Press Release
September 25, 2006

As he mulls creation of Senate's own security force

Senate President Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, commends the eight Special Actions Force (SAF) personnel, who were recently pulled out of the Senate, for their good performance while they were still detailed at the Senate premises.

"Those SAF men did their job well and we are satisfied by their performance while they were still here at the Senate. It is just unfortunate than an order for their pull out was issued and they had to be replaced by members of the Police Security and Protection Office," says Villar.

To recall, the SAF personnel's deployment in the Senate were recalled because they accompanied members of the Senate security in serving the warrant of arrest on Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Camilo Sabio.

According to Villar, "The Senate as an institution of democracy deserves to be protected and there was a valid reason why SAF personnel were detailed to the Senate. But it seems that this is now being taken for granted It is not even us that it needs to protect but the institution itself."

"With the pull out of SAF from the Senate, then maybe it's about time for us to revive proposals made before for the Senate to form its own security force to beef up the existing legislative police. This way, we don't have to rely on the police force. Anyway this is being done in other countries as well," adds Villar.

Some senators already back the idea of creating an independent Senate security force. According to Villar, if and when this proposal would materialize, the Senate will recruit and train its own security personnel. The budget for which will also come from the Senate's budget.

"I think it's a good idea for not only the Senate, but also the Lower House, to have our own security force in order for us to have ample protection. I will consult my colleagues about this and discuss its pros and cons with them," says Villar.

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