Cory guards could stay with Aquinos — PNP

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — INSPECTOR Melchor Mamaril, the loyal security aide of the late ex-President Corazon C. Aquino who gave what could be the most touching eulogy for the revered icon of democracy Tuesday, can stay with the Aquino family, the director of the Police Security and Protection Group said yesterday.

Chief Supt. Lina C. Sarmiento said Inspector Mamaril and Senior Police Officer 4 Crispin Corpuz may continue securing the Aquino family if they wish.

Sarmiento had profusely apologized for what she described as “misunderstanding and miscommunication” brought about by the purported recall of the two loyal Cory bodyguards.

“We will consult with the Aquino family so that after the funeral, if they still need the services of our personnel, we will gladly allow them to continue performing security detail to members of the former first family,” Sarmiento said.

Mamaril gave the most admired eulogy for the late former president Tuesday, sending most of the Aquino family and people present at the Manila Cathedral in tears when he gave his final salute to Mrs. Aquino.

He narrated an instance when the former President, realizing that she had sent her household staff to another house in preparation for another event, went inside her house in Times Street, Quezon City, and personally prepared hot noodles for him and his fellow.

“President Cory, we will never forget your kindness,” Inspector Mamaril, his voice trembling, said. Mrs. Aquino’s youngest daughter Kris cried unabashedly as Mamaril saluted her mother for one last time.

Mamaril was only one of the police officers who testified on Cory’s kindness and affection to her security men. Her former close-in security, now Manila Police District deputy director for operations Senior Supt. Ed Ladao said “Mommy Cory” treated them just like her own sons. “She made it a point that we always eat together, she sometimes cooks for us. Talagang nanay na nanay,” Ladao said.

It was Kris Aquino who said that they rejected the Palace offer of a state funeral for the ex-president after they learned that Mamaril and Corpuz had been recalled by their mother unit while she was fighting for her life. Mrs. Aquino is one of the Philippine leaders known for calling for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down from Malacañang.

However, the PNP said three close-in police security of the late former president stood by her until her last minute and were never pulled out from her contrary to reports.

Sarmiento said the security detail assigned to President Aquino was never pulled out and continued to perform duties for the former president until her dying moments.

Sarmiento clarified that the three were only placed under the Protection and Escort Unit which is mandated to provide security for VIPs.

The policemen reported to PSPG for accounting purposes only and were told to report back immediately to their duty with the former presidents, she said.

Sarmiento also said that the three PSPG personnel remain on duty at the Aquino residence on Times St.

Sarmiento also reiterated that there was no order from her or the Arroyo administration to pullout Aquino’s escorts and that the two only reported to their new assigned unit early July. “I was able to talk to them, when they learned that they were transferred from the Presidential Protection Unit to the Protection and Escort Unit, they automatically reported to the new unit, which is supposed to be the case kasi kelangan nila magpakita sa bagong boss nila for accounting purposes,” she said.

“As a former head of state, President Aquino was entitled to a security detail and the PSPG provided her three close-in security personnel. What is clear here is that the security detail was not pulled our nor was there any move to withdraw the privilege accorded the former president,” Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento explained there was an administrative reorganization within the PSPG wherein 34 personnel assigned with the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) were reassigned to the Protection and Escort Unit (PEU) of PSPG.

Despite this, however, all 34 PSPG personnel affected by the administrative reorganization remained on detail with their respective VIP protectees, Sarmiento clarified.