DOJ: Ex-Calauan mayor Sanchez, thousands others set for release

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019   •   1213

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez will likely to be released from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

According to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, Sanchez is among the thousands of inmates who are eligible for recomputation of good conduct time allowances (GCTA).

“He may actually be released already. No idea how soon,” Guevarra told reporters.

The GCTA is based on Republic Act No. 10592 and Supreme Court ruling which states that the length of an individual’s imprisonment can be reduced based on their good conduct in prison.

“So many prisoners’ good-conduct time allowances would be subjected to recomputation. Maybe one after the other they would be released,” Guevarra said.

Sanchez was sentenced to seven terms of reclusion perpetua in 1995 after he was convicted for the rape and murder of student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her boyfriend, Allan Gomez in 1993.—AAC

DOJ orders NBI to probe slay of suspended BuCor exec

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the killing of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) legal division chief Atty. Frederic Anthony Santos.

In a directive issued on Wednesday, February 19, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered and granted authority to NBI director Dante Gierran to conduct an investigation and case build-up against those behind the murder.

Santos was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon by unidentified gunmen while waiting to pick up his child in front of a school in Muntinlupa City, just a few meters away from the gate of the New Bilibid Prison.

He died instantly after sustaining gunshot wounds to head, neck and left arm based on an autopsy conducted by authorities.

Guevarra also ordered the NBI to file appropriate charges against persons found responsible for the crime if evidence warrants.

He also directed Gierran to submit to his office reports on the progress of the subject investigation and case build-up within 30 days.

In a separate statement, the DOJ chief said that Santos’ fatal shooting is still under investigation but is “very likely” connected to the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) issue.

Santos was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman last September 2019 in relation to the alleged misapplication of the GCTA law and other time credits to prisoners.

He was supposed to return to work in March after serving six months of suspension.

Santos was among the resource persons in a Senate Investigation into the GCTA mess.

Irregularities in the GCTA law application grabbed headlines following reports on the possible early release of former mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and her companion, Allan Sanchez in 1993 after his sentence of 7-term Reclusion Perpetua was shortened.

The issue led to the revelations of the release of some heinous crime convicts and the anomalies in the BuCor. It also led to the dismissal of Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief, and President Duterte to set a deadline for the surrender of nearly 2,000 GCTA-freed convicts or be hunted down by police.

DOJ to charge Albayalde, ninja cops over 2013 drug raid in Pampanga

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 17, 2020

Former Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and 12 so-called ninja cops over the 2013 drug raid in Pampanga.

The DOJ has found probable cause to indict Albayalde and 12 others for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a statement on Thursday (January 16), the DOJ maintained that the said personalities are in “violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations in connection with the official duties of the latter, and for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government.”

Albayalde, however, has been cleared of other charges, such as misappropriating confiscated drugs, falsifying public documents, and failure to prosecute police officers.

The 12 cops, on the other hand, will also be indicted for other charges including bribery, planting of evidence, as well as delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases.

The 12 police officers are Police Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV, Police Lt. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr., Police Master Sgts. Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio, Eligio Dayos Valeroso, Dante Mercado Dizon; Police Staff Sgts. Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, and Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero Jr.

The said officers were allegedly involved in seizing 200 kilos of illegal drugs during an anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

In a statement, Albayalde welcomed the development and is confident that the truth will still prevail.

“I welcome this development as the chance to once and for all clear my name in the proper forum. Finally, I will have my day in court,” he said. “My conscience remains clear, and I am confident that the truth will bear me out in the end.”—AAC

Laguna city turns Taal ashfall into bricks, to donate to eruption-hit residents

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Biñan City in Laguna is turning Taal Volcano’s ashfall into bricks that can be used to build houses and other structures.

Since the Taal ashfall on Sunday, January 12, the city’s Eco-Center material recovery facility has been making these bricks from the sacks of ash they collected from around the city.

The ashfall is mixed with recycled plastics, cement, water and whitesand. The mixture is then transferred into brick molds.

“Tawag namin dito Taal bricks eh. Naano namin saan namin dadalahin ang mga abo na yun. Nung hinawakan namin mapino, mas mapino pa sa white sand,” Rodelio Dee, head of City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said.

“Normally, iisipin mo diyan panambak di ba? Pero dapat may mas idea pa dito. So, ginamit namin siya sa paggawa ng bricks,” he added.

Dee said each brick is estimated to cost around four pesos to five pesos.

“Nagkaroon kami ng malaking savings sa paggamit ng ashfall. Unang-una, instead of buying itong white sand na ginagamit namin sa normal operation namin, itong ashfall libre. Sa aming computation is 45 to 50 percent of the cost ang aming nasi-save,” he said.

According to Dee, the city’s material recovery facility is capable of producing around 5,000 to 7,000 bricks a day.

The facility is also open to accepting sacks of ashfall from other towns to be turned into useful bricks.

Biñan City Mayor Arman Dimaguila said the ashfall bricks they made will be donated to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of Batangas towns heavily affected by the Taal Volcano eruption

“Ang plano, mag-stock pile kami ng marami, iipunin namin sa isang lugar. Kapag nakarecover na, on its way to recovery ang mga nasalanta ng Taal, ibabalik natin sa kanila,” he said.

“Ido-donate natin sa kanila, halimbawa, papagawa ng eskwelahan. Sige, amin na ho ang hollowblocks, papagawa ng pathways… bilang tulong,” he added. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

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