EDITORIAL - SAF bodyguards

The Philippine Star
EDITORIAL - SAF bodyguards

They are supposed to be the elite teams of the Philippine National Police. So why are commandos of the PNP Special Action Force reportedly serving as bodyguards of Chinese nationals working in Philippine offshore gaming operator firms? This activity came to light after two SAF members figured in a fistfight while moonlighting as bodyguards of POGO officials staying in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa.

The two SAF members are assigned in Mindanao. They reportedly admitted moonlighting as bodyguards for a monthly pay of P40,000, with the permission of their battalion commander who allegedly got half of the amount. The PNP has sacked the two SAF commandos along with seven other officials including their superior officer. The Internal Affairs Service has also launched a probe that could lead to the dismissal of the SAF members.

If there had been no commotion in Ayala Alabang, this practice would not have come to light. It has inevitably raised questions on how many more SAF commandos and other PNP members are serving without proper authorization as bodyguards of private persons. It is particularly dismaying that SAF commandos are moonlighting as bodyguards of Chinese nationals while the country is facing constant harassment and threats by the Chinese in the West Philippine Sea.

This story also highlights once again the continuing use of police and military personnel for VIP bodyguard duty. The PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines are mandated to keep the public safe and defend the entire population, and not just the tiny fraction that controls power and wealth in this country. Yet too many PNP and AFP personnel are deployed as personal bodyguards of government officials and VIPs in the private sector who can very well afford to hire their own security escorts.

The State must provide equal protection to all. Under PNP regulations, only members of the Police Security and Protection Group are authorized to provide special protection to persons who face “high” or “medium” security threats. Yet here are elite police commandos providing VIP security to Chinese POGO officials. Do these SAF commandos have no shame? This can only further lower Beijing’s opinion of the Philippines.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with