At least 30 Eastern Visayas bets for May polls ask for body guards
TACLOBAN CITY — Two governors and four members of Congress were among the candidates from Eastern Visayas who had asked for security detail due to threats to their lives.
Records of the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC) show that at least 30 candidates in the May 13 elections asked for security detail.
The RJSCC is composed of regional offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which sits as chair; while Police Regional Office in Eastern Visayas (PRO-8), and the Philippine Army in the region sit as members,
Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PRO-8 director, said the applications of these candidates had been approved in the RJSCC level.
But he added these would have to be elevated to the Comelec central office where it would be assessed and verified before police escorts would be deployed to them.
Carlos said each candidate would be entitled to two security personnel who must be in uniform while on duty.
If these candidates would have more than two police bodyguards, he added, they would be asked to explain, or they would lose their security detail.
But Carlos explained that the candidates may get more than two security detail if they were attending a big and public gathering.
But the additional escorts would be deployed once the event was over, he added.
Among those who asked for bodyguard were Governors Leopoldo Dominico Petilla of Leyte and Sharee Ann Tan of Samar.
Petilla is running for reelection while Tan is a congressional candidate running for Samar’s second district.
Others who asked for police bodyguards were Tan’s mother, Rep. Milagros Tan, who wanted to switch places with her daughter.
Other applicants were Representatives Edgar Mary Sarmiento, of Samar’s 1st district; Lucy Torres Gomez of Leyte’s 4th district; and Jose Carlos Cari of Leyte’s 5th district.
Cari is running for Baybay City mayor, hoping to switch places with his son, Carl who also asked for security detail.
Torres-Gomez and Sarmiento are seeking reelection.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, the lawmaker’s husband who is seeking a fresh mandate, also asked for security detail.
Other applicants for security escorts were congressional candidates for the lone district of Eastern Samar—Mayors Maria Fe Abunda of Borongan City; Christopher Sheen Gonzales of Guiuan town; and Vice Mayor Conrado Nicart III of San Policarpo.
Karen Lolita Javier, who is running for Leyte’s second district representative, also applied for security detail.
Others who asked for police bodyguards were Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino, who is seeking reelection, one candidate for vice governor, 10 candidates for mayor, four candidates for vice mayor and one candidate for board member.