PDEA chief’s security escorts recalled, reinstated

Published September 30, 2019, 11:34 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Chito Chavez

Despite numerous death threats, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General Aaron Aquino confirmed that his 15 police escorts were recalled amid his recent exposé on “ninja cops” or police officers who bring back their seized illegal drugs back to the streets for financial gains.

PDEA Dir Aaron Aquino speaks during a press conference at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City, April 25 2018. (Mark BAlmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

Aquino said the Philippine National Police (PNP) reasoned out that his police escorts will now be detailed as security personnel for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November.

To recall, PNP spokesman Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said police officers assigned to Region 3 government officials were indeed recalled.

After his request for his security details to be restored remained unheeded, Aquino said he went straight to President Duterte to discuss his predicament prompting the President to issue verbal orders for his police escorts to be reinstated.

He remains puzzled over the recall of his police escorts adding that he is unaware if the President knew about the removal of his security personnel.

Short of saying that he was being singled out, Aquino claimed the security personnel of other prominent personalities have been reinstated but his were initially recalled but later reinstated due to the President’s verbal order.

Aquino noted that his 15 police escorts were his trusted men during his stint in the police service saying that ideally security personnel assigned to him should have his trust and confidence.

Without his trusted men, Aquino said that his movement will be constricted as two security personnel may not be enough to fend off local and international drug ring syndicates.

From the standard two police escorts assigned to VIPs, Aquino had requested for additional security personnel be increased based on the Alunan doctrine.

With the President’s verbal order, Aquino confirmed that his security personnel are now with him.

But the PNP claimed they have yet to receive the supposed verbal order from the President regarding the reinstatement of Aquino’s police escorts.

The PNP, however, assured the recall of police escorts is only as they will be assigned back to their respective very important persons (VIP).