ILOILO City – Citing safety concerns, four local officials asked for security escorts from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) identified the four as Antique’s Cong. Paolo Everado Javier, Iloilo City’s Cong. Jerry Treñas and Mayor Jose Espinosa, and Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.
Their request is currently being evaluated, said Superintendent Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson.
The PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City has the final say on the approval or disapproval of the request.
Of the four, only Defensor is not running for any elective post this May 13 elections. Treñas and Espinosa are clashing for mayor while Javier is running for Antique governor.
According to Malong, all local government officials are allowed to request for their previous police escorts (recalled at the start of election period in January) provided they secure an authority from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to grant and extend the services of these escorts.
Malong incumbent officials running this May 13 elections may have at most two police escorts only.
“They are not allowed to tap relatives to escort them,” she stressed.
Also, said Malong, if a request for security escort is not granted, the PRO-6 may still ensure police presence in the vicinity of the residents of the one who made the request, and even during scheduled activities in the barangays if a request is made.
Malong said the PRO-6 expects to receive more requests for security escort as the campaign period for local elective posts draws near (March 29).
In recalling local officials’ police escorts at the start of the election period in January, the PNP explained the move meant to ensure that police escorts were not used in private armed groups.
“Part ‘yun ng effort ng government to prevent the occurrence of election-related violence and also mayroon ng effort ang government addressing ‘yung private armed groups,” said Chief Superintendent Filmore Escobal, director of the PNP-Police Security Protection Group./PN