Duterte’s security team to come from Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 May) — At least 70 police and military personnel from Davao City are being groomed to become the security escorts of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte, city police office director Senior Supt. Vicente Danao said.

Speaking in Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw, Danao said that Duterte himself wanted his security team to be composed of personnel from Davao City.

The same officers from the Davao Region are already coordinating with the current presidential security group for smooth transition and other trainings on VIP protection and SWAT skills.

The incoming presidency of Duterte is also going to bring about changes to the structure of the city police office.

Duterte himself will chose the incoming city police chief, and Danao’s recommendations will also serve as input in coming up with the choice.

Senior Supt. Michael John Dubria, deputy for operations in PRO XI; Supt. Filmore Escobal, chief of intelligence in PRO XI; and Senior Supt. Dario Gunabe, director Davao Del sur provincial police office have been recommended by Danao.

Meanwhile, Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Lavina dismissed criticisms that Duterte’s list of officials is being monopolized by people from Davao.

Lavina said that they are continuing to receive applications and the six members of the transition team was only initial.

“We are listing more names to create subcommittees,” he said, adding they are trying to be as transparent and as democratic and open as possible.

“The decision will be his (Duterte),” he said.

Applications, Lavina said, are being shortlisted and carefully evaluated.

In a press briefing at Matina Enclaves on Sunday, Duterte said he will not accept applications from people that are coursed through senators, mayors, congressmen and their recommendations.

“All applicants of government positions must agree that their names will he published in newspapers,” he said. “Endorsements from anybody–especially politicians–will be automatically deleted. I’ll do investigation if you’re fit for the job.”

Danao said that with Duterte’s proposal to double the salary of law enforcers, police will not have any reason to slack off and pursue dubious acts.

“We should deliver services needed by community,” he said, citing that this can start by “disciplining ourselves.”

Davao City, where Duterte is currently the mayor, is on heightened alert to ensure the presumptive president’s security.

The city has 1350 personnel and 98 of them are commissioned officers. The number means a police-people ratio of 1:1003.

Danao said the ideal ratio is one police officer per 500 people.

The city police office is in the process of recruiting new officers in time for the Duterte presidency.

Each personnel will be equipped with one short firearm and one radio.

Duterte said that three recommendations for Philippine National Police chief have already been made.

He said these are former city police chiefs who had worked closely with him and possess vision, integrity, ability and willingness to sacrifice. Seniority and loyalty also play a crucial role.

Duterte said Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, Chief Supt. Rene Aspera and Chief Supt. Ramon Apolinario are on the list.

Dela Rosa now serves as executive director of the PNP Human Resource and Doctrine Development. He was city police director from 2012-2014.

Aspera, currently with the Anti-Kidnapping Group of the PNP, was city police director from 2010-2012.

Apolinario, regional police director of Region IV-B, was city police director from 2008-2010.

“They have sterling performance. They’re good, honest, not corrupt and follow orders,” he said. “I’ll leave the three of them to talk [about who gets the position].”

Duterte added he will no longer allow licensing of heavy firearms. Those who already have licenses are okay, he said.

He also vowed to bring back the death penalty. “I need it to combat and deter crime.” (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)