OVP defends its 433 security personnel, says ‘no adverse finding’ from COA


The Office of the Vice President on Sunday defended the deployment of 433 security personnel for Vice President Sara Duterte in the past year, saying that the Commission on Audit made no "adverse" finding on it in its 2022 audit report on the OVP.

In a statement, the OVP said the deployment of personnel of the Vice Presidential Security and Protection Group (VPSPG)—initiated by Vice President Sara Duterte in June 2022—depends on the assessment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

“Comparisons between Vice President Sara Duterte and the security personnel of former Vice Presidents are absurd and completely lacking basis,” it added.

The statement was released after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported that the OVP had 433 security escorts in 2022, translating to 63% of the OVP personnel—and a 455% increase from the 78 detailed military personnel under former Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

“The Commission on Audit found no adverse finding on the creation of the Vice Presidential Security and Protection Group,” the OVP added, saying that the group “will wholly provide all future Philippine Vice Presidents with necessary security and protection, a fundamental task that it will inevitably perform even when the Vice President and the President face the misfortune of having a relationship strained or broken by political differences—a troubling situation we have seen during the past administration.”


The OVP also defended the additional security personnel for Duterte by citing her other titles, including Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), Co-Vice Chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and President of the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization.

Data released by the OVP itself showed that the agency reported 558 security personnel from July 2022 to August 2023: 252 for the second half of 2022; 93 for the first quarter of 2023, 118 for the second quarter of 2023; and 21 for the months of July and August.

“The OVP remains grateful to the AFP and PNP for supporting the VPSPG and OVP,” the agency said.

Based on the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF), the OVP was given P25.308 million for personnel services of military and uniformed personnel this 2023, up 86.80% from P13.548 million in 2022. — BM, GMA Integrated News