DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – The would-be commander of the Presidential Security Group said Tuesday he will make adjustments to the existing security procedures and protocols to suit the wishes of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte said he does not like adulation and prefers going alone without being followed by a security team.
In an interview at the Davao City Police Office, Col. Roland Bautita said he has yet to talk with Duterte on PSG procedures, including security for his immediate family.
He said he is honored to be chosen to head the PSG.
“I know him. He learned the ropes here sa Mindanao. Lahat sila mahusay (they’re all good),” Duterte spoke of Bautista.
Bautista, commander of the 104th Infantry Brigade based in Basilan, vowed to protect Duterte at all cost.
“The PSG has existing security procedures and protocols. This is actually institutionalized, tested, and applied to the previous presidents. Yung mga protocols, it could not be compromised but it could be improved or mag-innovate tayo based on the desires ng Presumptive President,” he said.
“Sa tingin ko, there is always period of adjustment kaya may term na transition. We will see to it na may smooth security transition… But the bottomline here we have to protect the president. The procedures and protocols yun ang i-apply natin,” he said.
He explained that security adjustments will be made according to the assessment and security situations or threats but added they will consult the president before making innovations and improvements based on existing security protocols.
“After making an assessment and security situations, that’s the time that we have to make modifications on the existing protocols and procedures,” he said.
On Duterte choosing members of his PSG, Bautista added “trust and confidence” are important.
Duterte, mayor of Davao City for 22 years, could be seen checking for himself the slum areas and even riding the taxi at night as his way of checking security in the evening.
On several occasions, the incoming president had negotiated with the New People’s Army for the release of soldiers and police officers captured by the rebel group.
“We must lay down ang cards at makausap ang president na ito yung threat situation. Pinakauna sa isang area is situational awareness. Pagbigay sa situation na ito yung threat, then we will advice the president, na ‘sir mukhang delikado dun, and maybe we can adjust the venue of the event, or postpone the engagement’,” Bautista said.
He said the PSG would also heed what Duterte wants and discuss with him the possible threat levels but he believes the incoming president would listen to his PSG. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)