by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started its investigation on the Chuzon Supermarket building in Porac, Pampanga that collapsed shortly after Monday’s magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit several Luzon areas.
PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) region 3 chief Col. Cris Abrahano said they have started probing some of the documents obtained, including the floor and building plans and the list of Chuzon grocery employees in its Porac branch.
Abrahano said they will use these documents to help assess the structural integrity of Chuzon grocery and whether this was built using sub-standard materials. They will also probe if the building had complied with all the necessary requirements for construction.
Authorities are also planning to talk with several witnesses, building experts and concerned government agencies regarding thee investigation.
“Subject ng investigation natin ‘yun dahil kailangan natin ang tulong ng building official diyan at ng DPWH na siya namang naatasan na mag-enforce ng building code, so isa ‘yan sa subject ng investigation natin,” Abrahano said.
The PNP-CIDG’s investigation comes after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) ordered an assessment of all Chuzon supermarket buildings’ structural integrity and the actual cause of the collapse of its branch in Porac.
The DPWH earlier said that although a private establishment, there is still a need to check on the cause of the structural failure as the building was constructed only four years ago.
A forensic investigation is also being conducted on the samples taken from the collapsed supermarket to determine the possible liability that may be faced by the owner of the supermarket.
“‘Yung kanilang explanation ang sinabi ay sub-standard materials, sinagot ni [DPWH] Sec. [Mark] Villar ‘yun e kahapon pero ang sabi nya ipapatawag muna yung may-ari para mag-shed light,” said Edgar Posadas, Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC).
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the suspension of business operations of Chuzon stores to give way to the investigation.
At least 16 people were killed in Monday’s quake, based on data from the NDRRMC.
Five of the fatalities were from the collapsed grocery store, seven from different barangays in Porac, two from Lubao and one in Pampanga. One fatality was also reported in San Marcelino, Zambales.
The PNP-CIDG said they will complete the investigation as soon as possible in order to file the appropriate charges.
“As soon as possible at as soon as maayos din yun mga technical inspection kasama yung DPWH at mainterview natin yung mga witnessess at ma-check ang mga papel na binigay nila sa amin. Kung mayroong mga lapses na makita ay mabigyan kaagad ng hustisya yung mga biktima natin,” Abrahano said. – Robie de Guzman
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) vows to probe viral videos tagging individuals who are close to President Rodrigo Duterte in the illegal drug trade.
PNP Chief General Oscar Albayalde on Monday said they will take the initiative to track down those behind the videos which features a certain “Bikoy” though they have yet to receive any formal complaint.
Bikoy, who claimed to be a former member of a drug syndicate operating in Southern Luzon and Visayas, had tagged presidential son Paolo Duterte and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go in the narcotics trade.
He also said that both Duterte and Go have dragon tattoos on their backs that bear the alphanumeric codes from the drug transactions.
The video also tagged Agriculture Undersecretary Waldo Reyes Carpio as the owner of bank accounts used as Duterte’s dummy in the drug transaction.
Since April 2, there have been four episodes of the series entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist” that were uploaded to social media.
Duterte had previously denied the accusation that he was one of the principals of a drug syndicate who received millions of pesos in kickbacks
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines.
During his speech in Jolo, Sulu on Tuesday (April 9) in commemoration of the Day of Valor, he said that the government is close to crushing violent extremism and is pleased with the military efforts against the Abu Sayyaf Group.
“Your efforts have brought us even closer to our ultimate objective of totally crushing the violent extremism at its roots. With this, I can confidently declare that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.
ISIS-linked militants held Marawi City hostage back in 2017. The military was able to retake the city after five months killing almost 900 insurgents including Isnilon Hapilon, considered leader of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia.
The Chief Executive assured that he will continue the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) while he is still in office. He will also provide assistance to the military and their families.
He committed to release P500 million fund for the military.
“I will continue to release 500 more and 500 more millions to my soldierswho do something for their country. I will see to it that you will have funds when you retire and that your school—your children and their schooling will be assured even if we are no longer there either by natural or by any other means of saying goodbye to this world. I have your back covered,” the president said.
The Chief Executive is eyeing on appointing former military officials to government posts. However, he denied using the military to empower himself.
He said that he prefers the military because he has seen failure and corruption in the bureaucracy.
“Hindi ako sabihin na pinapalakas ko ang sarili ko sa (I am not empowering myself using the) military because I do not need that. The people elected me. But I have a special fondness for the military for being fundamentally honest at (and) industrious. Kaya as you would see, the next few officials coming in would be military guys,” he added.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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