Nasino’s jail guards ‘acted with professionalism’ despite harassment from leftist groups – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2020   •   529

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday defended the personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who escorted detained activist Reina Mae Nasino to the wake of her child, saying the jail officers “acted with professionalism, restraint, and integrity.”

In a statement, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said jail officers remained professional despite the provocation, harassment and insults they faced from the crowd during the wake.

“The BJMP jail officers assigned to escort Nasino were insulted, harassed and verbally abused by Leftist groups aligned with Ms. Nasino. Truth be told, it was the Leftist groups who caused the tension during the wake when they suddenly vented their ire on the BJMP officers who were just doing their jobs,” Malaya said.

Malaya added that the group at the wake clearly intended to provoke the jail officers to “create a media spectacle, hog the headlines, and portray the BJMP and the government, by extension, as heartless and insensitive” to Nasino’s plight.

“What was supposed to be a solemn occasion for a mother to peacefully grieve the death of her daughter was intentionally turned into a media spectacle at the clear instigation of these Leftist groups,” he said.

“We commiserate and condole with Ms. Nasino and respect her right to grieve the death of her daughter. However, we condemn in the strongest terms the acts of these Leftist groups that placed the security of Ms. Nasino and the lives of our jail officers at risk,” he added.

Malaya also clarified that Nasino is not a “political prisoner” and that she is not being detained for her political beliefs, opinions, or for opposing the government.

“She is detained upon orders of the Regional Trial Court for criminal cases for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. That is a simple and undeniable fact,” he said.

Malaya also stressed that it was the court who set the conditions for her furlough, and since media interviews of the accused were not one of the privileges granted, therefore, it was not allowed. 

“It was the courts that denied their pleadings, who decided on the conditions for her furlough, and yet it is the BJMP that they are crucifying. The BJMP is simply obeying the orders of the court otherwise we will be the one who will be cited for contempt,” he said.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) previously said it will file cases against BJMP personnel over the tension that erupted during Nasino’s visit to the wake.

The NUPL said jail guards prevented Nasino from talking to the media.

Nasino’s child was laid to rest on Friday afternoon.

DILG extends deadline of road clearing ops to Jan. 22

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said it has granted a one-week extension on the deadline for the road clearing operations following requests by local government units (LGU) to give them more time to clear roads of obstructions.

The DILG said that instead of January 15, LGUs have been given until January 22 to complete their road clearing efforts.

“We extended the deadline for road clearing operations 2.0 because these are extraordinary times; we are in a pandemic and LGUs have a lot on their plate. We understand the request so the Department granted it,” DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

The DILG announced in November last year the resumption of nationwide road clearing operations, giving the LGUs 60 days to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to rid streets of illegal obstructions.

“This is, in a way, a little help to the LGUs so that they have more time to comply with the President’s directive,” Malaya said.

The validation period will be on January 25 to February 5, he added.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año previously said that the road clearing operations now are different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said full implementation of the road clearing operations is enforced in areas under modified general community quarantine. Partial implementation is executed in areas under general community quarantine while road clearing operations in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and enhanced community quarantine are suspended.

Malaya said that prior to the start of the validation period, the DILG will create validation teams in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), for each province, city and municipality.

“This time around mayroon tayong validation teams na established at cross-posted, meaning, kung taga-Quezon City sila hindi sila puwede mag-validate sa QC, dapat nasa Taguig City sila o alin mang ibang lungsod,” he said.

Among the validation requisites are the actual removal of road obstructions; enactment of an enabling ordinance; conduct of an inventory of road obstructions; crafting and implementation of a displacement plan; rehabilitation of cleared roads; creation of a grievance mechanism; as well as the Tricycle Route Plan, the DILG said.

DILG urges LGUs to resume road clearing to meet January 15 deadline

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday called on local government units (LGU) to resume the nationwide road-clearing operations in their respective areas and expedite implementation as the 60-day deadline ends on January 15, 2021.

“Now that the holidays are over, we expect all LGUs to pick up where they left off in their road clearing operations. They were supposed to start November 16 last year up to January 15,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya, however, stressed that while the deadline ends on January 15, the road clearing operation is a year-round activity that requires sustained effort and implementation.

“Balik trabaho na naman po tayo kaya kailangan nating seryosohin ang road clearing para sa mas maluwag na lansangan at para na rin sa kapakanan nating lahat,” he said.

According to the DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-145, areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) should fully implement the road-clearing operations by January 15, which means the implementation of all components of road clearing.

The circular also states that full implementation includes the removal of road and sidewalk obstructions, conduct of road inventories, physical removal of road obstructions without prejudice to the property rights of the affected stakeholders, crafting and implementation of displacement plans, rehabilitation, and maintenance of cleared roads, and creation of a grievance mechanism.

LGUs under general community quarantine (GCQ) are expected to do a partial implementation of the road clearing operations which is limited to the actual or physical removal or abatement of road and sidewalk obstructions that are considered hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.

These include unauthorized parked vehicles, illegal structures, nuisances, and any other structures erected along or standing on, made immovable or otherwise, that impede safe and convenient passage through public road or sidewalk.

Meanwhile, road clearing operations are suspended in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

President Rodrigo Duterte retained the GCQ classification of the National Capital Region and Davao City effective January 1 until January 31, 2021, subject to LGUs’ appeals.

Also under GCQ are Isabela, Santiago City, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan City, and Davao del Norte.

All other areas are placed under MGCQ.

Malaya said that validation of provincial, city, and municipal compliance would be conducted from January 18 to 22, 2021.

Included in the items to be validated by the DILG Validation Teams are the Tricycle Route Plans in their respective areas to ensure that alternate routes are provided to tricycles which are prohibited by law from operating on national highways across the country.

“Sa pagpapatuloy po ng serbisyo sa bagong taon ay huwag po nating kalimutan ang pagkakaroon ng disiplina sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield, paghuhugas ng kamay at pag-distansya ng isang metro,” Malaya said.

DILG lists allowable ‘pailaw’ for new year revelries

Robie de Guzman   •   December 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has released a list of pyrotechnic devices commonly referred to as ‘pailaw’ to serve as a guide for people buying fireworks for new year revelries.

The DILG said the following are examples of allowable ‘pailaw’ cited by the Philippine National Police (PNP):

  • Butterfly
  • Fountain
  • Jumbo Regular and Special
  • Luces
  • Mabuhay
  • Roman Candle
  • Sparklers
  • Trompillo
  • Whistle Device
  • Other similar types of pailaw

However, the DILG stressed that under the Executive Order No. 28, local government units (LGU) have the authority to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations on firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices within their jurisdiction in conformity with national standards, rules and regulations.

“Therefore, as authorized by their respective ordinances and issuances, LGUs may or may not issue special permits for the sale of consumer pyrotechnics or ‘pailaw’ in their respective jurisdictions,” the department said.

“LGUs may also prohibit community fireworks display outside of malls and other establishments to prevent crowds as a measure against COVID-19,” it added.

Executive Order No. 28 s. 2017 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte mandates the strict regulation on the use of firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

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