DILG asks SC to probe incident of judge who helped release drunk cab driver

Robie de Guzman   •   January 2, 2020   •   438

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday called on the Supreme Court to investigate an incident involving a local judge who allegedly helped a purportedly drunk cab driver evade complaints for assaulting a police officer.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año asked Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta to probe a certain judge who allegedly bullied and shouted at police officers at the Baguio City Police Station to secure the immediate release of the taxi driver.

The DILG chief said, “There is a proper forum to secure the release of the suspect and that is not the police station.”

“He must wait for the police to process the case, the prosecutor to file charges against the suspect and for the case to be raffled to his sala before he can assume jurisdiction. The said judge has to follow the law, just like all of us,” he said.

“As guardian of the law, a judge must serve as an example in following the law and not in breaking it,” he added.

On Tuesday, internet user Jemar Skylar Pimentel posted a dashcam video showing a police officer, identified as Patrolman Julius Walang designated at the Baguio City Traffic Enforcement Unit, almost got run over as he tried to stop a cab driver who committed a traffic violation.

Walang accosted the cab driver and tried to issue a citation ticket for causing traffic along Abanao Street in Baguio City.

But instead of stopping, the taxi moved towards the police officer who had to cling onto the cab’s hood to prevent him from fleeing.

ayu imbag ta nalaing dytoi pulis nga nsan q… salamat sa kuha ng DASHCAM from #PONGTAO DASHCAM

Posted by Jemar Skylar Pimentel on Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The cab driver, identified as Jone Dominguez Buclay, was later on brought to the police station and was determined to be under the influence of alcohol.

During Buclay’s detention, police officers on duty claimed that a judge suddenly barged into the police station, intimidated and shouted at them without even asking what really transpired in the incident.

The judge was also allegedly seen leaving the premises of the police station together with the taxi driver-suspect.

Año said the judge’s disregard of the law and use of the “padrino system” should never be tolerated and is very unbecoming of him as an arbiter of the law. 

He also expressed hope that the SC would help them in investigating the judge.

“Sana ay matulungan tayo ng SC at maimbestigahan nila agad ang asal ng judge na ito,” he said.

“We should not let these people get away with abuse of power in our country,” he added.

In response to Año’s call, the SC’s Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) said it is now checking the case.

“The OCA is already looking into this issue,” Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said in a message to reporters Thursday.

“We would like to get all available information before we require the concerned judge to comment,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DILG commended the police officer for “bravely enforcing the law at the risk of his own life.”

“Salamat, Patronman Julius Walang, sa tapat at walang takot na pagtupad sa iyong tungkulin. Kailangan natin ng mga pulis na katulad mo na hindi nagdadalawang-isip na itaya ang buhay para sa tawag ng tungkulin. Mabuhay ka!,” Año said.

“May you be an inspiration, not just to the police officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP), but to all of us in law enforcement as we perform our duty on a daily basis,” he added.

Mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps, hindi kailangang mag-fill-out ng SAC form – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi kailangang pumirma o mag-sumite ng Social Amelioration Card (SAC) forms ang mga benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) upang makatanggap ng pinansyal na ayuda mula sa pamahalaan sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

Ayon kay Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, ito ay dahil direkta nang ipapasok sa kanilang account ang pinansyal na tulong para sa kanila sa ilalim ng Social Amelioration Program Bayanihan Fund.

“Hindi na kailangan pang magfill out ng SAC form ang 4Ps dahil sila ang pinrioritize ng pamahalaan at makukuha na nila ang kanilang cash subsidies sa kanilang ATM,” ani Año.

Dagdag ng opisyal, batay sa impormasyon mula sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), simula ngayong ika-6 ng Abril ay maaari nang makuha ng 4Ps beneficiaries sa Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ang ayuda mula sa kanilang cash cards.

Noong Abril 5 ay nakatanggap na rin ng ayuda ang 4Ps beneficiaries mula sa mga rehiyon ng CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Region 8, 10, 11, 12 at CARAGA.

Ang mga benepisyaryo naman ng programa sa Region 5, 6, 7 at 9 ay nakatanggap na rin ng tulong pinansyal mula sa pamahalaan noon pang April 4.

Ang unang bugso ng cash subsidy ay inilabas noong April 3 sa 4Ps beneficiaries sa Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1, 2 at 3, ayon sa DILG.

