Duterte postpones independent commission on Mamasapano incident

admin   •   February 7, 2017   •   3400

File photo: President Rodrigo Duterte

PHILIPPINES — President Rodrigo Duterte is temporarily halting the creation of an independent commission that will investigate into the police operation, codenamed Oplan Exodus that aimed to take down international terrorist Zulkifli Binhir, alias Marwan, but also resulted in the death of 44 PNP Special Action Force (SAF) members in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015.

The President said he will first wait for the result of an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Hindi ko muna itutuloy ang pagbuo ng komisyon dahil sabi ng Ombudsman, nakabinbin pa ang kaso sa kanila. Ayoko magkaroon ng mga hindi tugma-tugma, lalo na kung ang resulta ay lumalaban sa iba. So I will just wait,” he said.

Pres. Duterte made the statement when he led the tax campaign kick-off of the Bureau of Internal Revenue at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, Monday.

The President has earlier promised to the bereaved family of the PNP SAF44 the creation of an independent commission to shed light on the incident.

READ: Kins of fallen SAFF 44 call for Mamasapano case reinvestigation

Meanwhile, President Duterte asserted he has no intention to have officials in the previous administration imprisoned, but instead he wanted to know the truth about the foiled operation which caused the lives of the 44 PNP officers.

Pres. Duterte added, he received a text message from actress Kris Aquino appealing not to have her brother and former president Noynoy Aquino, imprisoned.

“Kris [Aquino] texted me. Please do not imprison Noy. I told her, ‘no, Kris… I am not out to find faults, I just want to know the truth, it could be nice or not pleasing; almost one day of fighting. So I will just wait. There was not even a single chopper with rocket there, of the M16 for both sides. You could use that for sweeping. That’s it.”

READ: Aquino breaks silence on Mamasapano incident

The Office of the Ombudsman is presently conducting its preliminary investigation on the complaints filed against former president Aquino regarding the bloody incident. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

Tisoy death toll now at 13

Maris Federez   •   December 4, 2019

A handout photo made available by Greenpeace-Philippines shows villagers working among damaged houses in the aftermath of Typhoon Kammuri in Legazpi city, Albay Province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/BASILIO SEPE

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll on the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy (International Name: Kammuri) has now reached 13.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 5 data, five were confirmed dead in the Bicol region, with one person recorded injured.

The Mimaropa Public Information Office, on the other hand, reported four fatalities in Oriental Mindoro and one in the province of Marinduque.

Calabarzon recorded two deaths in Quezon Province, while Leyte reported one fatality in Ormoc City.

So far, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has not issued an official death toll on Tisoy’s aftermath.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said they are still verifying the reported fatalities.

The families of deceased victims will be given P20,000 financial aid, while those who were injured by the typhoon will be handed out P10,000.

The agency is still conducting damage assessment in infrastructure and agriculture.

“Yung assessment po sa Bicol at sa Samar provinces na dinaanan ng bagyo, ongoing. At nakikita po natin na ‘yung mga reports na nagkaroon ng mga pagbaha doon sa area, ito po’y unti-unting pinapadala sa atin ng mga kasamahan natin from the ground,” Timbal said.

The latest data from the NDRRMC said more than 100,000 families or over 400,000 individuals in Regions 3, 5, 8, NCR and Mimaropa were evacuated from their homes.

The NDRRMC has assured that relief goods are available and ready to be distributed in case affected provinces, even those under a state of calamity, will signify their need for additional supplies. (with inputs from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

DILG tells PNP to arrest vandals

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to go after all the vandals in the country for their “utter disregard of the law and defacement of government properties.”

Año issued the order following the arrest of four members of a left-leaning art group, Panday Sining, for vandalizing places in the city of Manila.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief called the arrest of the four activists “just and lawful.”

“Nagsusumikap ang gobyerno na magkaroon ng kaayusan at kalinisan pero binababoy nila. They have been repeatedly warned and now they will face the consequences of their actions,” he said in a statement.

In November, Manila City mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso warned the group that he would make them wipe their spray-painted messages with their tongue if he happens to catch them committing vandalism.

The group earned Mayor Isko’s ire after they spray-painted messages on the newly-painted walls of Lagusnilad underpass and UN Avenue.

But instead of heeding the government’s warning, Año pointed out that the group defied authorities and went on with their protest in different places in Manila.

The DILG chief said members of the group spray-painted messages on a telecom box near the Manila City hall, the walls of Araullo High School in Manila, and a concrete post of LRT-2 in Recto Avenue, among others.

“Imbes na tumigil, tuloy pa rin sila sa pagsasalaula nila sa kapaligiran. Hindi na sila nakikinig sa awtoridad. Sobra na. Tama na. Tama lang na maturuan sila ng leksyon para magtanda,” he said.

