PNP-CITF goes after cops securing poll bets without authority

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force to identify and accost members of the police force who are providing security to candidates in the May 13 national and local elections without any authority from the PNP and the Commission on Elections.

He said those who will be caught violating his directive will be facing administrative charges that may lead to their dismissal from the force for grave misconduct.

Apart from fully enforcing the nationwide gun ban, police are under orders to ensure that the prohibition on the unauthorized employment of bodyguards and other security personnel during the election period will be fully implemented.

Gen. Albayalde said they are fully enforcing the so-called “Alunan Doctrine” which allows only two bodyguards for candidates as part of their election security measures.

At least three policemen who were found acting as unauthorized bodyguards to candidates were accosted, according to PNP-CITF director Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr.

Two of them were identified as Corporal Gerlie Garcia and Patrolman Jed Ceril Sevilla who were found to be acting as unauthorized security escorts to Marilao, Bulacan mayoralty candidate Ricardo Silvestre.

The third was a Police Master Sergeant in Abra found providing unauthorized security to a local candidate.

Caramat said the three were not arrested but were instead told they would be facing administrative charges for violating Gen. Albayalde’s directive for all members of the police force to stay apolitical.

President Duterte has ordered the PNP and the Armed Forces to stay non-partisan and to refrain from serving as bodyguards of candidates without any authority from the Commission on Elections.

In turn, Gen. Albayalde has ordered the PNP-CITF and the PNP-IG headed by Brigadier General Edgar S. Monsalve to monitor any member of the police force who would violate the presidential directive.

Gen. Albayalde has warned that any policeman who will be found illegally providing security to politicians specifically candidates in the May polls will be facing administrative charges.

“I told them that we will be harsh on this. We will show no mercy. These police officers will surely face administrative cases that may lead to their dismissal,” the PNP chief said as the campaign period for the local elections started last month.

Since December 2016, the PNP has been ordered by President Duterte to strictly follow the so-called “Alunan Doctrine” which limits to only two the number of armed security personnel for politicians and Gen. Albayalde has vowed to continue the presidential directive despite strong opposition from affected personalities.