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Carlos says heads will roll over unauthorized police bodyguards

December 8, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 200 views

Alfred DalizonPNP chief, General Dionards Carlos on Monday told me he is really serious in his effort to stop the presence of unauthorized police bodyguards in the country and warned that anybody who will be found disobeying his order will be relieved and investigated along with their immediate superiors.

I fully agree with the top cop’s directive amid the fact that some policemen are really ‘moonlighting’ as bodyguards to politicians and other moneyed VIPs as well as candidates seeking elective posts in the 2022 national and local elections.

A most recent example was discovered last March 8 when Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino, his security escort Staff Sergeant Rodeo Sario and driver Dennis Abayon were killed in an ambush. A check showed that Sario is a local policeman and not a member of the Police Security and Protection Group.

Former PNP chief-turned 2022 senatorial candidate Gilor Eleazar last November 8 signed the dismissal papers of two Police Lieutenant Colonels and two non-commissioned officers found involved in the attack and found guilty by the Internal Affairs Service of grave misconduct and grave irregularity in the performance of duty in the aftermath of the incident. The four were also charged with four counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder before a local court.

Gen. Carlos said he wants all unauthorized police bodyguards or those not from the PSPG to go and those who will be found continuing to provide security to politicians, candidates and other VIPs will be relieved and investigated along with their immediate commanders.

As part of his effort to ensure their impartiality in next year’s polls, Gen. Carlos said he has also ordered Acting PNP Chief Directorial Staff, Major Gen. Rhodel Sermonia to ensure that all 17 Police Regional Office directors and heads of their different National Operational and Administrative Support Units will fully comply with his directive when it comes to the campaign against partisan armed groups, loose firearms and unauthorized police security personnel.

“We are reviewing our security detail and identifying policemen who are unauthorized to provide security to politicians, candidates and the like,” Gen. Carlos said. The full review and validation is needed amid findings in the past that there are some local police officers who ‘faked’ reports regarding the assignment of their men. The PNP chief knows it fully well since he has been a Provincial Director, head of the HPG and ASG, a Regional Director and an Area Police commander before he joined the PNP Command Group last May.

Gen. Carlos said he wants the full implementation of the so-called Alunan Doctrine when it comes to providing security. Introduced by former DILG Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III during the Ramos presidency, the doctrine called for setting the rule that more than two armed men moving or assembling in a group constitute a private army that must be broken up and disarmed. Thus, Gen. Carlos is just fully complying with President Duterte’s previous directive to adopt the Alunan Doctrine which limits the number of politician’s armed guards particularly those roaming around with long firearms.

This also means that a maximum of two personnel from the PSPG will be assigned to a person given authority to avail of security whether it is election period or not. The top cop also maintained that all PSPG personnel must be in proper uniform as he warned that commanders who will fail to comply with his directive will be relieved.

This coming Monday, Gen. Carlos told me that he will reiterate his directive during their 2nd command conference since he took over as the 27th PNP chief last November 13.

The PNP chief said they are also watching police personnel assigned to so-called Mayor’s Squads of city or municipal hall detachments.

He said that under their policy, only members of the PSPG are authorized to act as security personnel or bodyguards to politicians and other persons whose lives are under imminent threat. For the record, the PSPG is the only authorized security unit in the force with the PNP chief having the final say on whether to approve or not request for PSPG security.

Gen. Carlos said that there is nothing wrong when it comes to policemen assigned in Mayor’s Squads or City Hall Detachments provided they are performing regular law enforcement functions in support of the city hall.

However, it would be a different thing is they are already acting as bodyguards of the local government official since in the first place, they are not part of the PSPG. “If they are deployed as bodyguards, therefore, they have no authority. But if they are performing peace and order functions, ok lang. If they are unauthorized bodyguards of a politician, pag nakuhanan ng video o photo, we will relieved them, recall them immediately,” he emphasized.

Gen. Carlos said that the chief of police or even the provincial or district director will be relieved under the principle of command responsibility in case such wanton violation of his directive will be confirmed.

The 27th PNP chief maintained that being the former Chief Directorial Staff of now senatorial candidate Gilor Eleazar, he turned into a memorandum all the pronouncements and policies made by the latter when he was still their chief. “What I started for Sir Gilor, I am implementing now,” he said.

The top cop said he has ordered all 17 Police Regional Office directors as well as all provincial directors to prepare early for the 2022 national and local elections or be relieved if they will be found lagging behind in their preparations to keep next year’s polls as peaceful and smooth as possible.

“I might put somebody who can do the job. At present, I am assessing the performance of our field commanders. This is not the time to relax, this is the time to perform,” he declared. The PNP chief is right because there is a real tendency for police commanders, especially those who will be retiring months from now or before the election to relax and just enjoy the perks and benefits of their position and refrain from doing anything that may jeopardize their retirement, say harassment suits and complaints from local politicians. Gen. Carlos however said there are so many qualified officers who are always ready to take over the job of these officials.

He added that he is also very particular when it comes to dismantling Partisan Armed Groups or PAGs. As of Monday, he said they are monitoring some areas in Bangsamoro Administrative Region and in Region 2 where there are monitored existence of private armed groups.

What his intelligence officers need to do right now, he explained, is to fully monitor these groups and their ‘parukyanos’ or the politicians who are willing to engage the services of these armed groups to terrorize their rivals and non-supporters specifically during the January 9 to June 8, 2022 nationwide gun ban.