DILG assures no whitewash in probe over Samar misencounter

Marje Pelayo   •   June 28, 2018   •   2661

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) allayed fears of possible whitewash in the ongoing investigation into the deadly misencounter between soldiers and policemen in Sta. Rita, Samar.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured that persons responsible in the incident will face appropriate charges and that they will implement measures to ensure no recurrence of a similar incident.

“We will institute measures to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future and identify the responsible commanders why this misencounter happened,” Año said.

On Wednesday, members of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) inspected the area in Sta. Rita where policemen and soldiers exchanged fire.

Surviving policemen also accompanied the group to re-enact and provide details of the incident.

Initial investigation showed that the nearest soldier who fired against the policemen was situated around 12 to 13 meters away based on the recovered bullet shells.

“Hindi na ganoon iyong original na itsura nung pwesto or yung level nung visibility… may part na medyo marerecognize mo may mga part kung saan narecover yung mga shells ay medyo hindi,” described PDir. Rolando Felix, the head of the BOI.

PO1 Arafat Abah, one of the survivors, said the military should have been able to identify them as they were wearing uniforms.
“Sobrang lapit lang. Diyan kami nakapwesto bago magsimula iyong putukan. Imposible iyon na hindi kami makilala kasi iyong iba iyong bandolier may nakalagay na police,” recalled Abah.

“Sumisigaw ako ng pantakot nalang din sa kabila na forward, forward, putok, putok, putok walang aalis dito lang kasi kapag umalis kami dun babakbakan lang kami. Parang ini-offer lang iyong mga sarili namin para patayin,” recalled another survivor, PO1 Orlando Guino.

Año believes such incident should have been avoided with all the modern devices that the armed forces are using on the ground.

Meanwhile, relatives of the slain cops are set to receive P500,000 cash assistance from President Rodrigo Duterte which is apart from the burial assistance, monthly pension and livelihood offered to the spouses of the victims as well as education scholarship to their children. – Raymond Octubre / Marje Pelayo

Public warned vs. fake COVID-19 vaccines being sold abroad

Marje Pelayo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned the public to be vigilant against fake coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines being sold abroad.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya on Monday (May 3) confirmed that the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global media advisory warning about fake vaccines being sold in Mexico and Poland.

“Mayroon na pong pinalabas na global media alert ang WHO, kung saan mayroon ngang pekeng bakuna na di umano’y Pfizer na bakuna na nabebenta sa bansang Mexico at Poland,” Malaya said.

The discovered fake vaccine bears lot number 78201 and expiry date of August 24.

Following the global advisory, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año ordered local government units (LGUs) to ensure that they are only transacting with authorized vaccine suppliers to prevent health risks.

“While there is no information yet on the presence of the fake vaccines in the country, LGUs should exercise increased diligence as these fake vaccines may be dangerous to the health of those who get inoculated,” Año said.

The DILG Secretary also directed the Philippine National Police to remain alert on the issue of fake COVID-19 vaccines.

Año also asked the public to immediately report any information on the presence or use of fake vaccines in the country to the National Task Force Vaccine Cluster, via email at c19vaccineopcen@gmail.com or mobile number +639178237310.

So far, no fake vaccines have been reported in the country, according to Malaya.

“Dito po sa ating bansa, hanggang sa ngayon, wala pa rin tayong namo-monitor na nagbebenta nito, but tayo po ay nakikipag-ugnayan na sa BOC at FDA para masiguro po natin na hindi makakapasok sa ating bansa ang mga bakunang ito,” he said.

DILG reminds LGUs to post list of beneficiaries prior to distribution of cash aid

Marje Pelayo   •   April 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will start the distribution of the P1,000 per person national government aid to residents in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on Wednesday, April 7.

The agency reminds the local government units (LGUs) to post the list of beneficiaries before they proceed with the distribution.

“Kailangan na ipaskil muna ang pangalan ng mga indibidwal na benepisyaryo ng ayuda,” said DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya citing Joint Memorandum Circular signed by the DILG, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of National Defense (DND).

“Kailangan po ipaskil ang mga listahang ito sa mga barangay hall at sa mga social media accounts ng ating mga LGU kasama na rin ang Facebook,” he added.

In case of irregularities in the conduct of the distribution of aid, Malaya said the public may direct their complaints to the Grievance and Appeal Committees of the concerned LGU.

The official also reiterated the DILG’s warning to local chief executives not to use the cash aid distribution in early campaigning.

“Hindi pwede isilid sa envelope na may picture nila ang ayudang ito from the national government,” Malaya stressed. “Magsasampa po ang DILG ng kaukulang kaso sa lahat ng lumabag sa kautusang ito.”

READ: DILG warns: Use of politician’s name, photo in aid distribution prohibited

 

DILG directs PNP, LGUs to strictly enforce use of face shield

Marje Pelayo   •   March 24, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday (March 23) directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and all local government units (LGUs) to intensify the implementation of the face shield requirement.

Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said such a directive is to curb the spread of COVID-19 given the rising number of cases in the country.

He said that based on the latest National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) data, the use of face shield at present is observed at 32 percent only as compared to the use of face masks which is at 91 percent.

Malaya cited a study from medical experts that the combined population effectiveness of using both face masks and face shields is only at 26 percent instead of 80 percent if the use was more prevalent.

“Therefore we have to increase the use of face shields to get the maximum protection at this time of the surge,” he said.

To get more people to use both the face masks and the face shields, the agency is planning to mobilize all its force multipliers in the barangays to enforce the face shield protocol.

Also, Malaya suggested that when at home, families should discourage accepting visitors from outside the immediate family or household especially when they have members who are senior citizens.

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