Cagayan de Oro City (19 January) -- At least 35 candidates from Northern Mindanao have filed their applications requesting for security details with the Regional Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) of the Commission on Elections, Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines (Comelec-AFP-PNP), as of Jan. 18, 2010.
Atty. Renato A. Magbutay, Regional Elections Director of region 10, RJSCC Chairperson, said 25 of these candidates are incumbents while 10 others are new ones who requested for the security detail of some 59 members of the PNP, four (4) from the AFP and five (5) from private protective agencies (PPA).
The RJSCC accepts applications and evaluates requests to hire or engage the employment of a security detail by candidates running in the May 10, 2010, elections and endorses them to the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) in Manila for approval.
Meanwhile, P/Chief Supt. Danilo T. Empedrad, Regional Director of PNP-10 and member of the RJSCC said only candidates from Mayor upwards will be provided with PNP/AFP security detail while other candidates may engage the services of Protective Agents (PA).
He said only two regular members of the PNP, AFP or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are allowed to serve as security detail for each candidate, with the addition upon request, of not more than two PA's and only personnel assigned in the PNP Headquarters of Regional/City/ Provincial Police Offices will be detailed/deputized as security.
Likewise, only those assigned in the unified command and infantry division headquarters of the Philippine Army or their equivalent in the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force may be detailed/ deputized as security, as a last resort, in the absence of PNP personnel or other law enforcement agents.
This is because the local PNP have already their hands full in manning the Joint Comelec-PNP-AFP checkpoints for the intensified implementation of "Oplan Sita" and "Oplan Bakal," especially targeting convoys of known political candidates maintaining private armed groups.
Thus, only those in the headquarters performing office functions will be utilized as security details to the candidates, Empedrad added. (PIA 10)