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By Jeline Malasig
Senatorial aspirant Glenn Chong had numerous police escorts while visiting Iligan City but the Philippine National Police only allows two personnel for each candidate unless a serious threat is observed.
Members of the PNP-Police Regional 10 Office escorted Chong in his visit on motorcycles and marked vehicles with blinking sirens.
The lawyer praised the tight security arranged for him, but some social media users raised questions over its necessity.
PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Bernard Banac previously reminded candidates of the 2019 midterm elections that they should only have a maximum of two security escorts from state authorities.
Those caught with three or more escorts will have to face criminal charges or probable disqualification, according to rules of Commission of Elections.
If a candidate’s life has been threatened, however, he may appeal for additional security detail to the Comelec.
The request would only be approved after the election-governing body has deemed it valid and once a thorough threat assessment has been conducted.
Rules on securing escorts
According to Comelec’s Resolution 10446, candidates running for public office can only secure escorts from the PNP, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any other law enforcement agency of the government.
It is a preventive measure done to contain any election-related violence, particularly during the campaign season when candidates would visit various areas to present their platforms to voters.
The resolution also states that a candidate can only have two security escorts unless “threats to life and security” have been detected and assessed. However, it did not mention any particular cases or instances.
The case of Glenn Chong
The senatorial aspirant’s security aide, Richard Santillan, was killed in December 2018, two weeks after Chong submitted his certificate of candidacy as a substitute for Rosita Caringal Imperial of the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino.
Chong believed that his aide’s killing was connected with his decision to run as a senator.
“Nagfile po ako ng COC (certificate of candidacy) for senator on November 26 (2018) by substitution. The next Monday, exactly 2 weeks to the date ‘yun po pagkamatay ni Richard Santillan. It’s connected with my COC,” he said in an interview before.
Santillan was killed in a shootout in Cainta, Rizal on December 10 after PNP suspected that he was part of the “Highway Boys,” a syndicate allegedly involved in robbery, illegal drugs and murder.
Chong, however, said that his aide was on his way to distribute gifts to children at that time.
Nineteen members of the Calabarzon police have since been dismissed from their post following the shootout. – interaksyon.com
ITO ANG AKING SAGOT SA ISYUNG ITO
Naghahanap talaga ng isyu ang mga kalaban natin upang may maibatong dumi. Pero hindi sila magwawagi.
Ang patakaran ng Comelec hinggil sa security escorts ng mga kandidato ay para sa kabuuang panahon ng campaign period. Sa kaso ng mga kandidato pagkasenador – 120 araw yan.
Hindi saklaw sa nasabing patakaran ang temporary courtesies na kusang ibinibigay ng mga otoridad kung sa tingin nila ay kinakailangan i-secure ang isang tao upang maiwasan ang kapahamakan. Sa aking kaso, ang temporary courtesy na ito ay mula 1.30 hanggang 5.00 ng hapon ng araw na iyon.
Kung pakay ng Comelec na isama sa kanilang patakaran ang temporary courtesies tulad ng kasong ito, dapat nilinaw nila ito in the first place.
For the record, hindi ako humingi sa kapulisan ng security escort. Kusang-loob silang sumabay sa aking sasakyan upang bigyan ako ng proteksyon. And for this, I am forever grateful sa kanila.
Kung banta lang ang pag-uusapan, nasa stage ng Plan B na ang aking mga kalaban – for implementation na ito. Ang problema lang nila, alam na namin kung ano ang binabalak nila. Kaya sinisuguro ko rin na magkakamali muli sila tulad ng pagkakamali nila sa kaso ni Richard Santillan upang tuluyang mabitag at mabitay ang mga kriminal na ito.
Ang pagdukot, pagtorture, pagpatay at pag-setup kay Richard Santillan ng mga durugistang kapulisan ni Gen. Edward Carranza at ang mga kasong isinampa ko laban sa kanya at isa pang heneral at 3 koronel ay sapat na basehan ng security threat sa buhay ko. May idadag pa akong dalawang koronel na kakasuhan din dahil pinagtatakpan nila ang mga salarin.
Malinaw na rubout ang nangyari kay Richard Santillan. Malinaw itong nakunan ng video ng mga testigo at inilathala namin ito sa video documentary na – Isang Kandila sa Dilim. Nobody can ever dispute the clearest evidence of rubout in this case.
WALANG MASAMA AT WALANG ILLEGAL NA GINAWA ANG MGA KAPULISAN NG ILIGAN CITY POLICE. HANDA AKONG IPAGTANGGOL SILA KUNG SAKALING PARUSAHAN O PAHIRAPAN SILA NG KANILANG MGA PINUNO O ANUMANG INSTRUMENTO NG SINDIKATONG SMARTMATIC-COMELEC.
SUBUKAN NILANG RESBAKAN ANG MGA PULIS NA ITO AT LALONG LALAKI ANG ISYU NG RUBOUT CASE NI RICHARD SANTILLAN.
KUNG ALAM LANG NILA GAANO KARAMING PULIS ANG SUMUSUPORTA SA AKIN, MATULALA SILA. SALUDO AKO SA MGA MATITINONG PULIS NA ITO.
ANG MALINAW NA MASAMA AY ANG RUBOUT CASE NI RICHARD “RED” SANTILLAN SA ILALIM NG MGA MALULUPIT AT MALADEMONYONG DURUGISTANG MGA PULIS NI GEN. EDWARD CARRANZA AT KANYANG MGA OPISYAL SA PRO4A.
– Atty. Glenn Chong