Former Maguindanao mayor on ‘narcolist’ killed after grabbing police escort’s gun

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021   •   469

MANILA, Philippines — Former Talitay, Maguindanao mayor, Montasser Sabal, was killed during the operation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday after allegedly grabbing the service firearm of a police escort during his transport to Camp Crame in Quezon City.

PNP Chief P.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Sabal is one of the high-value targets.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested Sabal on Wednesday (June 16) at the Batangas Port in Batangas City.

The PNP said he was wanted for drug and illegal possession of firearms charges. Eleazar also said that Sabal is included in the ‘narcolist’.

“Isa siya sa kino-consider natin na high value target (We consider him a high-value target) considering he was a former police officer, recruited and trained by special action force on explosive ordnance disposal and sniper course,” he said.

During Sabal’s arrest, authorities recovered six high-caliber firearms, 400 grams of suspected illegal drugs, and P200,000 cash.

Authorities were escorting Sabal towards the National Capital Region Field Unit of the CIDG at Camp Crame when he grabbed his police escort’s firearm while onboard the vehicle which resulted in a scuffle.

Sabal was able to shoot the police officer beside him which prompted the accompanying police officer to use reasonable force.

“Sabal tried to escape by grabbing the firearm of his police escort the scuffle between the suspect and the police escort resulted in the latter to hit and fatally wounded Sabal, the suspect was rushed at San Juan Medical Center but declared dead at around 6:13 in the morning,” Eleazar said.

The PNP Chief also added that the confiscated firearms from Sabal might probably be used during the 2022 national elections.

“Another possible attempt by a partisan armed group to beef up armaments as they prepared for the coming 2022 election,” according to Eleazar.

Sabal was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman and eventually suspended for failure to disclose his properties and business interests in his SALN from 2011 to 2015.

Meanwhile, Sabal’s cohorts will undergo an investigation to determine appropriate cases to be filed against them.

PNP, PCG seize 36 units of firearms in Northern Samar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 28, 2021

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) have seized 36 units of firearms in Northern Samar.

Based on the initial report, a joint operation was conducted at the Allen Port in Northern Samar after receiving intel information.

Recovered in the operation were 36 M-16 rifles with an undetermined number of magazines and three 45 caliber pistols from four individuals suspected of gun-running.

Four gun-running suspects were arrested.

The firearms were found inside the trunk and on the side doors of the vehicle.

A certain Roger Lumagan or Kamandag Lumagan with driver Wahid Iskak and an unidentified person were onboard Alumina Metallic Toyota Vios bound for Datu Piang, Maguindanao from Taguig City in Metro Manila. AAC

PNP chief orders probe into Albay shooting incident that killed 2 activists

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday said he has ordered an investigation into a shooting incident in Albay that involved police officers and two activists.

Earlier reports said the two activists were spray-painting protest slogans along Barangay Lower Binogsacan in Guinobatan on Monday morning when the incident occurred.

The group Defend Bicol identified the activists as Jemar Palero, 22, and Marlon Naperi, 38.

The group claims that the two were shot dead by the Albay police personnel, but the official report stated that the activists were allegedly armed and that they fired at the cops, prompting the latter to retaliate.

Eleazar said he has ordered the PNP Internal Affairs Service to probe the incident and to put cops involved in the case under restrictive custody.

“Upang maalis ang mga haka-haka at alegasyon tungkol sa pagkamatay ng dalawa umanong aktibista sa Albay, inatasan ko na ang Internal Affairs Service sa pamumuno ni Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo na tutukan at pabilisin ang isinasagawang imbestigasyon upang bigyan ng linaw kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari dito,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Inatasan ko na din ang Director PRO5, Police Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo na ilagay under restrictive custody ang mga pulis na kasama sa pangyayaring ito habang isinasagawa ang imbestigasyon,” he added.

The PNP Chief also urged the public to let the investigation take its course and refrain from making speculations about the incident.

“Makakaasa ang ating mga kababayan ng patas at malalimang imbestigasyon tungkol sa kasong ito so in the meantime, hayaan nating umusad ang isinasagawang pagsisiyasat sa seryosong alegasyon tungkol dito,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar also called on witnesses to the incident to come forward and help in the investigation of the incident.

“Nananawagan din tayo sa mga nakasaksi o may nalalaman sa insidente na makipagtulungan sa mga imbestigador para mabigyang-linaw ang kasong ito,” he said.

PNP welcomes Duterte push for free legal aid, unified pension system for uniformed personnel

Robie de Guzman   •   July 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s push for free legal assistance for police officers and soldiers who are facing charges related to the performance of their official duties.

In a statement, PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar expressed his gratitude to the president’s move, which he said will be a big help to police personnel.

“Bilang ama ng organisasyon, nagpapasalamat ang PNP kay Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte sa kanyang layunin na mabigyan ng free legal assistance ang ating kapulisan na nahaharap sa kaso dahil sa pagtupad sa tungkulin,” Eleazar said.

“Malaki ang maitutulong nito sa amin lalo na sa mga pulis na walang kakayahang magbayad ng abogado,” he added.

In his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte urged Congress to pass a law that would provide free legal assistance to the personnel of both the military and police who face complaints from incidents related to their work.

The PNP Chief also thanked Duterte for pushing for the passage of a unified pension system for all uniformed personnel.

“Lubos ang ating pasalamat sa malasakit ng ating mahal na Pangulo na tinitiyak ang sapat at tamang benepisyo para sa mga miyembro ng unipormadong serbisyo,” Eleazar said.

“Malaking bagay ito para sa mga nagsakripisyo at nag-alay ng matagal na panahon sa pagsisilbing tapat sa sinumpaang tungkulin para proteksyunan ang bayan at mamamayan,” he added.

Eleazar assured that the PNP would participate in discussions on these proposed legislations before Congress.

Duterte earlier urged lawmakers to pass a measure providing for a unified system for separation, retirement, and pension of military and uniformed services personnel to address the bloating pension system.

The said system shall only apply to new entrants to the military as funds would not be available to cover all uniformed personnel.

A bill seeking a unified pension scheme is still pending in Congress.

The bill filed at the House of Representatives seeks to remove the automatic indexation system that pegs the amount of pension received by retirees to the current salaries of active personnel.

The bill also includes a provision of cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to ensure that monthly pensions remain on track with changes in prices and the adjustment of pensionable age to 60 years old.

The measure likewise proposes to provide higher risk insurance coverage for wounded, injured, and killed in action (on top of legislated benefits), optional retirement after 20 years but eligible only for non-pension benefits; pension eligibility begins at 60, among others.

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