Año explains recall of cops assigned to guard Tulfos
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the pullout of all policemen assigned to secure “different personalities”—including broadcast journalists Erwin, Raffy and Ben Tulfo—for “regular inspection, interview and debriefing.”
In a text message to the Inquirer on Sunday, Año explained his directive, saying, “I want the PNP to evaluate the policy and protocol on providing police security to different personalities and reassess its justifications because this is just a privilege and not a right.”
He added: “Recipient personalities must abide [by] proper rules and decorum and be responsible in their actions.”
Col. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, said that “based on standard protocol, the two PNP security personnel assigned to Erwin Tulfo will undergo regular inspection, interview and debriefing this week following an assigned schedule among all PSPG (Police Security and Protection Group) personnel on security detail.”
The PNP-PSPG is responsible for overseeing the deployment of policemen on security detail.
Revalidation of threats
“The continuation of security detail will largely depend on the outcome of this regular review process and the revalidation of the level of threats against the protectees,” Banac said.
According to him, the standard protocol “applies to all authorized protectees and not only to Erwin Tulfo.”
Año’s order came a day after the Armed Forces also recalled the two Marine personnel assigned to secure the oldest Tulfo brother, Ramon Tulfo, special envoy for public diplomacy to China.
Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces spokesperson, said that due to a dearth of personnel, “the Philippine Marine Corps has started recalling its Marines who were detailed outside the corps as security detail.”
He stressed that the move had nothing to do with Erwin Tulfo’s tirade on radio against Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista.
Erwin came under fire last week from active and retired military personnel when he ranted on air against Bautista who did not grant his request for a live interview over the latter’s Radyo Pilipinas program.
Erwin called the former Army chief “buang” (crazy) and threatened to slap him and dunk his head in a toilet bowl the next time they meet.
Although he later apologized, he insisted it was his right to criticize government officials.
Arevalo explained that since last year, the Marine Corps had been sending formal letters to inform government officials, including Ramon Tulfo, “of the need for [its personnel] to report back to headquarters for consequent deployment to forward units.”
“The fact that it took effect only recently is part of the process,” Arevalo said.
He also clarified in a statement that only Ramon Tulfo had Marines assigned to him, and that his brothers did not enjoy the same privilege as they were not government officials.
Bautista is a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Sandiwa Class of 1985 and was the overall ground commander in the 2017 Marawi siege.
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