AFP, PNP shift to relief and rehabilitation ops in typhoon-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2020   •   844

MANILA, Philippines – The military and police on Tuesday announced they have shifted their priority to massive relief distribution and rehabilitation efforts after days of intense search and rescue operations in areas that were severely affected by recent typhoons that barreled through the country.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson MGen. Edgard Arevalo said all available assets have been mobilized for the transport of relief goods.

Heavy engineering equipment and construction materials for families whose houses were destroyed by the storms were also transported.

“The AFP has shifted to massive relief distribution & rehabilitation operations. AFP Chief of Staff Gen Gilbert Gapay mobilized all sea, air, & land assets,”  Arevalo said.

Earlier in the day, the AFP sent off BRP Tarlac for humanitarian assistance and disaster response mission to Catanduanes in the Bicol region which was pummeled by Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses in the previous weeks.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), for its part, said its relief efforts are ongoing for families affected by massive flooding in Cagayan Province.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said they have also mobilized their personnel and several police trucks to send relief items.

“Meron na kaming pinadala doon at least 5-man trucks. Nagpadala po ng 2,500 relief packages doon po sa Cagayan Province,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief also said they have allocated assistance for policemen whose homes were damaged by recent storms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP report says Dacera died of natural causes, rules out homicide

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines Flight attendant Christine Dacera died of natural causes, according to a medico-legal report released by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday.

In its report dated January 11, the PNP Crime Laboratory ruled out homicide as a manner of death, saying Dacera died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

The report submitted to the Makati Prosecutor’s Office during the continuation of the preliminary investigation on the case stated that the aneurysm was triggered by an increase in blood pressure.

The loss of blood due to a ruptured aorta killed Dacera “within a few hours.”

“Rape and/or drug overdose will not result (in) the development of aneurysms. Even overdose and ruptured aneurysm are two different conditions and cannot be both included as cause of death of a patient,” it stated.

“Based on the available information on hand the manner of death is classified as natural death,” it added.

Dacera died on January 1 after a night of merry-making with some of her friends. Her family believed she was drugged and sexually abused but her companions denied the allegations.

In the medico-legal report, the PNP said that no alcohol or recreational drugs that were taken the night prior to her death will cause that kind of dilatation or defect on her aorta.

“That dilatation is a chronic condition and was present long before she died. If she did not die that fateful night, she will die in any scenario that represents an activity that will increase her blood pressure strong enough to tear that aneurysm,” the report said.

The report also noted that Dacera’s heart weighed 500 grams, which is larger than the normal 300 grams. The finding supports Dacera’s apparently undiagnosed hypertension, it added.

In an interview with reporters at Makati City hall, lawyer Mike Santiago, the counsel of the respondents in the Dacera case said they will let the documents “speak for itself,” and let the prosecutor decide on the evidence presented by the police.

“The PNP submitted today the partial results of the several examinations that they requested, so the documents will speak for itself so we will not make conclusions yet. We will not overstep the power or functions of the prosecutor in this case,” Santiago said.

Meanwhile, the camp of Dacera said they have yet to read the report submitted by the police. They will also await the report from the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with its own probe on the case.

“Mabilis naman yung process kanina, we have no time to extensively study the results. Nag-submit naman sila. Practice naman namin na kung may data kaming na-gather o documents na sinabmit sa amin kasama yung family para isa-isahin,” Atty. Jose Ledda III, one of the lawyers representing the Dacera family, said.

During the continuation of the preliminary investigation on Dacera’s case on Wednesday, the Makati Police submitted additional evidence such as medico-legal report and the results of the DNA analysis and laboratory examination.

But it has yet to submit the toxicology report to the Makati prosecutor’s office.

The next hearing is scheduled on February 3. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

PNP-IAS eyes installing ‘Tamad’ alert tone on phones of officers to remind of pending cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) is eyeing to install an alert tone on the mobile phones of its personnel to remind them about pending cases.

PNP-IAS chief Alfegar Triambulo announced that the alert tone had been initially installed in the computers of their personnel, after which, resolution process of cases has shortened from 90 days to 40 days.

“Mabilis na ngayon ang IAS, nasa 40 days lang natatapos na or 30 days kasi nag-aalarm ito. Kapag iyong sa timeline ng investigator, prosecutor at hearing officer, kapag hindi nila natapos within the timeline, nag-aalarm po ito,” he said.

Triambulo said installing the alarm tones on mobile phones of personnel would also remind them to complete the pending cases even outside their office.

“I-connect na namin sa cellphone para kapag hindi siya magta-trabaho, pumunta siya sa mall kapag ang gamitin niya ang cellphone, mag-aalarm po iyon kasi natulog ang kaso. Sasabihin, ‘Tamad, tamad, tamad.’ Kaya mahiya siya,” he said.

The PNP-IAS handles the investigation and hearings of policemen facing administrative cases. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Duterte names PH Army’s Sobejana as next AFP chief

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has picked Army chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana as the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Malacañang announced Wednesday.

“We are confident that General Sobejana will continue to modernize our military and undertake reform initiatives to make the Armed Forces truly professional in its mandate as the protector of the people and the State,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“We wish General Sobejana all the best in his new tour of duty as we pray for his success,” he added.

Sobejana succeeds General Gilbert Gapay, who is set to bow out of service as he reaches the mandatory age retirement of 56 next week.

Gapay took the post in August 2020 after also leading the Philippine Army.

Sobejana is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987.

He has been awarded the Medal of Valor, the country’s highest military honor for his bravery during a 1995 gun battle against Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan.

Sobejana then led various units including the 1st Scout Ranger Company, recognized as Best Company in 1994; 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, awarded as Best Battalion in 2009; 601st Infantry Brigade, named Best Brigade in 2016; and 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, awarded as Best Division in 2018.

He also served as the Commandant of the Scout Ranger Training School; Commander of the Civil-Military Operations Group (now Regiment), Philippine Army; Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu; Commander of the 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division, Philippine Army.

He also served as Commander of AFP Western Mindanao Command.

In May 2019, Duterte bestowed him the Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Legionnaire), for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service rendered to the Philippine Government, particularly to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to the Philippine Army’s website.

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