Comelec offers presidential security escorts, VP bets after Bukidnon shooting
Most individuals are not allowed to hire security personnel during the election period, unless authorized by Comelec. President Saiamen Pangarungan’s offer is expected to speed up candidates’ requests for exemption.
MANILA, Philippines – The Electoral Commission (Comelec) has offered additional security details to 2022 presidential and vice-presidential candidates who make such a request, after a shooting incident marred the union leader’s meeting Leody de Guzman with indigenous peoples in the province of Bukidnon.
Presidential bet De Guzman was visiting Barangay Butong in Quezon City on Tuesday, April 19, to listen to Lumad farmers’ land grab complaint, when around 50 men allegedly fired on them.
De Guzman and his Senatorial bets Roy Cabonegro and David D’Angelo were unharmed, but two community leaders, including the one next to De Guzman, suffered gunshot wounds.
In a statement, Comelec President Saiamen Pangarungan condemned reports of election-related violence, including Tuesday’s incident in Bukidnon.
“While Comelec is under investigation, we are offering additional security details to each presidential and vice-presidential candidate upon their request,” he said in a statement.
During the election period, most individuals are prohibited from engaging the services of security personnel unless authorized to do so by Comelec.
While nothing prevents candidates from requesting a waiver of this rule, the Chief Electoral Officer’s offer will ultimately help expedite candidates’ requests for security escorts.
Pangarungan, after all, now has the power to approve applications itself by people seeking to hire security personnel or bodyguards “in urgent and meritorious cases”.
Pangarungan’s office said applicants will be required to “quote a specific number when requesting additional security details”, and added that their requests will be assessed “on the basis of their needs”.
Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Ping Lacson, Manny Pacquiao and Francis Pangilinan are also covered by the Comelec President’s new offer, in addition to the two security officers already authorized for each of them. them because of the general exemptions. recently granted to senior officials.
Robredo, Lacson and Pacquiao are running for president; Sotto and Pangilinan are aiming for the vice-presidency. – Rappler.com