2 terrorists killed in an encounter in South Cotabato

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2021   •   178

Two members of a local terrorist group in Central Mindanao were killed during a police encounter on Tuesday (April 6) in South Cotabato.

Police authorities reported Jourhan Palalisan Utap and Mohaimen Palalisan Utap engaged the police during an arrest in Sitio Bio, Purok 4, Barangay Lapu, Polomolok, South Cotabato.

The team was serving a Warrant of Arrest against Jourhan Utap when the suspect and his younger brother Mohaimen Utap resisted which led to a brief shootout with the police.

Both armed suspects were declared dead by attending physicians at the Polomolok Municipal Hospital.

PRO-12 Regional Director Police Brigadier General Michael John Dubria said both suspects were active members of the terrorist group Dawlah Islamiya-Socsargen Khatiba under Ali Boy Nilong.

Troops recovered a caliber.45 pistol, a caliber.357 revolver and five small plastic sachets of Shabu from the slain suspects. AAC

PNP should not interfere with community pantry, DILG’s Año says

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

 

Community pantry

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said that police and local government executives should not interfere with community pantries and other similar initiatives organized by private groups.

Año issued the statement following reports that some of the community pantry organizers were being red-tagged and profiled by alleged government authorities.

The DILG chief said police and local government interference should only be limited to ensuring that health protocols are being implemented.

“Since this is a purely voluntary and private initiative, we should not interfere except to ensure that minimum health standards are complied with,” Año said.

“Hence, organizers must adhere to existing laws and local ordinances especially those issued to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

Año also clarified that he did not order the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into the community pantries around the country.

“The community pantry has been a traditional practice in our country as part of Bayanihan culture and spirit specially in the times of calamities and disasters,” he said.

“In the spirit of Bayanihan, many Filipinos have been doing selfless acts of kindness since last year.

As long as the intention is good and without political color, it should be encouraged and supported,” he added.

As to the issue of whether organizers are required to secure barangay permits, the DILG chief said that organizers should “consult with the concerned barangays if such is required.”

“The PNP and/or local officials may just come in if there is any violation of law, if there are complaints from the community, or if the organizers seek their help,” he said.

“The LGUs, barangays and the PNP are ready to provide utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the public,” he added.

Sinas: No profiling, red tagging of community pantry organizers

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday denied claims that it is profiling the organizers of community pantries that have popped up in various areas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is no order from the National Headquarters to conduct any form of profiling of organizers of community pantries,” PNP chief Debold Sinas said in a statement.

“It is beyond the interest of the PNP to delve into purely voluntary personal activities of private citizens” he added.

Sinas issued the statement following reports that some of the organizers were being red-tagged and profiled by alleged government authorities.

Anna Patricia Non, the person behind the Maginhawa community pantry, earlier announced they would temporarily suspend their operation due to alleged red-tagging.

“We are aware of the activities of these community pantries as an expression of Bayanihan spirit, but we have no intention to interfere but to serve the best interest of law and order and public safety in such public activities,” Sinas said.

“Of particular consideration is the observance of public health standards when there is gathering of ten or more persons that builds-up a crowd,” he added.

The PNP chief noted that this is not the first time that similar activities were initiated amid the pandemic, saying that some farmers’ organizations and local government units have also hauled their produce of fruits and vegetables to help depressed communities in Metro Manila last year.

“Similarly, police did not interfere with these activities rather extended utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the needy,” Sinas said.

PNP chief Sinas orders probe on Kalinga road crash

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas on Monday ordered an investigation into a road accident that killed 13 people, including children, in Kalinga on Sunday.

Sinas directed the Cordillera Police to look into the incident as he reminded motorists to strictly observe load limits and maximum passenger capacity in private and public vehicles.

He also ordered the PNP Highway Patrol Group to strictly enforce regulations against overloading and other transportation policies.

Sinas’ directive comes after 13 individuals died when their vehicle fell into an irrigation canal in Tabuk City, Kalinga.

The vehicle was driven by Soy Lope Agtula who was identified as a personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Initial investigation showed that Agtula and his passengers were heading to Bulo Lake from Tadian Mt. Province.

The vehicle was carrying 15 people.

Twelve of the victims were rushed to Mija Kim Medical Center but were declared dead on arrival, while three others were brought to the Kalinga Provincial Hospital (KPH) where one of them died.

Two passengers survived the incident, authorities said.

“I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of these victims. May their souls be at peace and I hope that our Creator brings you the much-needed peace during these trying times,” Sinas said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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