SINCE December 2016, the Philippine National Police has been ordered by President Duterte to strictly follow the so-called ‘Alunan Doctrine’ which limits to only two the number of armed security personnel for politicians and PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde vows to continue the presidential directive despite strong opposition from affected personalities, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
Records showed that on December 5, 2016, Malacañang thru Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government which has supervision over the PNP to reimpose the Alunan Doctrine.
The directive was issued following a presidential speech. “I’d like to announce that I’m going back to the Alunan Doctrine. [Having] two or more armed guards is [considered] a private army. Iyang dalawa na iyan, if two bodyguards cannot save you, then that is your destiny in this world,” President Duterte said then.
The Alunan Doctrine was introduced by Rafael Alunan III who served as DILG secretary during the Fidel V. Ramos presidency. Alunan was the one who initiated the vaunted PNP Oplan: Paglalansag which is police’s nationwide campaign against private armed groups and loose weapons.
Alunan said this “called for setting the rule that more than two armed men moving or assembling in a group constitute a private army that must be broken up and disarmed. It also called for the recovery of loose firearms throughout the country.”
Acting on orders of Gen. Albayalde, the Police Security and Protection Group also immediately recalled two PSPG personnel assigned to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV after President Duterte revoked the presidential amnesty given to the opposition lawmaker last September 4.
Officials explained that the PSPG’s action doesn’t mean Trillanes since then is walking around without any police security as it turned out that apart from the two PSPG personnel previously assigned with him, there is also a group of soldiers from the Armed Forces’ Detail Security Unit and the Senate who have been securing him since he became a senator..
PSPG director, Chief Superintendent Filmore B. Escobal, told the Journal Group that Gen. Albayalde ordered the recall of the PSPG men assigned to the senator after his amnesty was voided by the President. “Nung lumabas yung presidential proclamation rendering his (Trillanes) amnesty void ab initio, nagbigay ng instruction si Chief PNP na i-recall,” Escobal said.
It was the second time that the PSPG recalled the police security of Trillanes. The first was last July 13 when a check showed that members of the AFP Detail Security Unit from the Marines and the Navy were also securing the senator.
It was not immediately known if the soldiers securing Trillanes have official authority from the AFP leadership although other sources said they have already been pulled out also by the military higher-ups. The senator’s family is also known to be managing a security agency where he can always pick some protective agents, mostly retired soldiers to secure him round-the-clock.
Escobal said that at present, they are reviewing the security details assigned to other VIPs in the country apart from government officials including senators, congressmen, governors and mayors.
Escobal said they are also evaluating the assignment of PSPG personnel to civilians including rich businessmen since they don’t want a repeat of an incident in which two PSPG agents were found to be acting as bodyguards of a daughter of jailed suspected female drug lord Yu Yuk Lai.
The two PSPG men were relieved and were charged administratively after they failed to report to their superiors that they were visiting Yu Yuk Lai inside the Women’s Correctional Institute in Mandaluyong City. Yu Yuk Lai came under fire last year after a raid of her cell led in the seizure of a huge volume of shabu and millions in cash.
Just like Alunan, President Duterte opposes the presence of local politicians who move in and around with heavily-armed security men as they have been abusing the privilege given to them before by previous administrations.
This was evident in the case of the Amputuan family of politicians who move in and around Mindanao--except in Davao City when President Duterte was still its mayor--leading to the November 23, 2009 Maguindanao Massacre which left 59 people, many of them local media personalities dead.