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PNP sets limit on security personnel for each poll bet

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has set a limit of two security personnel only for election candidates who require protection during the campaign period and dismissed claims that it favors certain poll bets in deploying security detail.

“The candidates will be allowed a maximum of two. According to the President, we will follow the Alunan doctrine here and in uniform. Now, if you are going into a critical area or an area where you think you will be conducting an information campaign where it’s massive, where there are a lot of people, we will allow them to coordinate with the local police for the local police to provide area security,” said PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

“This is the problem with all candidates. When one sees that there are many policemen in an event, they will complain that the PNP is favoring their opponent. That is provision of security for the whole crowd, audience, perimeter security for the maintenance of peace and order there,” he explained.

According to Albayalde, the killing of Ako-Bicol Partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe would have been prevented if policemen were deployed to the area where the crime occurred.

“Our policemen are not limited to providing security to critical areas visited by a candidate. That is why we go back to the Batocabe case. If they just coordinated with us and the policemen were there, it would not have happened. There were no policemen there at that time. But there was no coordination and it happened despite the fact that he has a security detail,” he said.

Local police can ask for augmentation coming from provincial or regional mobile groups or even from the military, in case of simultaneous events, Albayalde noted.

Earlier, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. said the PNP has requirements that must be complied with by poll bets should they need security, such as an assessment to determine if there is indeed a threat to their lives.

“If they want to have more, then they have to hire the services of security agencies at their own expenses,” Durana said.

The PNP will also provide security services for non-incumbent candidates who may qualify for protective security detail, he added.#