PNP recalls politicians’ police escorts for 2019 polls

Rambo Talabong
PNP recalls politicians’ police escorts for 2019 polls
The routine recall is done to prevent election violence and the politicization of the police force


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recalled the security details of all local officials from barangay councilor up to senators as the 2019 election period began on Sunday, January 13.

A total of 457 police escorts were ordered to report back to national police base Camp Crame, according to numbers kept by the PNP Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG).

The recall was formalized through an elaborate program headed by PSPG director Chief Superintendent Filmore Escobal on Monday, January 14.

The recall is part of the routine election ban prescribed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution No. 10466. The resolution was passed to limit violence during the heated election period. (LIST: 2019 election-related bans)

How to apply for exemption: Politicians who have serious threats on their lives can make a case before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to obtain a Certificate of Authority for Security Detail (CASD) to employ escorts despite the ban, the PSPG said.

Politicians can then submit their CASD to their Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC), which can issue them a 30-day Temporary Authority for Security Detail (TASD).

The TASD will be the PNP’s reference before assigning police escorts.

Automatic exemptions: The following officials, meanwhile, are exempted from the security recall:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Senate President
  • House Speaker
  • Chief Justice
  • Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
  • Secretary of National Defense
  • Comelec Chairman and Commissioners
  • Armed Forces chief 
  • Army, Air Force, Navy chiefs
  • PNP chief
  • Policemen with rank Superintendent or higher

Where the recalled police escorts will go: The PSPG assured the public that the police escorts will not turn idle during the entire election period.

The security details will be undergoing “competency and skills enhancement” training to refresh them of their past training and schooling regarding protecting VIPs.

The cops will stay in police camps depending on orders issued by the PSPG. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.