No more bodyguards from military: DND issues implementing rules of Duterte order
MANILA, Philippines – Military men and women will no longer be detailed as personal security of civilian officials – with the exception of the two highest officials of the land – after the Department of National Defense (DND) issued the implementing rules and regulations of an executive order restricting the non-military assignments of members of the armed forces.
Executive Order No. 98, series of 2019, signed on December 3, 2019, rules out the deployment of military servicemen as bodyguards or security officers outside of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Instead, they may only serve as aides-de-camp, military assistants, and military administrative assistants of certain government offices and officials.
These functions generally involve assistance and liaison work on military matters, as opposed to providing protective security. In issuing the order, Duterte wanted to “maximize” the utilization of members of the military.
The order allows the President, Vice President, visiting foreign dignitaries, the defense secretary, and other government officials to have an aide-de-camp from the military.
Besides the President and former presidents, other officials entitled to a military assistant are the Vice President, Senate President, House Speaker, Executive Secretary, the Senate and House chairs on national defense and security, National Security Adviser, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency director general. Other officials may request a military assistant with the defense secretary’s approval.
The President, former presidents, their spouses or widows, and the Vice President are allowed military administrative assistants.
Other officials may request a military administrative assistant with the defense secretary’s approval.
The DND on Friday, January 10, released a list of government agencies and officials entitled to military assistants and military administrative assistants:
- Former vice presidents
- Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG)
- Office of the Presidential Adviser for Military Affairs
- Office of the Senior Military Adviser
- National Security Council – Crisis Management Support Secretariat
- National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
- Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
- Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council
- Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime
- Philippine Center on Transnational Crime
- Office of the Ombudsman
- National Task Force – Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict
- Visiting Forces Agreement, Office of the President
- Department of the Interior and Local Government
- Department of Finance
- Department of Energy
- Department of Budget and Management
- Department of Science and Technology
- Bureau of Customs
Besides these, the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, and the Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice and Peace are allowed to have military assistants.
AFP chief Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will evaluate the terms of the initial assignment of military personnel to civilian government offices and officials, except those detailed to the President.
Existing protective security assignments of military personnel will no longer be extended, the DND said. Instead, protective security personnel will be provided by the Philippine National Police.
The President, Vice President, and their immediate families are provided close-in security by the Presidential Security Group, which reports to the AFP Headquarters. – Rappler.com