PDEA chief’s security escorts recalled for SEA Games: PNP

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recalled the security detail for Philippine Drug Enforcement Group (PDEA) director Aaron Aquino to augment the policemen who will be deployed for the country’s hosting of the South East Asian (SEA) Games from November 30 until December 11 this year, PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde confirmed on Monday.

According to Albayalde that Aquino’s security details consist of 15 policemen from the Central Luzon Regional Mobile Group headed by Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel, who ordered to recall Aquino’s security escorts as they will be deployed for SEA games.

Aquino’s escorts all came from Central Luzon regional police and is believed to have been retained after he retired from the service as regional director of Region 3.

“As I have heard or na-brief ako na 15 yata ‘yung mga nandun sa kanya and all coming from the regional mobile group ng PRO 3 and of course these are not sanctioned by the PSPG (Police Security Protection Group). Remember in the PNP ang authorized lang na magbigay ng security is the PSPG. Temporary lang basis ‘yung sa PRO 3,” Albayalde told reporters on the sidelines of turnover ceremony of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) from the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) to the PNP held at Camp General Mariano N Castañeda in Silang, Cavite.

“I really don’t know the RD PRO 3, kasi he has all the position, that is his men. Nasa kanya yung assessment, we give that to the commanders on the ground. We cannot dictate everything that they have to do,” he added.

He said that based on PNP rules, only the PSPG has the authority to provide police security escorts and it should be a maximum of two policemen.

“It’s not normal. The normal number is two based on the Alunan Doctrine. No less than the President has directive that we follow strictly the Alunan Doctrine,” said Albayalde.

He said the PNP would be needing manpower to secure delegates and athletes attending the SEA Games.

In the meantime, that Aquino’s request for escort is being processed, Albayalde said the PDEA chief could get his escorts within the PDEA or retired police and military personnel.

“Meron naman na request si DG Aquino sa PNP and it’s now under process but temporarily I already directed PRO 3 to give at least temporary detail kahit na four lang kasi remember we also follow the Alunan doctrine. Very strict din ang ating Presidente rito. Baka yung iba naman sasabihin nila may double standard na naman kami with the 15 securities na nasa kanya (Aquino has a pending request and it is now under process. Temporarily, I already directed PRO 3 to give at least temporary detail of four policemen. Remember we also follow the Alunan doctrine. The President is also very strict here as others would again say we have double standard because of his 15 security detail),” he explained.

The recall of Aquino’s police escorts came after Aquino revealed during a Senate hearing on PDEA’s proposed budget for 2020, that recycling of illegal drugs by police officers often called as ninja-cops is still rampant.

But Albayalde said it has nothing to do with it.

“That’s just a coincidence siguro because of the SEA Games. Remember we need thousands of personnel to secure the delegates who have started practicing at the Clark Economic Zones. And it’s just temporary,” he said.

It was Senator Richard Gordon who first revealed the recall of Aquino’s security escorts. He said he is concerned that the number one drug enforcer of the administration will be stripped of police escorts.

Albayalde said he has no hard feelings after Aquino made such revelations but he said it could have been better if they were informed first before it was made public.

“I would like to respectfully urge PDEA to respect and maintain inter-agency courtesy and protocols on mutual cooperation. The least PDEA should have done was to inform the PNP so that we could have acted upon the information on alleged cops doing drug recycling,” he said.

The country’s top cop said he is confident about the Senate investigation set on Tuesday into the alleged involvement of police officers in the recycling of seized illegal drugs.

Albayalde is set to attend a hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to probe into the irregularities on the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) and its connection to the proliferation of illegal drugs on October 1.

This comes after retired Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong identified the cops and police officials involved in the recycling of illegal drugs in an executive session in the Senate last week.

Earlier, Albayalde also said he discussed rumors of his alleged involvement in illegal drugs during his private meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Albayalde noted that the cops being monitored are either involved in the recycling of illegal drugs or under the payroll of illegal drugs syndicates operating in the country. PNA.GOV.PH