On Nov. 30, Saturday, four members of Panday Sining, namely, Joven Laura, Jeanne Vaughn Quijano, Mikhail Collado, and another minor, were arrested by the police after they were caught painting on the walls of LRT-2 during protest rallies marking Bonifacio Day.

Vandalism is a prohibited act in the City of Manila under Ordinance No. 7971 which imposes penalties on any person who defaces public and private property.

Panday Sining has called for the release of their members, and accused the police of manhandling their activists.

Año stressed that that while the government “respects their groups’ freedom of expression, such freedom is bounded by rules and regulations in order to ensure law and order.”

“Huwag ninyo namang gawing malaking drawing board o canvas ang Metro Manila. Maraming paraan para ipahayag ang inyong saloobin at hindi kasama doon ang walang habas ninyong pagpipinta sa mga pader ng Maynila,” he said.

The DILG chief also lamented that the arrested Panday Sining members are young people who are supposed to be focusing their time studying and making their parents proud.

“Huwag kayong magpaloko sa mga organisasyong makakaliwa at huwag ninyong sirain ang kinabukasan ninyo sa mga walang kuwentang gawain. Magsipagtapos kayo sa pag-aaral ninyo at tumulong kayo sa pamilya at bansa,”he said.

DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said that the public is likewise “outraged” by the group’s recent actions as evidenced by negative comments on social media and an online petition initiated by a non-governmental group.

“Even the people are fed up with your antics. Mag-isip-isip na kayo at magbago na habang bata pa kayo. Disiplina muna bago po tayo magreklamo at magprotesta. Ang pagbabago’y nagsisimula sa sarili,”he said.

PNP reminds spectators to follow security protocols in SEA Games venues

Robie de Guzman   •   November 29, 2019

Elite Filipino police officers patrol the area outside the New Clark City Aquatics Center ahead of the official opening of the SEA Games 2019, in Capas, Philippines, 28 November 2019. The SEA Games 2019 is expected to hold its opening ceremony on 30 November 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday reminded those who are interested to watch the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games events to follow security protocols implemented in sporting venues.

The SEA Games being hosted in the country will formally open on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. It will run until Dec. 11, with closing ceremonies to be held at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

Participating in the biennial meet are more than 12,000 athletes and coaches, international media members and volunteers from 11 countries in the Southeast Asian region.

Thousands of spectators are expected to flock to various SEA Games venues across the country to rally behind their athletes competing in various sporting events.

The PNP reminded those who will visit the venues to watch the games to follow security procedures, and refrain from bringing the following prohibited items as listed in the 2019 SEA Games official Facebook page:

  • Bottles, cups, and cans of beverages (including glass, tetra pack, PET or any container using hard material)
  • Large bulky objects (ladder, stools, folding chairs, boxes, and paperboard containers, coolers)
  • Video camera or any audio-visual recording device for non-personal use
  • Camera extenders such as selfie stick, tripod and bipod
  • Animals (pet and non-pet)
  • Drones
  • Outside food and beverages
  • Pyrotechnic materials including fireworks, flares, canisters, matches, lighters and cigarettes and vapes
  • Large banners including flags exceeding 3 feet x 5 feet
  • Flag poles exceeding one meter
  • Propaganda materials containing racist, xenophobic, charity and ideological causes
  • Flammable objects including spray gas cans, corrosive material
  • Sharp objects
  • Possible projectiles (sports equipment)
  • Noisemaking items (airhorn, drums, whistles, bugles, vuvuzelas)
  • Weapons and firearms
  • Stimulants (alcohol, drugs, narcotics)
  • Laser pointers

Bringing of backpacks, tinted plastics, fanny packs as well as purse, suitcase, camera case, duffle bag, and printed bag are also prohibited.

Organizers also said that it is enforcing a clear bag policy and only small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5” with or without strap and storage bags (Ziploc) are allowed.

PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said spectators and vehicles going to sporting venues will be subjected to strict inspection.

The PNP also set up a tactical operations center at the Clark Freeport Zone to monitor the arrival and security of delegates.

Police forces will also be deployed to monitor assemblies that may be mounted by different groups to ensure safety and zero untoward incident.

The PNP likewise assured it has prepared contingency plan for the possible effects of Typhoon Kammuri as it creeps closer to the country.

The state weather bureau earlier reported that Kammuri is likely to enter the Philippine area of responsibility between Saturday and Sunday and will be named “Tisoy.”

“Sila ang gagamitin natin kung saka sakaling may pangangailangan at makatoon ng immediate deployment at maraming bilang, ito usually ay magagamit natin kung sakaling magkaroon ng natural disaster,” Banac said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Leslie Huidem)

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