DILG commends PNP, LGUs for ‘safest SEA Games ever’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 13, 2019   •   705

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has lauded the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units (LGUs) for the “safest Southeast Asian (SEA) Games” in history.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there were no serious or major untoward incidents reported that marred the SEA Games.

“Naipakita natin ang ‘Filipino hospitality’ at ang bayanihan ng pulisya, nasyunal at lokal na mga pamahalaan, private sector at media (We have shown the ‘Filipino hospitality’ and the cooperation of the national police and the local government, private sector and media). This will go down in history as the best and safest ever,” he said.

There were 27,440 police officers deployed to site task groups during the whole duration of the SEA Games.

In Metro Manila alone, there were 18,105 officers securing the competitions; 6,554 in Central Luzon; 1,865 in Southern Luzon; and 916 in La Union.

“We will not rest until all the foreign athletes, coaches and staff have left the country. We are committed 100% to their safety and well-being. Congrats to the PNP for a job well done!,” Año addded.—AAC

DILG warns vs scammers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday warned the public against individuals taking advantage of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by posing as members of contact tracing teams to extort money from their victims.

The DILG issued the warning following reports of unscrupulous individuals introducing themselves as contact tracers to scam unsuspecting victims into handing out payment for the COVID-19 test kits.

Reports of this scam came after the DILG said that more than 69,000 contact tracers have been deployed nationwide.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said these individuals are sending messages or making calls to their victims, telling them to shell out money for the cost of a testing kit after they have been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 patient.

“Hindi nila ibibigay ang impormasyon about the alleged person na nag-positive [for COVID-19], sasabihin nila na they will violate privacy laws kuno,” Malaya said in a statement.

Despite the limited information given, the scammer will insist on having the victim tested within the next 72 hours. 

The victim will then be asked for their address where the supposed testing kits will be sent. 

“Pagtawag nila sa isang bahay, they will advise the person to self-isolate at magpa-test within 72 hours. Siyempre ito namang biktima will agree to undergo testing,” he said. “Kapag naibigay mo na ang address mo, dito na sila magsisimula sa kanilang modus.”

He said scammers will then ask for their credit card number or other financial details saying that the test kits cost $50 each. 

“Yun na yung catch, matapos makuha yung address ng biktima, bigla nila ngayon itong sisingilin at sasabihing hindi libre ang test kit,” he said.

“Kapag tumanggi naman yung tao, pagbabantaan sila na they will face penalties for not undergoing the coronavirus test,” he added.

Malaya said legitimate contact tracing teams will never ask for money since their task is to track down and manage close contacts, reduce the spread of infection, and offer diagnostic, counselling and treatment to confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“We ask the public to be vigilant. Huwag po tayong basta-basta magtitiwala sa mga taong tatawag o magtetext para humingi ng pera. Pag may pera na po sa usapan, scam na po iyan,” he said.

The DILG spokesperson advised the public to immediately report such incident to the nearest police station or call the DILG through Hotline 911 and the DILG-Public Assistance and Complaint Center at 8925-0343.

“We are currently beefing up our contact tracing capabilities nationwide to serve more Filipinos for free kaya hinihikayat po natin ang ating mga kababayan na ireport po ang ganitong mga panloloko sa mga kinauukulan,” Malaya said.

DILG reiterates: No mass gathering during 5th SONA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has reiterated that mass gathering is still prohibited even during President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The reminder was issued following numerous requests made to the department from groups who want to conduct protest rallies during the President’s SONA on Monday (July 27).

In an advisory released by the DILG, the department reminded local government units (LGU) to prohibit mass gatherings, following the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said they will strictly monitor and will apprehend anyone who will violate the IATF policies during SONA.

“Base sa instruction and guidelines na kapag may mag-rally doon na bawal at lalo na kapag walang permit at goes beyond the authorized number, aarestuhin talaga sila, (Based on the instruction and guidelines, if a group stages a rally without a permit and goes beyond the authorized number, they will be apprehended),” according to NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

4 PAF personnel dead after helicopter crash in Isabela

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

Four members of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) perished in a helicopter crash in Cauayan City, Isabela on Thursday (July 23).

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said five personnel were onboard the Huey Helicopter. They were conducting proficiency training for night flying in the vicinity of the Tactical Operations Group-2 area in Cauayan City when the accident happened.

“The two pilots, the other officer, and one of the two aircrew perished. The other airman survived the crash and is now undergoing treatment,” the AFP said in a statement.

The names of the victims are withheld until their relatives have been notified, the AFP added.

Meanwhile, AFP Chief General Felimon Santos, Jr. expresses deep grief and extends condolences and prayers to the families and colleagues of the airmen who perished in this air operations mishap. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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