AFP justifies creation of ‘better equipped, more capable’ security team for Sara, future VPs

The security group that was created by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for Vice President-elect Sara Duterte Carpio and the succeeding vice presidents will be “better equipped and more capable” compared to its predecessor unit, a military spokesperson disclosed Monday, June 27.

(File photo by MANILA BULLETIN)

The Vice Presidential Security and Protection Group (VPSPG) was activated last June 24 after Duterte-Carpio took oath as the 15th Vice President of the Philippines days prior.

The VPSPG was described as an “upgraded” version of the Vice Presidential Security Detail (VPSD), the unit assigned to outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo. The VPSD is being supervised by the Special Detail Unit (SDU) of the General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command (GHQ & HSC) based in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“As approved by the Department of National Defense, the former VPSD has been expanded and reorganized into VPSPG. It is now a separate unit of the AFP with more personnel, is better equipped, and is more capable of providing security in multiple engagements of the Vice President nationwide,” said Col. Jorry Baclor, chief of AFP public affairs office (PAO).

The creation of VPSPG was met with skepticism among certain groups as they questioned the need for the military to form a bigger pool of security personnel for the incoming vice president.

But Baclor said that the erstwhile VPSD had “limitations” in terms of personnel, equipment, and other logistical requirements so it has to be improved when Duterte-Carpio requested the AFP for a security team.

He said the VPSD usually encountered challenges in the performance of its duties, particularly involving its personnel.

He said the VPSD had to tap additional forces from other units during official engagements of the past vice presidents especially in the countryside, which supposedly disrupts the operations of the troops on the ground.

“Hence, to prevent the disruption of AFP units performing their tasks in internal security operations, the expansion of the VPSD was recommended to higher authorities,” Baclor said.