DILG, PNP to arrest GCTA beneficiaries after 15-day surrender deadline – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2019   •   671

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said they will arrest the beneficiaries of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law who will not surrender to authorities within 15 days.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said police will track the movement of convicts released under the GCTA rule and bring them back to jail after the deadline.

“They are given 15 days to show up and submit for investigation to recompute the GCTA. After the deadline, the PNP will track and arrest those who will not surrender themselves to authorities,” Año said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered convicts, especially those who were involved in heinous crimes that have been freed under Republic Act 10592, to surrender to the nearest police station or to the military.

“All of you, released under GCTA, you surrender or have yourself registered under BuCor (Bureau of Corrections),” he said on Wednesday.

The president added that he is considering a P1 million reward for the re-arrest of each heinous crime convict.

READ: Duterte orders freed heinous crime convicts to surrender

The Philippine National Police (PNP), for its part, said all police units across the country have been directed by PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde to immediately receive and account about 1,700 prisoners who will heed the president’s order to surrender.

“Likewise, tracker teams will now be deployed to locate these convicts, who will be treated as fugitives if they choose not to surrender,” the PNP Public Information Office (PIO) said in a statement.

“As fugitives from justice, these convicts can be subjected to warrantless arrest,” it added.

Since the law’s enactment in 2013, more than 22,000 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) have been released due to good conduct credits, 1,914 of which had been convicted of heinous crimes, based on BuCor data.

The implementation of the GCTA rule has been suspended until further notice.

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PNP renders immediate help; AFP ready to assist earthquake victims in regions 11, 12

Maris Federez   •   October 17, 2019

Mlang Police Station personnel together with Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel, Mlang local government employees conduct post-earthquake damage inspection of buildings in Cotobato, Mindanao on Thursday, October 17, 2019.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 and 12 have deployed their personnel to the areas affected by the earthquake that hit several towns and cities on Wednesday night (Oct. 17).

They were sent to render assistance to the local government units in maintaining peace and order, and ensure that traffic will run smoothly to avoid delay in the supply of relief goods.

According to PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, police are also helping in the clearing operation in the affected buildings.

Banac added that the situation in the affected areas is still under control and there is still no need to send support units from the national headquarters.

“Ang kapulisan natin ay lumabas kaagad at nagbigay ng police presence para magbigay ng order, para maassure ang public na nandyan ang ating pamahalaan. Lahat ng available manpower. Yung iba ay umalalay sa local government units para mag rescue sa mga nasaktan na biktima,” Banac said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, said it is ready to deploy its personnel from the Engineering Brigade should the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) requests for it.

“Lahat naman ng ating AFP units within the area are on ready standby and with the close collaboration with the NDRRMC ready to be deployed at short notice naman, so far according to the NDRRMC ay capable pa naman yung LGU’s natin in responding to any requirements,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief, Capt. Jonathan Zata said.

Wednesday night’s tremor left 29 structures in Regions 11 and 12 with significant damage.

These malls include SM, Veranza Mall and Gaisano Mall in General Santos City, and the KCC Mall in Koronadal City.

Other structures that sustained damage were:

  • the Municipal Hall of Magsaysay in Davao Del Sur
  • the Sangguniang Bayan Building in M’Lang, Cotabato
  • the Roldan Hospital in M’Lang, Cotabato
  • the Fire Station in Makilala, Cotabato
  • and the Municipal Hospital in Carmen, Cotabato

(with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

PNP denies pressures from former generals pushed PGen Albayalde to resign

Maris Federez   •   October 15, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has denied that there had been a group of former generals who pressured PGen Oscar Albayalde to step down from his post as chief of the national police.

Albayalde announced his resignation on Monday (Oct. 14) amid the controversial drug raid in Pampanga in 2013 while he was still the provincial director.

Senator Richard Gordon mentioned the possibility that pressures from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) pushed Albayalde to resign.

“Ang naging dahilan ni Albayalde ay serye ng pagdinig at pressure doon sa issue (Albayalde’s reasons for his resignation were the series of hearings and on the issue itself),” PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said.

The PNP, however, admitted that Albayalde’s decision to go on a terminal leave had affected the morale of the police.

Banac said the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986, where Albayalde belongs, is in full support of the former police chief’s decision.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is still in the process of choosing the next PNP chief.

