ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — A local official hopes President Rodrigo Duterte reconsiders limiting the number of police escorts assigned to politicians.
Zamboanga Sibugay Gov. Wilter Palma said local government officials traveling in critical areas will need more escorts.
This was in reaction to a statement by the president that he will reimpose the Alunan Doctrine, named for former Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan and which holds that more than two armed men together are considered a private army and must be disarmed.
Duterte said that politicians should only have two police escorts and that they should be selected and assigned by the Philippine National Police.
Palma said the doctrine, if it will be reimposed, must be implemented on a case-to-case basis.
“In our case, [if] we have to travel back to Zamboanga Sibugay with two [escorts] in a car… How can we do that when we are pinned down?” Palma said.
Palma was in the city with Zamboanga Del Sur Gov. Antonio Cerilles and Zamboanga Del Norte Vice Governor Cenen Angeles to pledge their support to the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs and corruption.
Palma said that officials of the Zamboanga Peninsula would have to limit their movements if they are forced to only have two police escorts for security.
“I was astounded hearing that that there will be only be two security [escorts]. But I think the president will reconsider that. Perhaps, what the president meant [it will apply to those who show] obvious and very blatant abuse of power. But for us [who are] very ordinary and law abiding, the regional director here is ready for that,” Palma said.
Officials from the conflict-affected areas of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi also expressed their safety concerns because of the situations in their provinces.