MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the reported incidents on lambanog poisoning in Laguna and Quezon over the holidays, a government official said Friday.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this is in a message to reporters.
The NBI was ordered to submit its findings immediately.
Around 16 people were killed and hundreds of others were hospitalized after ingesting lambanog or distilled coconut wine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier revealed that five of the seven samples of lambanog tested positive for high levels of methanol.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that lambanog poisoning is caused by residual methanol, which in high levels becomes highly toxic for humans.
Methanol is a naturally occurring substance present during the distilling process, that should be separated and removed thereafter, the DOH added.
The symptoms of methanol poisoning include vomiting, stomach pain and dimming eyesight.
The FDA has repeatedly issued warnings to lambanog brewers over its high methanol content, and urged the public to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming the alcohol beverage.
It also advised the public to only buy lambanog brews that are registered with the FDA.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop its investigation on Clarin-Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro’s slay case.
Navarro was ambushed by armed men on his way to Cebu City Prosecutor’s office on board a police patrol car on October 25 for inquest proceedings on charges of alleged sexual assault.
He was on Duterte’s drug watchlist of narco-politicians.
The President said he wanted an impartial investigation that is why he ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to handle the case instead.
Navarro was under police custody when the crime happened.
“Mas gusto ko ang NBI na lang…kasi noong nangyari iyan, kasama ang pulis (I prefer that the NBI [conduct the investigation] because when the incident happened, the police were there),” Duterte said.
“To make it really fair, I’d like to order the police to terminate their investigations and hand it to the NBI whatever documents and all proof or evidence that they have in their hands,” he added.
The Chief Executive said he had a conversation with Navarro several weeks before the ambush where the local official admitted to receiving death threats.
The PNP, for its part, assured that it is ready to heed the President’s order while the Department of Justice (DOJ) welcomes the President’s decision.
“Given the circumstances surrounding the killing of Clarin Mayor Navarro, the President’s directive for the NBI to take over the investigation of the incident should quell any doubts regarding this government’s commitment to solve the case and bring to account those responsible,” concluded DOJ Spokesperson Mark Perete. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has formed a quad-intel force to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs.
The NCR quad-intel force is composed of the NCRPO, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – Joint Task Force (JTF).
“We are all here to show a united agency in the campaign against illegal drugs by forming the first-ever formal alliance of the PDEA-NCR, NCRPO, NBI-NCR and the JTF-NCR to run after the scalawags in our rank,” the group said.
NCRPO Director Police Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the ‘ninja cops’ controversy have prompted them to form the squad.
“This is a part of lessons that we have learned na mas maganda talaga na coordinated tayo sa simula pa lamang, (it is better to be coordinated from the start),” he said.
Eleazar is also calling out to the public to immediately report to authorities if they have information about police officers involved in illegal drugs.—AAC(with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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