LP: Sedition raps vs Leni, others ‘harassment, persecution’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 19, 2019   •   1186

Vice President Leni Robredo

The Liberal Party (LP) has branded the filing of sedition charges against Vice President Leni Robredo, bishops, and the opposition as a form of “harassment” and “persecution”.

Opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan said the charges are false and lack basis.

“Political harassment at persecution ang ginawang pagsampa ng kaso ng sedition, inciting to sedition, at kung anu-ano pa kina Vice President Leni Robredo at sa ating mga kaalyado sa Senado at sa mga kandidato natin sa Otso Diretso, at maging sa mga sumuporta sa ating mga taong-simbahan, (The sedition charges, inciting to sedition, and other cases filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and our allies in the senate, as well as the Otso Diretso candidates and bishops is a form of political harassment and persecution)” he said in a statement.

Pangilinan added the ‘enemies of democracy’ are using the charges against VP Leni because she is the only one stopping them from continuing “extrajudicial killings”, and selling the Philippines to China.—AAC

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)

Robredo honors all freedom fighters during Marcos era on Ninoy Aquino Day

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday honored the sacrifices of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, and all Filipinos like him who fought against dictatorship and for the restoration of freedom in the country.

In a message to mark Ninoy’s 36th death anniversary, Robredo recalled how Ninoy’s death had inspired a movement that brought down the “rapacious” regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

“Every Filipino alive at that time remembers where they were when Ninoy fell. It was the defining moment for an entire generation: a moment that would inspire a movement that would ultimately bring down the dictator three years later, and bring about a restoration of the freedom Ninoy had given up his life and liberty fighting for,” Robredo said.

The vice president also pointed out that Ninoy was not the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country’s freedom.

“Thousands of Filipinos fell during the dark years of dictatorship, resisting till their last breath the cruelty and corruption it brought. Thousands more were estranged from their families, were thrown into prison, were subjected to brutality and humiliation. Many of them remain nameless and unheralded in our memorials and history books,” she said.

“So, when we celebrate the 21st of August, it is not just Ninoy Aquino we remember, but all those like him, both the nameless and the heralded, who gave of themselves so that we could be free,” she added.

“In this remembrance, we express both our deepest gratitude for the sacrifices made on our behalf, and, perhaps more significantly, our persistent commitment to defend the freedom they won back for us.”

Robredo also lambasted those who “dismiss the significance of Ninoy’s sacrifice,” or “question the validity of the movement it inspired,” and those who are pushing a revised version of history, claiming that the Marcos regime “was not so bad after all.”

“The simple truth is, Ninoy Aquino was a Filipino who gave his life for his country. His love for his homeland was seen not in easy talk or slick PR stunts, but instead blazed brightly through long years of imprisonment, of exile, and in the end, of martyrdom,” she said.

“Many talk about being willing to die for our country. Ninoy was one of the courageous few who actually did,” she added.

Ninoy, a staunch critic of the Marcos government, was assassinated upon his return from a three-year exile in the United States on August 21, 1983. He was shot and killed at he was shot and killed at the then Manila International Airport (now named after him) as he was escorted off the airplane.

Ninoy’s death led to protests that sparked snap presidential elections in 1986, which led to the 1986 EDSA Revolution that catapulted his wife, Cory Aquino to presidency.

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