Comelec confused over security detail at Capitol
THE ongoing Capitol standoff has caused some confusion at the provincial Commission on Elections (Comelec) office.
Comelec provincial supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano said he wrote Regional Director Temmie Lambino to verify who would be considered the incumbent governor.
The clarification concerns the assignment of security escorts for either suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia or Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale.
The Comelec said governors can retain two security escorts provided they request the poll body.
The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) ordered the transfer of all of Garcia’s police escorts outside the province.
Its intelligence division will also verify reports that a group called the Guardian Brotherhood was securing Garcia.
Castillano said his letter will be sent to the Comelec’s legal department in Manila. He said he expects an answer within this week.
Magpale said she still has to decide if she would request for two security escorts.
Garcia said she never really liked having escorts and wouldn’t want to request Comelec for escorts now that the election period started.
The only security escorts the governor has come from the family-owned GGC Security Services.
Castillano said he received queries from Deputy House Speaker Pablo Garcia of Cebu’s 2nd district and Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district for security escorts.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, PRO-7 chief, said he ordered Supt. Paul Labra II, chief of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) chief, to check the status of Guardian Brotherhood members who were seen escorting Garcia in her rally in front of the Capitol last week.
The group is identified with Anad partylist Rep. Pastor “Jun” Alcover, one of the governor’s political allies who has denounced the Palace suspension order on Garcia.
Garbo said he ordered the transfer of Garcia’s police escorts to avoid undue familiarity during the election period.
Lambino said he has yet to receive any requests for security escorts from Cebu’s officials.
Any requests will have to be assessed at the Regional Joint Security Control Center (RJSCC), he said.
Those wishing to apply for security escort permits have to pay a P5,000 non-refundable processing fee.
The amount will be deposited in the Comelec account with the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The receipt will have to be attached to the application form while the applicant will be asked for the names of their preferred security officers.
Applications for permanent security escorts will have to be coursed through the Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Personnel (CBFSP) in Manila. Correspondents Carmel Loise Matus, Chito Aragon and Carine Asutilla