• Promotion of PSG chief confirmed

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    THE Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed the promotion of Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Lope Dagoy to the rank of brigadier general during its Wednesday session.

    The appointments body approved Dagoy’s promotion even if he was not present during the confirmation hearing because he was on official mission with President Rodrigo Duterte in Russia.

    Dagoy replaced Brig. Gen. Rolando Bautista as commander of the PSG last March. Bautista was assigned as head of the 1st Infantry Division (1st ID).

    Apart from Dagoy, 28 other generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) also got the appointment body’s confirmation of their respective promotions.

    But the promotion of Brig. Gen. Pedro Sumayo was not swift as that of the other nominees after members of the CA committee on national defense grilled him in connection with his supposed involvement in the “Hello Garci” wiretapping scandal.

    Sumayo, a former commander of the Military Intelligence Group-21 (MIG-21), testified in 2011 before a Senate committee investigation of the alleged poll fraud that took place in 2004 and 2007 and told the panel that he was ordered to destroy taped recordings of wiretapped conversations.

    The recordings contained telephone conversations between former Commission on Elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and various individuals, including one that sounded like then-President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    Senators Panfilo Lacson and Grogorio Honasan asked Sumayo about the alleged wiretapping operations of the latter’s team at the time.

    Sumayo told the senators that his group was involved in interception of communications including phone calls but it was limited to enemies of the states like the New People’s Army and the Abu Sayyaf Group.

    But he denied any knowledge on the supposed wiretapping of Garcillano and Arroyo.

    Sumayo, the current assistant deputy chief of staff for communications, then assured the members of the CA that he would not allow such incident to happen again.

    “My job is to defend the network and infrastructure of the AFP, ” he said.

    Lacson told Sumayo that never again should the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any unit of the AFP allow themselves to be used by whoever is occupying Malacañang.

    “Let’s remain professional because after all, we serve the country, not a particular political group,” he said.

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