Three senior police officers are already in the shortlist of the president. These are:

  • PNP OIC PLtGen. ARCHIE GAMBOA
  • Deputy Chief PNP for Operations PLtGen. Camilo Cascolan
  • Chief of Directorial Staff PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar

The President, however, has the prerogative to choose anyone of the generals in the PNP. —(from the report of April Cenedoza) /mbmf

Lawmakers say Albayalde not yet off-the-hook in ‘ninja cops’ issue despite early exit

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2019

Former PNP Chief General Oscar Albayale

MANILA, Philippines – Some lawmakers believe that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde is not yet off the hook over allegations for his supposed role in the alleged drug recycling scheme involving some rouge policemen despite his early exit.

In a statement on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Albayalde’s decision to relinquish his post ahead of his mandatory retirement “will not in any way clear him from his liability.”

“His continued stay as PNP chief has become untenable. His resignation ahead of his mandatory retirement, however, will not in any way clear him from his liability, both administratively or criminally, in connection with the Pampanga ninja cops issue,” Drilon said.

Earlier in the day, Albayalde said he is stepping down from his post and go on non-duty status.

The embattled PNP chief made the announcement weeks before his mandatory retirement on November 8.

READ: Albayalde quits early as PNP chief

Albayalde has denied allegations he was involved in the controversial 2013 anti-drug operation carried out by his former men when he was the head of Pampanga police provincial office.

He also maintained he did not intervene in their case when the cops were only demoted in 2017 instead of dismissed as ordered in 2014.

Although he initially said he will finish his term, Albayalde said he decided to leave his post after “careful thought and deliberation.”

He said this would pave the way for the appointment of his replacement should the President so desire.

But according to Kabataan Party-list Representative Sarah Elago, Albayalde’s early exit does not put an end to the issue.

“This won’t appease the youth’s call for truth and liability over the PNP chief’s alleged involvement in the recycling of seized illegal drugs,” Elago said in a statement.

“Beyond his resignation, we demand an end to the drug war’s murderous rampage; we demand justice and accountability,” she added.

Bayan Muna party-list Representative Ferdinand Gaite also believes Albayalde’s resignation is only a “smokescreen” to conceal the real corruption in the government’s war on drugs.

“They are trying to minimize the damage that Gen. Albayalde’s involvement had done which is why he was let go earlier. Malacañang officials may have talked to Albayalde over the weekend for him to resign and ‘take one for the team’ as they say,” he said.

“As late as last Friday, Albayalde was adamant that he would not resign but what transpired over the weekend that he changed his mind? Apparently, he became too hot to handle and the Senate investigation has further exposed the bogus character of the drug war of Pres. Duterte,” he added.

Malacañang, however, said it did not pressure Albayalde from leaving his post and that perhaps he has had enough of the accusations.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, expressed mixed feelings on how Albayalde ended his police service.

“I have mixed feelings about the way P/Gen. Oscar Albayalde, now ex-Chief PNP, has abruptly ended his police service more than three weeks before his compulsory retirement,” Lacson said in a statement.

“His statements prior to his formal announcement today to relinquish command of the 190,000-strong police force have somehow diminished the redeeming value of his intent to spare the PNP from the so-called ‘ninja cops’ controversies,” he added.

Lacson said that being a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) himself, he feels sad whenever a fellow PMA-er is involved in a controversy that “hit the very core of the unique and exclusive cadet honor system” which nurtured them “to resist the moral challenges and temptations once we step out of the Academy.”

“The Code simply says: ‘A cadet does not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.’ While many choose to adhere to the Code albeit not in the same rigid, exacting manner, still, quite a number have opted to fall out of the ‘long grey line’ sooner or later in their career,” he said.

However, Lacson, also a former PNP chief, was quick to clarify that his statement does not mean to cast judgment on Albayalde’s character.

“Rather, it is only to reiterate the sad reality that many PMA graduates have been eaten by the corrupt and corrupting system of law enforcement,” he said.

In light of the controversies surrounding the PNP leadership, Drilon urged for a strict and better vetting procedure for PNP officers.

“We expect a better vetting process should be instituted in the selection of next PNP Chief, and in general, in the assignment of PNP officers,” Drilon said.

“The next PNP chief will have to work doubly hard to regain the credibility of the police community and the government’s drug war,” he added.

The senator also said he will push for amendments to the implementing rules of the Dangerous Drugs Law, particularly with regard to the period of destroying seized contraband to address the issue of drug recycling. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

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