9 Jolo cops tagged in killing of 4 soldiers to face NBI probe this week

Robie de Guzman   •   July 13, 2020   •   190

MANILA, Philippines – The nine police officers involved in the killing of four military men in Jolo, Sulu in June will face the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) this week, Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa said Monday.

Gamboa said the policemen will meet with the NBI for three days starting Monday for the investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of the soldiers.

The PNP chief also confirmed reports that only four out of nine cops had fired their guns during the incident that took place on June 29.

The NBI Forensic for Investigation Services earlier said that four of the nine policemen tagged in the killing tested positive for gunpowder nitrates following paraffin tests.

“They are also hoping na matapos din agad ang investigation kasi sabi nila kung walang kasalanan yung iba. Yung iba maiiwan pero yung walang kasalanan sana makabalik na sila sa kanila. But, of course, natural ito dahil may mga pamilya din sila doon sa Jolo na naiwan,” Gamboa said.

Meanwhile, Gamboa said that the Board of Inquiry, whose members consist of police and military officers, is still reviewing the tactics and protocols of the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines to see if these need to be improved and to prevent the incident from happening again.

“Of course ang magiging adjustment kung coordination ang problema is not only with the PNP. This will be a joint evaluation, joint resolution on how to go about yung coordination… Local coordination really is the secret para hindi na magkaroon ng mga insidente kagaya ng Jolo,” he said,

Last June 29, four soldiers were killed after they were accosted by local police officers.

The Philippine Army said the four men, who were wearing civilian clothes, were on an official mission when they were spotted by police officers on patrol.

When questioned by cops, the four men allegedly introduced themselves as members of the AFP. They were then asked to proceed to the Jolo Municipal Police Station for verification.

But initial police report said the soldiers attempted to escape prompting police to give chase. When the men got off their vehicle, they allegedly pointed their firearms at the police, which prompted the cops to fire at them, resulting in their death.

The NBI earlier said its investigation is ongoing and is already in possession of video footage of the incident. It has also gathered testimonies from witnesses, including two soldiers who served as sweepers when the shooting incident took place.

The caps tagged in the killing have since been placed under restrictive custody following the incident. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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Cops are security escorts in house-to-house COVID-19 visits — PNP

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) clarified rumors on the planned house-to-house visits to locate individuals positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

According to PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, the police will only act as security escorts to local health authorities who will spearhead the process. 

“Mangunguna pa rin talaga ang mga local health workers natin, at ang pagbabasehan niyan ay iyong mga listahan nila ng mga positive cases (The local health workers will lead [the initiative], and will base their visits on the list of positive cases),” Banac said. 

“Sila talaga ang nakakaalam niyan (They are the ones who are familiar with the list),” he added.

But still, the official said they will conduct a thorough search of all persons who had direct contact with someone who has COVID-19 to prevent further spread of the disease. 

This perhaps, Banac said, was what critics misunderstood from the statement of PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa who likened contract tracing to tracking fugitives.

“Ang pinatutungkulan ni PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa ay iyong pamamaraan ng contact tracing kung saan ito ay pinangunahan ni Mayor Benjie Magalong ‘yung sistema ng paghahanap ng mga possible na mga exposure sa COVID-19, [PNP Chief Archie Gamboa was referring to the manner of contact tracing that will be led by Mayor Benjie Magalong. He was referring to the system of searching those with possible exposure to COVID-19,]” Banac explained.  

“Hindi ito iyong tungkol doon sa pagsundo ng mga positive cases na, [It was not about fetching the positive cases,]” he added.

Banac assured that the public has nothing to worry about the house visits for COVID-19 patients. 

Even Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander PLTGENPLTGEN. Guillermo Eleazar stressed that police personnel will only serve as security escorts in the planned house to house visits. 

“Ang role ng ating PNP ay para tumulong sa ating LGU through their health officers or workers kasi sila ang nakakaalam kung sino ang mga pasyente na positive na para dalhin sa mga isolation facilities (The role of our policemen is to help our LGUs specifically the health workers as they are the ones who know the positive cases so they could be sent to isolation facilities),” Eleazar concluded. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP to conduct tracing of individuals who had direct contact with COVID-19 patients

Maris Federez   •   July 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has belied reports that they will be searching for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive patients as if they are running after fugitives.

In a phone interview, PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac clarified that they are not the ones heading the house-to-house search for individuals infected with the virus but the barangay or city health workers.

Banac added that their role in the contact tracing is to provide escort to the infected individuals who will be advised to go to COVID-19 facilities.

“Mangunguna pa rin talaga ang mga local health workers natin at ang pagbabasehan n’yan ay of course ‘yung mga listahan nila ng mga positive cases, so sila talaga ang nakakaalam n’yan,” Banac said.

Banac, however, added that they will be conducting a thorough search of individuals who had direct contact with those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus.

“Ang pinatutungkulan ni PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa ay yung pamamaraan ng contact tracing kung saan ito ay pinangunahan ni Mayor Benjie Magalong. ‘Yung sistema ng paghahanap ng mga possible na mga exposure sa Covid-19, hindi ito ‘yung tungkol doon sa pagsundo ng mga positive cases na,” he said.

Joint Task Force Coronavirus (JTF CV) Shield Commander PLtGen. Guillermo Eleazar also reiterated that the role of the police is just to provide escort to the barangay or city health workers in locating and picking up those who are positive for COVID-19.

“Ang role ng ating PNP ay para tumulong sa ating LGU through their health officers or workers kasi sila ang nakakaalam kung sino ‘yung mga pasyente na positive na para dalhin sa mga isolation facilities,” Eleazar said. — (with inputs from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

Mga lumalabag sa curfew at iba pang ordinansa sa gitna ng pandemya, huhulihin ng PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Nagbabala ang Philippine National Police (PNP) na huhulihin ang mga lumalabag sa mga lokal na ordinansa kasabay ng pagpapaigting ng anti-criminality campaign nito sa gitna ng coronavirus pandemic.

Sinabi ni PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa na bukod sa pagsawata sa krimen, babantayan rin nila ang mga sumusuway sa mga ordinansa ng bawat lungsod gaya ng curfew hours, pagbabawal sa paninigarilyo, at pag-iinuman sa labas ng bahay, at paglabas ng walang pang-itaas na damit.

Maging ang mga lumalabag sa minimum health protocols gaya ng hindi pagsusuot ng face mask at kawalan ng physical distancing ay huhulihin din.

“Yes we will apprehend and file appropriate case,” ani Gamboa.

Paliwanag ng hepe ng pambansang pulisya, layunin nito na mabawasan ang lalo pang pagkalat ng novel coronavirus disease sa gitna na rin ng dumaraming bilang ng kaso nito sa bansa.

“This is a national concern na dapat tulong-tulong tayo. So, sana huwag na pasaway para wala na kami hulihin,” sabi ni Gamboa.

Umaasa ang PNP chief na paiiralin ng publiko ang disiplina at susundin ang mga ipinatutupad na batas at ordinansa sa bansa sa gitna ng kinakaharap na krisis sa kalusugan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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