AFP, PNP to file criminal charges vs NPA units in Masbate mine blast

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2021   •   164

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will file criminal charges against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) involved in the Masbate mine blast.

This was after the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) took “full responsibility for the tragedy”.

In a statement, AFP Spokesperson MGen. Edgardo Arevalo reiterated that the use of anti-personnel landmines — which is prohibited in the Philippines under the Mine Ban Treaty — is a war crime.

“We will continue to work vigorously with the PNP in the filing of criminal cases against the murderers and the violators of Republic Act 9851 for the CTG’s leadership who directed the wanton killing of hapless non-combatant civilians using land mines,” he said.

The NPA has planted an improvised explosive device in Brgy. Anas, Masbate City last Sunday (June 6) which killed football player Kieth Absalon, his cousin Nolven Absalon, and injured others.

CPP information officer Marco Valbuena, in a statement said the CPP-NPA expresses their deep remorse over the untimely and unnecessary deaths.

“The entire CPP and NPA take full responsibility for the tragedy. There is no justification for the aggravation this has caused the Absalon family,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Makabayan Bloc condemned the said incident and has called it a violation of international and humanitarian law.

“We condemn the military action by a unit of the NPA in Masbate City that caused their death and injuries to others for violating international humanitarian law. Our commitment to human rights binds us to condemn any and all acts that harm or kill unarmed civilians, non-combatants, and protected persons in situations of armed conflict,” it said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP begins probe on death of ex-mayor Sabal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has begun its investigation on the death of Montasser Sabal, former mayor of Talitay town in Maguindanao.

“This operation which resulted in a death of a suspect, the Internal Affairs Service through their motu propio investigation will be conducting an investigation so we provided directive or guidance to the IAS just like any other operation that resulted in the death of the suspect,” according to PNP Chief P.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

Sabal was killed on Thursday after allegedly grabbing the service firearm of a police escort during his transport to Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Authorities were escorting Sabal towards the National Capital Region Field Unit of the CIDG at Camp Crame when he grabbed his police escort’s firearm.

Police heavily wounded Sabal and he was rushed to San Juan Medical Center. He was declared dead Thursday morning.

To remove any suspicion, Eleazar directed the motu propio investigation. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Former Maguindanao mayor on ‘narcolist’ killed after grabbing police escort’s gun

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former Talitay, Maguindanao mayor, Montasser Sabal, was killed during the operation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday after allegedly grabbing the service firearm of a police escort during his transport to Camp Crame in Quezon City.

PNP Chief P.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Sabal is one of the high-value targets.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested Sabal on Wednesday (June 16) at the Batangas Port in Batangas City.

The PNP said he was wanted for drug and illegal possession of firearms charges. Eleazar also said that Sabal is included in the ‘narcolist’.

“Isa siya sa kino-consider natin na high value target (We consider him a high-value target) considering he was a former police officer, recruited and trained by special action force on explosive ordnance disposal and sniper course,” he said.

During Sabal’s arrest, authorities recovered six high-caliber firearms, 400 grams of suspected illegal drugs, and P200,000 cash.

Authorities were escorting Sabal towards the National Capital Region Field Unit of the CIDG at Camp Crame when he grabbed his police escort’s firearm while onboard the vehicle which resulted in a scuffle.

Sabal was able to shoot the police officer beside him which prompted the accompanying police officer to use reasonable force.

“Sabal tried to escape by grabbing the firearm of his police escort the scuffle between the suspect and the police escort resulted in the latter to hit and fatally wounded Sabal, the suspect was rushed at San Juan Medical Center but declared dead at around 6:13 in the morning,” Eleazar said.

The PNP Chief also added that the confiscated firearms from Sabal might probably be used during the 2022 national elections.

“Another possible attempt by a partisan armed group to beef up armaments as they prepared for the coming 2022 election,” according to Eleazar.

Sabal was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman and eventually suspended for failure to disclose his properties and business interests in his SALN from 2011 to 2015.

Meanwhile, Sabal’s cohorts will undergo an investigation to determine appropriate cases to be filed against them.

DPWH, DND inaugurate hospital facility, barracks at Camp Aguinaldo

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday (June 17) inaugurated the new military facilities at Camp Aguinaldo.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar with DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the inauguration and handover ceremony of a four-storey male and female enlisted personnel barracks building and two-storey hospital facility at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Station Hospital.

The P63.7 million barracks facility will provide enlisted military personnel a safe and secure accommodation or billeting place for troops essential to mission accomplishment. Meanwhile, the hospital facility has 25 beds for emergency services and inpatient care as well as pharmacy, in-house laboratory, and imaging.

The hospital will also be used as the primary health care facility of Camp Aguinaldo for officers, enlisted personnel, civilian human resource.

Secretary Villar said that being in the frontline in protecting the country, the two departments want nothing but the best for the armed forces. AAC

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