Maguindanao police chief says he has no authority over Mangudadatu’s escorts
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of Maguindanao police on Monday denied that he ordered the supposed transfer of police escorts of Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, saying he has no authority over the latter’s security detail.
Col. Arnold Santiago told INQUIRER.net that the security escorts of Mangudadatu were from the Police Security Protection Group (PSPG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP), since the regional and provincial police are not authorized to deploy security detail to politicians.
He said he does not even hail from Maguindanao.
“Wala po akong nililipat na escort diyan… Non-patrisan po ako kung anumang meron sa politika dito (I did not transfer his escorts… I am non-partisan on whatever happens in politics here),” said Santiago.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Mangudadatu alleged that his police escorts have been transferred by Santiago to other police units “to make it hard” for them to secure him.
He said he wants to discuss the matter with Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, as well as security concerns for the promulgation on the 2009 Maguindanao massacre that left 58 people killed, including 32 members of the media and Mangudadatu’s wife and relatives.
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