Gabriela Partylist questions PNP’s random inspection of protesters during SONA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 19, 2019   •   594

Gabriela Partylist questions the random inspection to be implemented by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on protesters during President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The party-list said the said measure violates the constitutional right to privacy.

According to their statement, the random inspection might probably lead to harassment or arrest of protesters without a proper warrant.

“Such security overkill dangerously sets up a pretext for intimidation, harassment and even warrantless arrest of activists based on planted evidence,” they said in their statement.

An estimate of over 40,000 protesters will join the anti-Duterte administration rally on Monday (July 22).

The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Thursday (July 18) that they will ‘most likely’ conduct random inspections on protesters as part of their strict implementation of security measures.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

PNP says POGO hubs near police, military camps pose no threat to nat’l security

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde on Friday said that Chinese-dominated Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) hubs near police and military installations so far do not pose threat to the country’s security.

Albayalde told reporters in an interview at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City that foreign businesses usually consider setting up office near a police or military camp for security purposes.

“Ang pinaka-common action ng mga ‘yan ay to find a place nearest to a police station o nearest to a police camp for security reason sa kanila din,” he said.

Albayalde made the remark following concerns raised by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana over the growing presence of Chinese-staffed online gaming hubs and the risks its proximity poses to military and police installations.

Some POGO hubs are located near the headquarters of the Philippine Army in Taguig, the Philippine Air force in Pasay and the Philippine Navy in Manila. Other online gaming hubs are located near the headquarters of the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City.

“Kung ikaw ay negosyante, kung ikaw ay merong pwesto or facility na malapit doon sa police station o sa kampo you are already safe,” he said.

Malacañang earlier said it sees nothing wrong with the location of POGO hubs if this means foreign workers’ rights will be better protected.

“Military camps? Eh di lalong magaling kung military camps dahil binabantayan sila ng military for their protection,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

However, the PNP chief earlier pointed out that too many POGO hubs near police and military offices might be detrimental to the national security. (RRD with details from correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP warns of ‘tokhang’ for security firms keeping high powered firearms

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

File photo: Assault machine guns

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police Civil Security Group (PNPCSG) warns security agencies of facing ‘tokhang’ if they will not surrender all high-powered firearms in their possession.

According to PNP-CSG Director Police Brigadier General Roberto Fajardo, since May 20, 2017, the law prohibits civilians from owning high-powered firearms especially those who are not members of the PNP and the military.

Only government law enforcers including members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are allowed to possess one.

Security guards, on the other hand, are allowed to possess shotguns.

“We will issue cease to operate at hindi namin ire-renew yung kanilang license to operate (we will not renew their license to operate),” warned Police BGen. Roberto Fajardo.

“I-tokhang na natin yang may mga high powered firearms na i-surrender, kasi ang tokhang ay pakiusap e na iturn over yung kanilang high powered, so itokhang natin (We will place them under tokhang if they will not surrender their high-powered firearms. Tokhang is ‘knock and plead’ so we will ask them to surrender them),” the PNP CSG director added.

Meanwhile, Fajardo noted that they will investigate why security firm AY-Security Specialist Incorporated in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental still owns high-powered firearms.

The firearms were discovered when members of the New People’s Army (NPA) stormed the security agency and robbed about five units of AK-47 in August 19.

“(Si) President na ang nag utos na wala dapat high powered firearms ang mga different security agencies (No less than the President ordered that security agencies should not be safekeeping high-powered firearms),” Fajardo said.

“Unang-una kasi hindi naman sila trained to use high powered firearms so ire-revoke namin yung mga licenses (Primarily because they are not trained to use high-powered firearms so we will revoke their licenses),” he added.

The official assured that government troops are continuously hunting the rebels who took the firearms from the agency. Apart from the AK-47 units, the rebels also took several magazines and ammunitions as well as a handheld radio device. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

UP students condemn alleged campus militarization; walk out of classrooms

Maris Federez   •   August 20, 2019

UP student activists stage an anti-campus militarization rally during the university’s so-called “National Day of Walkout” on August 20, 2019.

Students of the University of the Philippines (UP) walked out of their classrooms Tuesday to condemn what they claim as campus militarization in their school.

Wearing black, the students stepped out of their classes at past 11 with placards in hand.

They call this day the “National Day of Walkout”, pointing out that the police and the military are meddling with the affairs of the school.

The students said the campus militarization is curtailing their academic freedom.

Read: PNP denies alleged militarization of campuses

“Hindi po namin papayagan na pumasok ang AFP at PNP lalo na si Senador Bato at Duterte sa aming pamantasan dahil nakikita namin na wala silang puwang o agenda upang i-address ang mga bitbit naming panawagan [We will not allow the AFP and the PNP, especially Senator Bato and Duterte to enter our university because we know that they have no agenda to address our petitions],” said UP student Rachiel Villamor.

Several UP professors also joined the walkout.

“Alamin at kumilos na ipaglaban ang tingin nila ay tama. Yan ang itinuturo namin sa classroom. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging edukador. At magagawa yan hindi lang sa loob ng classroom. Magagawa yan kahit sa labas kahit sa lansangan [Know and act to fight what they think is correct. That is what we teach in the classroom. That is what a teacher is all about. And we can do that not only in the classrooms. We can do that even in the streets],” said Josephine Dionisio, chairperson of UP Department of Sociology.

Aside from the campus in Diliman, the National Day of Walkout was also observed in other UP campuses in the country. (from the report of Mon Jocson) /mbmf

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