NCRPO to deploy 10k policemen in Metro Manila this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2020   •   171

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is set to deploy 10,000 policemen in Metro Manila this holiday season.

NCRPO Chief PBGen. Vicente Danao Jr. said the deployed officers will man crowded areas including malls, terminals, and train stations.

“I’m tasking them to maximize the visibility all over NCR, I wanted them to be in any places of convergence in the whole Metro Manila,” he said.

The PNP also reminded the public to be smart and vigilant when going out during the holiday season.

The National Police released an advisory encouraging the public to follow health protocols and opt for online shopping, if possible.

PNP Chief PGen. Debold Sinas said they want to maximize police visibility not just to prevent crime, but to also make sure the public is practicing physical distancing amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ang importante sa amin na nakalagay sa direktiba ay iyong mga social distancing. So magpalabas po kami ng directive na habang nagbubukas iyong community natin dumadami na ang tao sa labas (What’s important for us, which is stated in our directive, is social distancing. So we will release a directive as communities reopen and more people go outside), he said.

Sinas also confirmed the PNP will remain in full alert status this holiday season. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

After Skyway 3, SMC to work next on Pasig River road link project

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced it will next work on the Pasig River Expressway Project (PAREX) after completing the Skyway Stage 3.

In a statement, the SMC said it will begin work on the East-West Highway in February.

“We will continue work to further decongest Metro Manila by linking east and west of the metropolis, through the Pasig River Expressway (Parex) project,” SMC president and Ramon Ang said.

Ang made the announcement during the opening ceremonies of Skyway 3 on Thursday which was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Pasig River Expressway project is a 19.4-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of the Pasig River that will complete the north-south, east-west link, connecting R-10 in Manila, Edsa, and C5 and decongesting Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina.

Ang said the project will provide faster, alternative access to the business districts Makati, Ortigas, and BGC.

The toll road is expected to cut travel time between two areas to about 10 to 15 minutes from the two hours at present.

The project can be completed by 2023, Ang said.

Aside from PAREX, he also revealed that work has also started for the construction of the Manila International Airport project in Bulacan province.

Touted as the single-largest investment ever in the Philippines, the SMC said the airport project will connect to major thoroughfares in the metropolis. It will have four-parallel runways and modern, world-class facilities.

Ang set the opening date of the massive airport project for 2025. Two major expressways connecting to the airport will also open by 2023.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Skyway Extension project, which will extend Skyway’s reach in the south, to Susanna Heights, Muntinlupa, is set for completion this year.

Both the Parex and Bulacan airport projects are to be connected to the Skyway system, further extending the country’s infrastructure network, the SMC said.

NCRPO denies torture claim of two respondents in Dacera case

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021

Respondents in the Christine Dacera Case

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has denied the torture claims of two respondents in the Dacera case.

NCRPO Director PBGen. Vicente Danao Jr. defended the Makati Police against allegations that police officers tortured two of the respondents.

The respondents reported that they were tortured to say there were illegal drugs present during the New Year’s Eve party or the night before the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

Danao said no police authorities abused or forced the respondents to influence their statements regarding the case. He also questioned the two on the sudden retraction of their statements.

“They’ve been coming out sa different social media and the same story ang sinasabi nila during their interviews at iyong mga info na inilabas nila sa kanilang Facebook page mismo. Wala naman silang sinabi na nabugbog sila, bakit ngayon biglang nagkaroon ng bugbugan (They’ve been telling the same story during the interviews and from the stories they released in their Facebook page. No one said something about getting tortured, then all of a sudden, there was tortured involved?),” he said.

On Wednesday (January 13), respondents JP dela Serna and Rommel Galido alleged that they were abused by police authorities mentally and physically to force them to provide false information.

“I retracted it because they were the ones who put words into my mouth na magturo ako ng tao sa nangyari (to pin the incident on someone) […] tutulungan nila kaming makalabas if ever magsasabi kami kung sino iyong tao (they said they will help us get released if we give them a name),” Dela Serna said.

Galido, previously said Christine told him about a certain Mark who allegedly put something in her drink. Galido clarified that Christine just told him she had drunk too much.

“Fino-force kami na dapat magsabi, magturo kami ng someone kapalit ng kalayaan namin. Siyempre, wala akong alam kung anong dapat gawin. Gulong gulo iyong isip ko.. Any options i-grab [ko] para matapos na ito. Sabi ko doon, si Mark. Si Mark iyong nasabi ko which is hindi naman dapat talaga kasi wala namang sinabi si Christine na Mark (They forced us to put the blame on someone in exchange for our freedom. Of course, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to grab any option just to end this. I told them it’s Mark which is not true because Christine never mentioned someone named Mark),” Galido said.

Meanwhile, the NCRPO released photos proving no torture was done against the respondents. Danao added that the respondents could face raps for retracting their statements regarding the case.

“Pwede silang file-an ng perjury kasi under oath iyon na sinabi nila, (They could be charged with perjury because they said those statements under oath),” he said.

Danao also said they added more names to the list of respondents. The NCRPO hopes that the involved individuals would cooperate to shed more light on the case. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Metro Manila LGUs allot funds for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   January 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Various local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila on Monday said they have allocated funds for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for their constituents.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the city government will earmark P150 million budget for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines which will be provided to residents for free.

The Navotas City government also allotted P20 million for the vaccine procurement, adding that the amount can still be increased subject to the final budget allocation for the city.

Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez likewise announced the allotment of P250 million for the procurement of vaccines.

Olivarez said the vaccination program will prioritize frontline workers, senior citizens and other residents who are vulnerable to the viral disease.

The San Juan City government also said it has allocated P50 million while local government of Muntinlupa said it has earmarked P170 million for its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Makati City Mayor Abby Binay earlier announced they have prepared P1 billion budget for their COVID-19 vaccine procurement. She said the vaccines will be administered for all Makati citizens for free.

The local governments of Manila and Quezon City both announced earlier they have allotted funds for their COVID-19 vaccination program.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso also said they have launched a pre-registration portal for the free vaccination for residents. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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