By Aaron Recuenco
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has ordered the deployment of two police escorts for Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as he stressed that there is no order from Malacanang to pull out the security personnel for the opposition solon.
Albayalde said the deployment of two police escorts for Trillanes will be on a temporary basis, or while the PNP leadership is conducting a ‘comprehensive review’ of the deployment of personnel from the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG).
Albayalde’s order came in response to the revelation of Trillanes earlier that both his police and military escorts were pulled out for no reason, triggering speculation that he could be the next target for assassination as critics noted that the police escorts of Tanauan City, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili was allegedly also pulled out before he was gunned down.
Several elected public officials were already gunned down since July 2016, the 15th fatality was the vice mayor of Sapa-Sapa town of Tawi-Tawi who was gunned down in Zamboanga City.
On Saturday, a former vice mayor of Sto. Tomas, Batangas was also shot in the face.
Trillanes is a known critic of President Duterte. Before and after the 2016 presidential elections, it was Trillanes who accused the Duterte family of keeping at least P2 billion in the bank.
He also accused Duterte’s son of involvement in the smuggling of some P6.4 billion worth of shabu.
“The PNP is conducting a comprehensive review of all protective security personnel. Its Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) provides security to all qualified VIPs including elected and appointed officials as well as private individuals,” Durana said in a statement.
“The move which we started just recently is in line with our efforts to maximize the use of available human resources intended primarily to perform our core police functions but also with due consideration to the specific security needs of key officials and private individuals,” he added.
Durana said the comprehensive review is also part of PNP’s proactive measures to ensure police personnel will not be, wittingly or unwittingly, used by their VIPs for economic or political reasons especially as we approach the election season.
No Palace order
Albayalde said they have not received any verbal or written order from Malacañang to recall the police security escorts for Trillanes.
What he is aware based on the existing PNP policy, according to Albayalde, is that the detailing of two cops from the Police Security Protection Group (PSPG) might have already lapsed, the reason for the pullout.
“There’s no order. There is really a process there. There’s an expiration of the detailing of police escorts to VIPs (Very Important Persons) and elected officials,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde said the police security escorts of Trillanes can be reinstated by renewing the letter order to the PNP.
“If expiration of security details lapses, they may have to be renewed through a letter order to provide security,” Albayalde said.
“But of course, it will still undergo process,” he stressed.