DILG warns candidates paying campaign fees to rebels

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 2, 2019   •   1271

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will file charges against candidates proven to be paying campaign fees to communist rebels.

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya these candidates will be liable if they have enough evidence to prove that these candidates are paying extortion money to communist rebels.

“They will be held liable even after the elections if we are able to gather evidence that they are aiding, financing, supporting or conniving with these communist terrorist groups and their allies who are out to trample our democracy and oust our duly constituted authorities,” he said during a press briefing on Thursday (May 2).

DILG said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were able to collect over P100 million from various extortion activities nationwide from 2016-2018.

Election candidates will pay a certain amount of money to communist rebels in order allow them to campaign in their area.

Meanwhile, Malaya said there is already a decline in the number of local candidates paying extortion money to communist rebels for this election compared in 2016.

However, for those candidates who continue to pay rebels for a campaign permit, they will be in violation of Republic Act no. 10168 or the Financing of Terrorism, Disloyalty and Co-conspirator in Crime of Rebellion.

According to Malaya they received reports about negotiations with the rebel groups in parts of Cordillera, Quezon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Eastern Mindanao. (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DILG orders creation of special police probe team for ex-Pangasinan Gov. Espino ambush

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

The vehicle that former governor and congressman of Pangasinan Amado Espino, Jr. was riding in when he was ambushed on September 11, 2019 | 📷 Senator Richard Gordon Twitter

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday ordered for the creation of a special police team investigation for the ambush on former Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr.

In a statement, Año strongly condemned the “villainous act,” which he says “undermines the resolute efforts of our law enforcers to ensure peace and order.”

“I have already given specific instructions to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately create a team to probe the incident and track down the culprits responsible for this crime,” he said.

Based on initial reports, Espino and his companions were on board two vehicles when they were peppered with bullets by still unidentified gunmen while they were traversing Barangay Magtaking in San Carlos City on Tuesday (Sept. 11).

Espino and four of his aides, namely Agapito Cuizon, Kevin Marfori, their driver and police security escort Staff Sergeant Jayson Malsi and retired policeman Anthony Columbino survived the ambush but another police escort, Staff Sergeant Richard Esguerra, died in the incident.

Año said police operatives are now scouring several areas in the province to track and arrest the gunmen. Investigators are also following possible leads on the motive behind the attack.

Police earlier reported its has recovered the getaway vehicles used by the suspects. A red Hyundai Elantra and a grey Ford Everest were found abandoned in Barangay Cobol and Barangay Pasima, respectively.

Several long firearms were also found inside the vehicles.

“We will give you updates on the results of the investigation by the police. We want to get to the bottom of this as soon as we can,” Año said.

The DILG Chief has expressed his condolences to the family of Staff Sergeant Esguerra and assured the government will provide them with special financial assistance package as well as other types of assistance for killed-in-action, wounded-in-action police officers under the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program.

Malacañang earlier condemned the ambush on Espino and vowed that the government will spare no effort in finding and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

DILG says road clearing going smoothly, urges mayors to sustain ops

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2019

Clearing operations in Caloocan City demolish illegally-built structures encroaching the sidewalks.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday said the government’s road clearing operations have been going smoothly less than a month before the 60-day deadline set for all local government units (LGU).

The DILG said that as of Tuesday, a total of 139,959 meters of roads and 52,831 meters of sidewalks in in Metro Manila have been reportedly cleared of obstructions and illegal structures.  

“We are pleased with the support, cooperation, and compliance of Metro mayors to the presidential directive but we need to do more and we expect them to sustain their efforts in order to help clear the streets of Metro Manila of traffic,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“Our operations further resulted to 1,444 illegal vendors, 49 terminals (tricycle, jeepney, pedicab, etc), 1,292 illegally parked vehicles, and 813 obstructions (booth, monoblocs, etc) displaced from our roads,” he added.

Año said a sizeable portion of all LGUs nationwide or 43.3% have reported conducting road-clearing operations in their localities. 

He cited a report from the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS) which showed 13 LGUs to have implemented ordinances on road clearing operations as of September 2. While four others, including Makati City, Malabon City, San Juan City, and Pateros, have issued executive orders and established task forces to carry out the road clearing operations.

LGUs in Metro Manila have also completed an inventory of roads and conducted road clearing operations as ordered under the DILG Memorandum No. 2019-121 issued in July.

According to DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, Metro Manila is the top complying region to the road clearing memo based on the BLGS report.

It is followed by Cagayan Valley with 77.5% of its LGUs complying, Central Luzon with 62.3%, Central Visayas with 58.3%, CALABARZON with 53.5%, and Western Visayas with 52.6%.

Malaya says that BLGS data show that 707 LGUs in the country reported having conducted road clearing operations; 397 LGUs reported having enacted or revisited their ordinance relating to road clearing and banning of illegal construction; 931 reported to have completed an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction; 668 reported having displacement strategies in place for those affected by the clearing operations; and 609 reported to have rehabilitation efforts on recovered public roads.

Amid ongoing road clearing efforts, Año called on all government agencies and barangays to sustain the operations and self-demolish structures encroaching on public sidewalks.

“Please do not wait for the DILG to call your attention. National government agencies are also covered by the Presidential directive,” he said.

The DILG chief said that he would review the accomplishments of all LGUs after the 60-day deadline on September 29. Año warned that local officials who are unable to comply with the order of the President would face sanctions ranging from a reprimand, suspension, to dismissal from the service.

Inmates in rebel-held Ukraine return to school behind bars

UNTV News   •   September 3, 2019

The new school year started for 40 inmates from the Kirovskaya prison colony as they gathered on Monday (September 2) for the first school day assembly and returned to the classroom in the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

The prisoners who have not completed a school year attended a history lesson in the new prison school. They used workbooks printed by the Ministry of Education of Self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Dmitry Pentugov, one of the inmates at the Kirovskaya prison colony, said his favourite subject was chemistry and that he hoped to pursue a future in this field.

School director Mikhail Petrischev said inmates would be attending classes at three levels – the ninth, tenth and eleventh grades – and would study the same subjects as schoolers in the Donetsk region except industrial arts, physical education and preliminary military training.

Rebellions broke out against Ukrainian government rule and set up two states in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in 2014 shortly after a pro-Russian president was toppled in Kiev in a popular revolt.

Moscow provided military help for the separatists in the east, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, though Russian officials have denied providing material support. (REUTERS)

(Production: Anastasia Adasheva, Alexander Ermochenko)

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