PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally at One Pinagtipunan Circle in Malabon City on April 2, 2019. — PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/SIMEON CELI JR.
MALACAÑANG ON Thursday said the use of a bulletproof glass panel to protect President Rodrigo R. Duterte when he spoke at a campaign rally in Malabon City last Tuesday was simply part of security protocols, even as it noted that the chief executive has “made many powerful enemies with his war against drugs, criminality, corruption and all forms of illegality.” In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said, “There is also no denying that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is a man of the masses and has made himself accessible to the public, and will do so at every opportunity. The man could not care less about these threats.” “PRRD is, however, bound by security protocols and, whether he likes it or not, these protocols are mandatorily attached to the position he holds. It is the duty of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to provide the highest level of security protocols, which includes putting up a bulletproof glass panel if it deems necessary at a given situation, to keep the man holding the most powerful position in the country safe,” he added. “Whether the threats are real or imagined, we take them seriously and the Palace commends the PSG for doing a good job. We also thank the overwhelming majority of Filipinos who understand the complexities involved in protecting the President’s welfare and show genuine concern on the security of PRRD.” — Arjay L. Balinbin