AFP, PNP provide free ride to commuters amid limited public transport

Robie de Guzman   •   June 2, 2020   •   275

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have deployed buses and trucks to help transport stranded commuters after Metro Manila shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1.

PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said they sent three police trucks from Camp Crame to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, Navotas, and Bacoor, Cavite to assist employees returning to work on the first day of Metro Manila’s transition to GCQ.

“Naging maayos at mapayapa at ito ay magandang panimula subalit may mga natanggap din tayo na ulat ng traffic build up at congestion at mga pedestrians at essential workers na hindi nakasakay,” Banac said.

“Agad nagpalabas ng kautusan si PNP chief PGen. Archie Gamboa sa ating mga units na tumulong na magsakay ng mga stranded na essentials workers, maging ang mga PNP Trucks natin ay pinalabas din upang makapaghatid ng mga manggagawa sa kani kanilang destination,” he added.

The military, for its part, deployed six trucks to Batasan and Philcoa areas in Quezon City to augment limited public transport.

“AFP Chief General Filemon Santos Jr. commits to continue to provide commuter assistance in coordination with MMDA to alleviate the concerns of the riding public,” AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said.

Arevalo assured that other military vehicles are on standby for dispatch when requested by authorities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Metro Manila may ease to GCQ after August 18 – Lorenzana

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who also serves as the chairman of the National Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday expressed confidence that the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) after August 18.

Lorenzana said that recent data on COVID-19 cases show that Metro Manila is ready to loosen its coronavirus lockdown after its two-week return to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) restriction.

He said the trend is “going down” after the Department of Health reported around 3,000 additional cases on Sunday.

Lorenzana said this number is lower compared to the 6,000 increase in recent days.

Metro Manila, as well as Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal were placed under MECQ until August 18 after medical workers appealed for a “timeout” amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also expressed optimism that the re-imposition of a stricter quarantine measure, coupled with the observance of health protocols, will slow down the transmission of coronavirus disease in the country

“Titingnan natin yung figures pero ako, I am optimistic na with the 15 days MECQ, bababa yan. Ang kailangan lang ay sumunod. Huwag na tayong maging pasaway, stay at home,” he said.

He also reiterated his appeal to the public to be responsible and strictly follow advise to only leave their homes for essential needs.

“With 15 days staying at home marami tayong virus diyan na mapapatay kasi incubation period or 14 days talaga namang mamamatay yung virus. Bago pa makalipat sa ibang tao mamatay na yung virus. So please do your partnering,” he said.  – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Next PNP Chief: DILG’s Año to recommend 5 names to Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is set to submit to President Rodrigo Duterte his shortlist of candidates to be the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In an exclusive interview with UNTV News, Año said his list would consist of five names – three of them are three-star generals and are members of the PNP command group. The remaining two would be two-star and one-star generals but he has yet to pick the names of those he will recommend to the president.

“Sa ngayon, pare-parehas sila eh. Pero for sure, yung mga 3-star [generals] kasama yan sa ire-recommend ko. Pag-aaralan ko pa yung mga 2-star at 1-star na pwede isama sa listahan but I will submit five names,” he said.

Año said he will submit the list at least a week before the mandatory retirement of PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.

Gamboa will bow out of the police service when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on September 3.

“Normally, mga two weeks to one week before magsusubmit na ulit ako ng pangalan sa Pangulong Duterte kung sino mga ire-recommend ko, pero ibig sabihin naman nun, ang Pangulong Duterte pwedeng pumili anybody from one-star to three-star,” the DILG chief said.

Whoever will be chosen from the five would inherit a PNP that is among the country’s frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

All generals in the police force are eligible to be promoted to the police’s top post. The president may also choose a general outside the shortlist given by Año to be his next police chief.

When asked about the possible extension of Gamboa’s term as PNP chief amid the public health crisis, Año replied with: “Palagay ko naman wala na siguro kasi bawal naman ang extension kasi, so we have to follow the law,” he said. “Ang organization naman kasi dynamic, naka-lay out naman dyan ang direction plans kahit naman sino umupo diyan, itutuloy nya lang yung programs.”

Among the three-star generals and members of command group of the PNP are deputy chief for administration Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, and chief directorial staff Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

Cascolan belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, while both Eleazar and Binay belong to PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

Cascolan will retire in November 2020, Eleazar in November 2021, and Binag in April 2021.

Meanwhile, among the two-star and one-star generals whose names might get picked on for the top police post are directorate for operations director Major General Emmanuel Licup, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Debold Sinas, and Police Regional Office 4A director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Both Licup and Sinas belong to the PMA Hinirang class of 1987 while Danao belongs to the PMA Sambisig Class of 1991. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP won’t arrest quarantine violators in first 3 days of MECQ period

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they will not conduct any arrest during the first three days of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa said they will implement maximum tolerance at all times and will only serve warnings to quarantine violators during the three-day headstart. This would give the public time to adjust to the National Capital Region’s shift to MECQ.

“Bibigyan natin ang publiko ng swift warning on the first initial days of violations kasi kung nag-adjust ang PNP, nag-aadjust din sila and ang reminder ko lang ay maximum tolerance on the part of the PNP especially the women and elderly kung may lalabas man na elderly (We will give the public a swift warning in the first initial days of violations because if the PNP has to adjust, so do they. My only reminder is maximum tolerance on the part of the PNP especially for the women and the elderly),” he said.

The PNP Chief also reminds the public to cooperate with authorities and not provoke any officers.

“Sana naman the public will cooperate, para hindi mapilitan ang PNP na mag impose ng regulation. So please, we want the cooperation of the public para maiwasan natin ang confrontation sa checkpoint (I hope the public will cooperate and not force the PNP to impose regulation. So we want the cooperation of the public to avoid confrontation at checkpoints),” Gamboa said.

Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan have been placed under MECQ until August 18. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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