Bodyguards banned during polls –– PNP

January 07, 2019

APART from enforcing a nationwide gun ban from January 13 up to June 12 this year, the Philippine National Police will also strictly implement the ban on employing or engaging the services of security personnel or bodyguards during the election period.

The Omnibus Election Code states that during the election period, “no candidate for public office, including incumbent public officers seeking election to any public offices, shall employ, avail himself of or engage the services of security personnel or bodyguards, whether or not such bodyguards are regular members of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or other law enforcement agency of the Government.”

The law also provides that if at any time during the election period, the ground for which the authority to employ, avail or engage the services of security personnel has been granted shall cease to exist or for any other valid cause, the Commission shall revoke the said authority.

However, Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code defines the persons who are allowed to retain their security personnel or bodyguards. They are the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, Chairman and Commissioners of the Commission on Elections, Chief of Staff of the AFP and AFP Major Service Commanders, and Director Generals and Senior Officers of the PNP.

Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and Provincial Governors, and Justices, Judges and Cabinet Secretaries, may be allowed to retain the services of two of the currently detailed officers or members of said law enforcement government agencies.

When circumstances warrant, including but not limited to threats to their life and security, the following persons who are not mentioned in Section 12, Rule IV above may be allowed to employ, avail or engage the services of two private security personnel or bodyguards during Election Period from duly licensed private security service providers:

a. Incumbent public officials, whether elected or appointed;

b. Candidates for the May 13, 2019 National and Local Elections, or his/her immediate family within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity; and

c. Private individuals.