“Patunay po ito ng pagkalinga at pagmamalasakit ng pamahalaan sa gitna ng public health emergency na dinaranas natin ngayon. Kaya kapit lang po at dalangin nating lahat na matapos na ang masamang panaginip ng COVID-19,” ayon kay Año.

Para sa 4Ps beneficiaries na wala pang cash card accounts, sinabi ni Año na naipasa na ang pondo sa tanggapan ng DSWD sa mga rehiyon na siyang mangangasiwa sa pamamahagi ng ayuda.

Nakikipag-ugnayan na sa ngayon ang DSWD sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na nakakasakop sa mga pamilyang ito na nakatakdang tumanggap ng emergency subsidy.

“The urgent matter now is to ensure that the other low-income families qualified under the SAP will be able to fill out the form and comply with the DSWD requirements so they too can avail of the government support intended for them,” Año said.

Sinabi ng DILG chief na mahigit sa P16 bilyong pisong halaga ng emergency subsidy ang ibinigay sa mahigit 3.7 milyong pamilya na nakikinabang sa 4Ps program.

Ang naturang pondo ay bahagi ng P200 bilyon na inilaan para sa COVID-19 response ng pamahalaan sa ilalim ng Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Bukod pa ito sa regular na ayuda na cash at rice allowance na ibinibigay ng pamahalaan sa mga mahihirap na pamilyang nakikinabang sa 4Ps.

LGUs urged to pass ordinance on mandatory use of face mask in public

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday urged the local government units (LGU) to pass an ordinance requiring their constituents to wear face masks in public as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the issuance of a local policy will help combat the spread of the virus.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) earlier issued a resolution on the mandatory use of face mask in public to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Año said that with the surging number of infections in the country, LGUs must adapt and respond to challenges posed by the public health crisis, such as drafting of the said ordinance.

“We must be vigilant. Hindi biro ang coronavirus na ito kaya hinihikayat ko ang mga LGU na tiyakin na ang kanilang mga kababayan ay laging nakasuot ng face mask kapag sila ay lalabas sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabatas ng ordinansa ukol dito. This is our small way of ensuring that the virus will not spread,” Año said.

He also said that the government will accept home-made or improvised face masks as long as the people use it in public.

“Coupled with the other mechanisms currently existing in line with the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) such as physical distancing, usage of quarantine passes, and encouraging people to stay at home, among others, the mandatory wearing of face masks whenever people are outside is an additional measure that can be practiced within the community,” he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) initially recommended that community-level usage of face masks is not encouraged, noting that it should only be worn by health care workers and people who are ill.

Año however, noted reports that the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are mulling on changing their stand on the usage of face masks in controlling coronavirus following a study which suggests that droplets from coughs and sneezes from an infected person could be projected further than originally thought.

“Despite the fact that people generally are staying at home, hindi pa rin naman natin maiiwasan na minsan ay lumabas sila para bumili ng pagkain at ibang essentials at maaari itong maging pagkakataon para maipasa ang virus kaya lubhang napakahalaga ng pagsusuot ng face masks,” he said.

The Philippine National Police echoed the DILG’s call to LGUs, saying police officers can only reprimand people who do not wear face masks in public in the absence of an ordinance.

“Sa ngayon, what we can do is to caution them, para sila ay pauwiin or deny them entry sa ating mga quarantine controlled points,” said Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar who heads the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield.

Supreme Court says no date yet on release of 2019 Bar Exam results

Robie de Guzman   •   April 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court clarified it has not yet set any date for the release of the 2019 Bar Examination results.

The high court issued the statement following information circulating on social media and other platforms about the Bar Exams results.

“There is a spurious document currently circulating in social media and in various electronic messaging platforms stating that the results of the 2019 Bar Examinations will be released on a certain date,” said 2019 Bar Chairperson SC Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

Perlas-Bernabe said the Court en Banc has yet to meet to decide on the date of release of the Bar Exams results.

“As chairperson of the 2019 Bar Examination, I categorically state that the information is false and that the Court En Banc is yet to meet to decide on the date of the release of the results,” she said.

“The Supreme Court will only release official documents and information relative to the Bar Examinations only through its Public Information Office,” she added.

She assured the public that the incident is being investigated and that those found responsible for the circulating false information shall be dealt with accordingly.

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