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The impropriety of police escorts for AiAi

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Ai Ai at Kung Fu Diva presscon. Czeadar Dance NPPA from YahooBy ELLEN TORDESILLAS

CLARIFYING that her security escorts are not from the Presidential Security Group, comedian AiAi de las Alas revealed they are from the Philippine National Police.

Seeing nothing improper about the practice, she bragged, “Ako ang nagpapasweldo doon. Hindi ako nagnanakaw sa bayan. Part iyon ng proteksiyon sa sarili ko. (I’m the one paying them. I don’t steal money from  the people. This is part of my protection.)”

She denied that President Aquino meddled in her case as alleged by the lawyer of her former husband Jed  Salang. “Problema ko ito at bakit ko sila isasali (This is my problem so why whould I involve them)?” she said.

Someone should tell AiAi that having policemen as her security escorts may not be illegal but it is highly improper considering that the  alarming peace and order problem in the country is attributed to the PNP being undermanned and the rise of petty crimes in Metro Manila is due to lack of police visibility.

Someone should also tell AiAi that even if she gives money to her police escorts, she cannot say that “Ako ang napa-pasweldo doon.” She may be giving them allowance but the policemen still get their salary from the PNP and that’s taxpayers money. That’s our money being used for her personal protection which should not be our concern.

That is so in conflict with  “tuwid na daan.”

Ace Esmeralda, a friend who is in the security business said, “It is not illegal for Ai Ai to have policemen to protect her. But it is not proper for policemen to receive from her. That’s double compensation.”

The security expert also said it’s “illegal for policemen to secure a celebrity and to use taxpayers money for a comedian when her case is not something that affects national security.”

AiAi has filed against a case her husband with whom she was married for just over a month for violations of the law on Violence against Women and their Children (RA 9262). The court granted Ai Ai Ai’s request for a temporary restraining order against Salang coming within 100 meters of her.

Part of PNP’s job is to provide protections for citizens whose lives are threatened like kidnap victims and their families or witnesses to a crime. Anybody who feels his or life is endangered may request for protection with the Police Protection Office. Requests are assessed and if found meritorious, the PNP provides security escorts.

It is public knowledge that this practice is abused. Politicians and friends of those in power enjoy police escorts.

There’s a lot of speculation how AiAi ‘s request  was assessed as meritorious.  But we will not deal here with her friendship with presidential sister, Kris Aquino.

Since AiAi has the money to pay for her security escorts, why did she have to get them from the PNP, depriving the public of police service for the everyday  maintenance of peace and order ? Why didn’t she hire security agents from private security agencies?

A security experts said she pays less with PNP because she would be giving them only allowance. P10,000 or P20,000 a month, per security escort?

If she hired private security escorts, she would be paying not less than P30,000 per escort who will render 12 hour duty a day. She would need two. That means at least P60,000 for her security escorts a month. Is that what she is paying her police escorts now?

Congress should investigate this undesirable practice of policemen serving as security escorts for  private individuals and even politicians at the expense of their primary duty of maintaining peace and order . They can have AiAi as resource person.