Barbers asks PNP Chief to probe, punish cops providing bodyguards to POGO workers, execs

May 21, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 101 views

A LAWMAKER from Mindanao on Tuesday assailed the reported unauthorized assignment and deployment of police officers as bodyguards of Chinese POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Corporation) officials and workers.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said this police scheme has reportedly been on-going for years, and had emboldened POGO hubs, officials and workers because they are being secured by active and armed state security forces.

Barbers made the statement in reaction to a GMA TV News report that two members of the PNP Special Action Force assigned in Zamboanga were arrested by local police from Muntinlupa City after both had major altercation inside the house of one POGO official.

The report, he said, indicated that two PNP SAF officers were “moonlighting” as personal bodyguards of an unnamed Chinese POGO official residing at Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City.

He said the report also indicated that the Battalion Commander of the two PNP SAF officers, who approved his men’s deployment as POGO bodyguards, is receiving a monthly emolument of P40,000 each for their services while half of the amount, P20,000 each, goes to their superior.

“Worse, the two arrested PNP SAF officers could not provide documents as proof that they are officially designated as POGO bodyguards,” Barbers said.

The solon from Surigao del Norte urged PNP chief Gen. Rommel Franciso Marbil to investigate the alleged serious shenanigans being committed by some of his subordinate officers who are moonlighting as personal bodyguards of POGO workers and officers.

“Grabe na ang nangyayari sa PNP, ibang nakakadismayang kultura na talaga ang nangingibabaw sa isip ng ilang tiwali nating opisyal. Kung ang Battalion Commander sa PNP SAF ay kayang magpa-deploy ng bodyguards sa POGO, hindi malayong mangyari na pwede rin silang maging bodyguard ng mga Chinese drug lords,” Barbers said.

“At kung kaya gawin ni PNP SAP battalion commander ang ganuong gawain, hindi rin malayo na pwede itong gawin ng isang PNP Regional Director, Provincial Commander, local chief of police, at iba pang opisyal ng mga PNP Support Units,” he added.

According to Barbers, only the PNP Police Security Protection Group (PNP PSPG) has the mandate to provide security of vital government institutions, government officials, visiting dignitaries, and private individuals authorized to be given protection.

The solon from Mindanao said Marbil should investigate and punish all PNP officials responsible in allowing their men to be used as personal bodyguards of POGO officials and other private individuals not authorized to be given protection.