team.] You have to get personnel from a PNP-accredited security agency and you have to follow rules in arming them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Albayalde said they have yet to receive any request from local executives for a security detail following the string of killings last week.

“At the national level, no request so far. At the regional level, I think they can go to the chief of police or the city and provincial directors and they will be the one to coordinate with us,” he bared.

The country’s top cop, meanwhile, assured, that they are on “top of the situation” in solving the killings to deliver justice to the family of the victims.

Last week, three local executives were killed by unidentified men –Tanauan, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili; General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote; and Trece Martires Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan. Among the motives being eyed behind the killings are politics, illegal drugs, and business conflict.

Albayalde also said that there is no indication so far that some policemen are moonlighting as executioner of local officials especially those being linked to illegal drugs trade.

But Albayalde said that they are still looking into such possibility amid speculations that a well-trained marksman was the one who did the hit on Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili.

“As of this time, there is no indication but are looking into that. We have our own counter-intelligence watchlist but this is also being validated,” said Albayalde.

Halili was killed allegedly by a sniper shot while attending a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Tanauan City Hall last week.

Speculations immediately cropped up that the hitman could be a soldier, policeman or formerly assigned to law enforcement service due to the manner of attack which is not usual compared to other killings wherein gunmen would ambush or shoot their target at short range. (With a report from Aaron Recuenco)