PSPG agents: Don’t tolerate abuses of VIPs

October 10, 2018

APART from fully implementing the ‘Alunan Doctrine’ which limits to only two the number of armed security personnel for politicians, the Philippine National Police has also reiterated a directive for all Protective Security Personnel from the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) not to tolerate the wrong habits and particularly the unlawful orders of VIPs under their protection.

PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has also ordered PSPG director, Chief Superintendent Filmore B. Escobal to strictly study the application for security protection of private citizens to prevent a repetition of embarrassing incidents.

Escobal said they are also evaluating the assignment of PSPG personnel to civilians including rich businessmen since they don’t want a repeat of an incident in which two PSPG agents were found to be acting as bodyguards of a daughter of jailed suspected female drug lord Yu Yuk Lai.

At present, a PSPG agent’s detail order is being renewed every month. However, the private citizen being protected should be able to prove that there is an existing threat to his/her life, the validation being conducted by the PNP Directorate for Intelligence.

The strict validation is being conducted and approved by PNP-DI head, Director Gregorio R. Pimentel and Gen. Albayalde --both a requisite for the granting of a protective detail in order to ensure that only those qualified due to threats on their lives can be assigned a PSPG bodyguard, not rich persons with links to drugs and other criminal activities who feel they can get some respect if they go around with PSPG men guarding them.

In November 2017, then PNP chief, Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa said he would recommend the immediate dismissal of two police officers found to have been assigned to protect a daughter of convicted drug queen Yu Yuk Lai if it would be proven they were involved in her alleged illegal drug activities.

That incident prompted the PSPG to recall all its men securing 400 private individuals and some 300 government officials. An investigation showed then that one of the two PSPG men had been assigned to Yu Yuk Lai’s daughter Diana Uy since 2010 or four years after she and another sibling were kidnapped while the second had been her security detail since 2013.

One of the PSPG agents was on duty when officers of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency raided Uy’s residence on November 6, 2017 and confiscated some P15 million worth of suspected shabu.

It turned out that the two PSPG men did not report to their superiors that their protectee is visiting her mother at the Correctional Institute for Women. Yu Yuk Lai’s cell yielded drugs and a huge amount of cash when raided by the PDEA. Gen. dela Rosa said then that he was not convinced that the two policemen did not know anything about Uy’s alleged illegal drug activities, especially when they have been receiving a daily allowance of P1,000.

That incident triggered an overhaul of the PSPG policy when it comes to providing bodyguards for civilians. During that time, at least 136 private individuals were getting protection from 217 PSPG personnel.

The PSPG is also reviewing the security detail given to retired police chief superintendents.

During the term of former PNP chief Ricardo C. Marquez  all men providing protective security to private individuals  were under orders to be in complete police uniform.  Gen.  Marquez observed that some PSPG men inside hotels wone  their ‘barong’ uniform while on an official mission..

He said PSPG personnel remain to be members of the police force and must be in full uniform while  with their protectees to  increase police visibility needed in thwarting criminality.

There is also an existing policy in the PSPG which prohibits their men from doing errands for their VIPs.

‘This is a big no-no and we don’t tolerate this,” Escobal said.

The PSPG leadership stressed that all PSPG personnel acting as Protective Security must not serve as a security guard, gatekeeper, family driver or errand boy of the protectee or his family; must not serve as employees in the VIP’s business establishments; and must not be used as an instrument to harass or intimidate other people.