Ex-CIDG chief Magalong squeals on top ranking police official involved in illegal drugs

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2019   •   1286

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong

MANILA, Philippines — Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has given the lawmakers an important information regarding the issue on illegal drug recycling in the country.

The former chief of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has named one top ranking police official who he claims is involved in such unlawful practice.

“Noong iniimbestigahan ko iyan, may mga officials na nakita namin, (When we were investigating that issue, we discovered some officials involved) one way or the other, they have some involvement sa mga drug trade,” Magalong said.

When asked how high ranking the involved officials are, Magalong waved his hands and said they are still “in active service.”

According to Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon, he knew of the officials Magalong was referring to.

When asked about their positions in police service, Gordon touched his face with four fingers in response and agreed that the information was indeed alarming.

Senator Richard Gordon’s response when asked about the rank of the police official being linked to illegal drug recycling

Ako (ay) nagulat. Nagtinginan nga kaming tatlo (at nasabi) ‘Grabe naman ito’ (I was stunned. My colleagues and I were surprised. We all agreed it was too much),” Gordon said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III added that aside from those in active service, there are also other former officials mentioned by Magalong.

Gordon wants to notify President Rodrigo Duterte of the said information at once through the President’s close aide Senator Bong Go.

Despite this development, Senator Imee Marcos for her part maintained that the names of the said officials should not be disclosed yet untill after a thorough investigation is conducted.

“They are very powerful people. They can escape. They can evade charges. They can even hit back,” the lady senator said.

Despite retirement from the police force, Magalong said he continuously receives reports about erring cops involved in illegal drugs which he immediately endorse to proper authorities.

“Ipino-forward ko sa mga SAF ang mga information ko. Nagpa-positive naman, (I forward the information to SAF. It later on turns out to be positive,)” Magalong concluded. — MNP (with details from Grace Casin)

Magalong assures digital contact tracing app secured, safe to use

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 3, 2020

Contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured the public on Thursday (September 3) that StaySafe, a digital contact tracing application, is safe to use.

Magalong said the app is secured and has undergone meticulous evaluation by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

He also said the app can be integrated into the existing contact tracing system of local government units.

Alam po namin na marami na pong local government unit ang may kaniya-kaniya pong digital contact tracing application. Kaya hindi na po kailangan na mag-back to zero sila (We know there are local government units that have their own digital contact tracing application so there is no need for them to go back to zero),” he said.

StaySafe application can be downloaded for free.

Several business establishments in Metro Manila will use the application to lessen queues in manually filling out forms for contact tracing.

MultiSys Technologies Corporation CEO and StaySafe Developer David Almirol Jr. said app users will only need to present their QR code in malls, restaurants, and other establishments for their profile to be uploaded.

“Imagine habang gamit gamit mo ang StaySafe at naglalakad ka sa kalye, so sasabihin ng StaySafe, may na detect ka 3 meters to 5 meters confirmed case. So mag-iingat ka. Magso-social distancing ka. Ganoon lang ka simple po (Imagine using StaySafe and you’re walking. StaySafe will alert you that it has detected a confirmed case 3 to 5 meters from you. So you will take extra precautions, you will exercise social distancing. It’s that simple),” he said. -AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

LGU Contact tracing efficiency sa Metro Manila, kailangan pang palakasin – Magalong

Robie de Guzman   •   August 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Naniniwala si Baguio City Mayor at COVID-19 contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong na kailangan pang palakasin ang contact tracing efficiency ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa Metro Manila sa gitna ng coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sa committee hearing sa Kamara noong Miyerkules, sinabi ni Magalong na 1 is to 5 na ang ratio ng contact tracing efficiency sa Metro Manila batay sa nakalap na datos mula Agosto 11 hanggang 18.

Ibig sabihin, bawat isang COVID-19 positive ay limang tao na nakasalamuha nito ang natunton ng mga otoridad.

Gayunman, malayo pa ito sa ideal contact tracing ratio na 1:37 ayon kay Magalong.

Upang mapigilan ang lalo pang pagkalat ng coronavirus disease sa bansa, sinabi ni Magalong na kailangan pang paigtingin ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ang ginagawang contact tracing lalo na sa mga komunidad.

“There is a strong, there is a direct correlation between local government performance in contact tracing and the level of involvement of the local chief executive. Nakita po namin yan sa iba’t-ibang mga local government,” ani Magalong.

Aniya, kailangan ding tutukan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ang contact tracing bukod pa sa pagsasagawa ng testing at relief operations.

“There’s also an urgent need to develop contact tracing champions in each LGUs, especially kung yung mayor is not so much involved. So we would rather look for councilors or probably head of departments to be the contact tracing champion,” ang sabi ni Magalong.

Base sa August 18 data, mayroon nang 15,103 contact tracing teams o 149,043 contact tracers sa iba’t ibang local government units sa bansa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Baguio City, nasa 2nd wave ng infection; pagpapatupad ng checkpoint at lockdown, mas hihigpitan – Magalong

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2020

Magpapatupad ng mas mahigpit na checkpoint at border control ang Baguio City government kasunod ng pagtaas ng kaso ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sa lungsod, ayon kay Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Naniniwala si Magalong na nasa ikalawang bugso na ng COVID-19 infections ang lungsod kasunod ng mga ulat ng panibagong kaso.

Aniya, lumobo ang kaso matapos dumagsa ang mga tao sa mga mall, palengke at iba pang pampublikong lugar sa siyudad at pag-uwi ng maraming locally-stranded individuals kasunod ng pagluluwag sa antas ng quarantine.

“We’re now experiencing the second wave yah were now on the second wave nag-flatten na tayo eh,” ani Magalong.

Upang mapigilan ang muling pagdami ng COVID-19 infections sa lungsod, sinabi ng alkalde na ilalagay sa lockdown ang buong lungsod tuwing araw ng linggo.

Mas hihigpitan rin ang pagbabantay sa mga checkpoint upang masegurong nasusunod ang ipinaiiral na health protocols.

Inatasan na rin ni Magalong ang mga ospital sa lungsod na maghanda sa posibleng muling pagdami ng mga pasyenteng magpapa-konsulta.

“This is a result of opening up the economy so we just have to innovate, continue innovation, very aggressive sa contact tracing and then sa testing,” sabi ng alkalde na nagsisilbi rin bilang national contact tracing czar sa gitna ng pandemiya.

“I issued an executive order requiring barangay officials be more vigilant, and the encourage flu-like symptoms to report to the barangay so that they can be PCR-tested,” dagdag pa niya.

Noong Hulyo 27, pumalo na sa 98 ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa lungsod; dalawa sa mga ito ang nasawi, 51 ang gumaling habang nasa 45 naman ang kasalukuyan pang naka-confine sa medical facilities. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Grace Doctolero)

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