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Against moonlighting

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The Philippine National Police has removed police officers assigned as security escorts of certain VIPs and private individuals, as PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil stressed that police officers should only secure individuals with validated threats.

Marbil maintained that the Police Security and Protection Group is the only PNP unit authorized to provide security to people with existing threats.

 As such, an individual who wants police security must request in writing to the PNP and cite the reasons why they need protection. After which, the PNP will conduct a validation to determine the veracity of the threat.

Marbil issued the directive after he saw for himself a police officer securing a Chinese national when he visited a hotel.

On May 18, two Special Action Force policemen were arrested for allegedly moonlighting as bodyguards in a village in Muntinlupa City. The two were relieved from their posts after reportedly figuring in a fistfight while providing unauthorized VIP escort services, the PNP said.

Marbil did not disclose the identities of the persons who received the SAF security service, but they were reportedly Chinese nationals.

“This incident has tarnished the reputation of the PNP,” Marbil said.

A police force whose members are for sale or for hire, not even to the highest bidder, is something that the country’s top cop should certainly be ashamed of, and a crackdown on police officers working as security escorts would probably be a good start in restoring that tarnished reputation. Hopefully the current leadership can sustain the effort until the culture is changed, or they will simply lie low and just wait it out before going back to their old ways.

A policeman is supposed to serve and protect the public, not private individuals who can afford their services. For those that would rather be security escorts, there is no shame in resigning in order to pursue that line of livelihood. However, those who remain in the force should be true to their mandate, and serve the public instead of a few select individuals. The leadership of the PNP has to make clear among its members that moonlighting is unacceptable and it should strictly enforce rules against it so the nation’s policemen are not seen as compromised and for sale as security details of those who can afford their services.*

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