Duterte has made decision on next PNP chief, Palace says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021   •   168

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has already made a decision on the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the president has made his choice but he is not yet at liberty to divulge this information.

“I know he has made a decision but I’m not at liberty to announce anything unless I have the appointment paper,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said he recommended to president only one name for the next top cop to replace Police General Debold Sinas who is set to retire on May 8.

The DILG chief, however, stressed that the president has the prerogative to also pick anyone with a rank of at least Police Brigadier General to lead the 200,000-strong police force.

In another press briefing, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya expressed belief that the president’s pick on the next PNP chief will be based on merit, seniority and experience.

Duterte may also announce the next PNP chief this week.

“Within the next few days, bago matapos ang linggong ito ay magkakaroon ng anunsyo ang ating Pangulo kung sino ang kanyang pipiliin dahil may karapatan ang Pangulo na pumili from any of the star-ranked of the Philippine National Police,” Malaya said during the Laging Handa briefing.

Duterte may take second dose from Sinovac if Sinopharm fails to secure EUA – vaccine expert

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte may still get his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine using a different brand should Sinopharm fail to secure approval from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a member of the Philippine vaccine expert panel said Thursday.

Infectious disease expert and vaccine expert panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante said Duterte may be inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine as this brand is similar to Sinopharm.

Duterte was vaccinated on Monday using Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, which has yet to be granted an emergency use authorization from the FDA.

“As long as hindi pa yan [aprubado para sa] emergency use authorization, dapat hindi ibabakuna,” Solante said.

“Iyong second dose pwede niyang (Duterte) ipahabol ang Sinopharm but Sinopharm has to produce the data and submit it to VEP and FDA,” he added.

“Kung halimbawa hindi na pwede ang Sinopharm, meron naman isang bakuna na magkahawig sa Sinopharm, na nabigyan na rin ng approval natin – yung Sinovac… It is possible because they have the same platform,” he further stated.

COVID-19 vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm are both whole virus vaccines that use weakened or deactivated form of the pathogen that causes COVID-19 to trigger protective immunity to it. Inactivated pathogens cannot infect cells and replicate but can trigger an immune response.

Solante said these vaccines can be stored in a standard refrigerator and are administered in two doses.

The FDA earlier said that Sinopharm’s application for EUA remains pending as firms that have filed for its emergency use in the Philippines have yet to submit requirements.

“We also stand by our policy na as long as hindi pa iyan EUA, dapat hindi ibabakuna, that is one. Pangalawa, yung Sinopharm, walang sinu-submit na mga documents sa VEP para ma-assess namin. Kung meron lang sana noon, bago nagpabakuna yung presidente, pwede naman namin i-review tapos we can also give our recommendation to the FDA,” Solante said.

Duterte earlier defended his decision to be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine that has yet to undergo further evaluation and secure EUA from the FDA.

He apologized for using a vaccine that has not been vetted by Philippine authorities then said that he had asked China to withdraw the Sinopharm doses it donated to the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte’s second Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine dose will not be returned to China so he can complete his immunization process. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Sinas tells police personnel to fully support incoming PNP chief Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas on Thursday called on the 200,000-strong police force to fully support Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar who was named as the next top cop.

“I urge you to give my classmate, Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the same 100 percent support you gave during the past six months under my watch,” Sinas said in a statement.

“Every Chief PNP appointed to the post carries with him the full trust and confidence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, therefore, he deserves the unqualified support of all the officers and personnel under his command,” he added.

Sinas is set to retire on May 8 when he reaches the mandatory age of 56. He will formally relinquish the top PNP post to Eleazar in a change of command ceremony in Camp Crame on Friday, May 7.

Sinas stressed the importance of the continuity of command to “sustain the momentum to carry out institutional programs and policies.”

“It has been probably the longest six months tour of duty we have served together to accomplish our mission for the Filipino people,” he said.

“And I honestly believe we have been able to deliver more than what we promised to the President and the Filipino people, because everyone stood by me, from the ranking officers in the headquarters to the last beat patroller in the streets,” he added.

Both Sinas and Eleazar belong to the PMA “Hinirang” Class of 1987.

Eleazar graduated Cum Laude as Top 4 in the order of merit of PMA Class 1987.

He then went on to hold key positions while serving as field-grade officer. He served as chief of police of San Pedro, Laguna; provincial officer of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Batangas and Laguna; and chief investigator of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER).

He was also designated as the CIDG regional chief in Central Luzon and Central Visayas, where he “waged a relentless campaign against organized crime groups and other threat groups in these regions.”

He also held various administrative positions in the Directorate for Logistics and Directorate for Comptrollership and later led the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group and the PNP’s campaign against online sexual exploitation of children, and internet-based fraud and criminal activity.

In 2016, he took the helm of the Quezon City Police District where he launched anti-crime and anti-illegal drug operations that led to the arrest of notorious street criminals and neutralization of drug targets including rogue cops involved in crime.

He also served as PNP Regional Director for CALABARZON and Metro Manila and headed the Joint Task Force COVID Shield as the law enforcement and public safety arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Prior to his appointment as PNP chief, he also served as deputy chief for Administration and PNP’s second in command.

 

Face mask violators, iimbestigahan muna bago papatawan ng parusa – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na mas hihigpitan nila ang pagpapatupad ng minimum health protocols alinsunod sa utos ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na hulihin ang mga hindi sumusunod sa patakaran ng pagsusuot ng face mask sa gitna ng pandemya.

Noong Miyerkules ng gabi, sinabi ng pangulo na ang pag-aresto sa mga lumalabag sa health protocols ang nakikita niyang paraan upang sumunod ang publiko sa mga polisiya upang maiwasan ang lalo pang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Ronaldo Olay, magiging maingat sila sa panghuhuli ng face mask violator bunsod na rin ng mga nagdaang insidente kung saan may nasawing protocol violator.

Aniya, ang mga aarestuhing indibiduwal ay kailangang dalhin sa istasyon ng pulisya at i-record ang naging paglabag nito upang malaman ang parusang ipapataw batay sa ordinansa ng nakasasakop na lokal na pamahalaan.

“May mga graduated punishment yan, unang pagkakasita puwedeng warning. Pangalawa ay fine merong panikit ang LGU, titiketan ka at magbabayad ka ng multa at pwede din yung pangatlo yung community service. Halimbawa maglinis ka, magwalis o magtapon ng basura,” ang wika ni Olay.

Iimbestigahan rin ang mga violator upang malaman kung may iba pa silang kinakaharap na kaso.

“Kung yung taong nasita ay may pending warrant ay ide-detain siya. Kung may violation naman na kailangang i-inquest ay i-inquest siya kagaya ng disobedience to person in authority o direct assault,” ani Olay.

Dati nang ipinag-utos ni outgoing PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas sa mga pulis na bigyan lamang ng babala at huwag nang arestuhin ang mga lumalabag sa health protocols kasunod ng pagkamatay ng isang indibidwal matapos umanong parusahan sa pamamagitan ng exercise dahil sa paglabag sa curfew. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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