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DOJ defers investigation on narco-prosecutors

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines –  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has deferred its investigation into the 10 public prosecutors who were included in the so-called narco-list of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that while the department is bent on conducting a probe on these alleged narco fiscals, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had been reluctant in revealing the names of the prosecutors and in sharing information with the DOJ.

“It is regretful that PDEA announced it before validation because everyone in the prosecution service as well as judges in the judiciary became a suspect at this point when the names are being withheld,” Guevarra added.

Guevarra said PDEA’s decision to withhold the names of the prosecutors could place the whole National Prosecution Service (NPS) in bad light.

The DOJ chief said that he has already prepared a letter requesting the names of the 10 prosecutors.

He added, however, that PDEA DG Aaron Aquino has said that they cannot share the information yet pending the drug agency’s validation of their report.

This prompted Guevarra to hold the transmittal of the letter and to just await the results of their validation.  – Maris Federez

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PDEA arrests 15 drug suspects in separate anti-illegal drug operations

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has arrested 15 drug suspects in anti-illegal drug operations in Makati and Quezon City on Tuesday (July 15).

Authorities conducted the operation in Barangay Olympia in Makati City. They seized around 25 grams of suspected shabu and over 100 grams of marijuana estimated to be worth P185,000.

PDEA Regional Special Enforcement Team served a search warrant against group leaders, Almer de Ocampo alias Inday and Ronald Ariola alias Elbi.

Authorities said they have been monitoring the activities of these suspects including their cohorts. A total of 12 individuals were arrested.

Meanwhile, three others were arrested in the anti-illegal drug operation in Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City.

The suspects were identified as Matthew Oliveros (20 years old), Wennalyn Oca (20), John Sobrepena (22).

Authorities seized around one kilo of marijuana with a street value of P120,000.

The 15 suspects will face charges for violating Republic Act no. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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DOJ, NBI ready to probe law enforcers over violations in drug operations

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are ready to probe law enforcers who may have committed violations during drug operations.

According to DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra they are prepared to investigate authorities who may have committed violations of law related to the government’s anti-drug war campaign.

“The DOJ and the NBI are ready and willing to investigate and prosecute law enforcement agents upon proper complaint by people who have personal knowledge of any wrongdoing by police officers during drug operations until witnesses come forward and testify,” he said in a statement.

This is Guevarra’s response when the Amnesty International called on the Justice department to conduct an investigation related to violations on drug operations.

“There’s no need for Amnesty International to urge us to investigate possible violations of law by  law enforcement agents in the conduct of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign,” he said.

Guevarra reiterated that the police should respect the ‘presumption of regularity’ while performing their duties.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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DOF, expected to earn P2-B monthly tax from POGO industry foreign workers

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Courtesy: Pixabay

The Department of Finance (DOF) has created an inter-agency task force with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in intensifying the imposition of taxes on foreign workers in the country.

DOF Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino noted the increasing number of foreign workers in the country who do not pay taxes.

“It’s not fair to the Filipino worker who is paying taxes regularly when we have foreign nationals working here and not paying taxes. Because they use the same roads. Nakikinabang naman sila sa mga ilaw sa gabi, sa ating mga kalsada, kung anu-ano pang services na meron [They benefit from the electricity, from our roads, and from other services we have],” Lambino said.

The DOF official also said the country can earn 32 billion pesos every year from the tax that can be collected from 138,000 foreign workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) industry.

A data from DOLE shows that 84% of employees of the 182 POGOs that are registered in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are foreign nationals, most of which are Chinese.

This prompted the task force to come up with a joint memorandum circular which states that the DOLE will not release an alien employment permit to a foreign national who has no tax identification number issued by the BIR.

The DOLE and the BIR will also come up with a database that will set a solid data on the total number of foreign workers in the country and to have a strict monitoring in the taxation of these workers.

The BIR has also issued notices to other POGO providers to remind them to pay taxes that have now reached P4-Billion. (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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