Next PNP Chief: DILG’s Año to recommend 5 names to Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020   •   514

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is set to submit to President Rodrigo Duterte his shortlist of candidates to be the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In an exclusive interview with UNTV News, Año said his list would consist of five names – three of them are three-star generals and are members of the PNP command group. The remaining two would be two-star and one-star generals but he has yet to pick the names of those he will recommend to the president.

“Sa ngayon, pare-parehas sila eh. Pero for sure, yung mga 3-star [generals] kasama yan sa ire-recommend ko. Pag-aaralan ko pa yung mga 2-star at 1-star na pwede isama sa listahan but I will submit five names,” he said.

Año said he will submit the list at least a week before the mandatory retirement of PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.

Gamboa will bow out of the police service when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on September 3.

“Normally, mga two weeks to one week before magsusubmit na ulit ako ng pangalan sa Pangulong Duterte kung sino mga ire-recommend ko, pero ibig sabihin naman nun, ang Pangulong Duterte pwedeng pumili anybody from one-star to three-star,” the DILG chief said.

Whoever will be chosen from the five would inherit a PNP that is among the country’s frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

All generals in the police force are eligible to be promoted to the police’s top post. The president may also choose a general outside the shortlist given by Año to be his next police chief.

When asked about the possible extension of Gamboa’s term as PNP chief amid the public health crisis, Año replied with: “Palagay ko naman wala na siguro kasi bawal naman ang extension kasi, so we have to follow the law,” he said. “Ang organization naman kasi dynamic, naka-lay out naman dyan ang direction plans kahit naman sino umupo diyan, itutuloy nya lang yung programs.”

Among the three-star generals and members of command group of the PNP are deputy chief for administration Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, and chief directorial staff Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

Cascolan belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, while both Eleazar and Binay belong to PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

Cascolan will retire in November 2020, Eleazar in November 2021, and Binag in April 2021.

Meanwhile, among the two-star and one-star generals whose names might get picked on for the top police post are directorate for operations director Major General Emmanuel Licup, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Debold Sinas, and Police Regional Office 4A director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Both Licup and Sinas belong to the PMA Hinirang class of 1987 while Danao belongs to the PMA Sambisig Class of 1991. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP arrests assistant of Abu Sayyaf leader Mundi Sawadjaan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

Authorities in Zamboanga have arrested Hashim Saripada, the alleged assistant of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Mundi Sawadjaan, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

A warrant of arrest for multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder was served to Saripada by the Regional Intelligence Unit 9 and 84th Special Action Economy in Zamboanga on Sunday (September 27).

Saripada is reported to have brought the Moroccan suicide bomber allegedly involved in the explosion at the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) detachment at Sitio Magkawit, Barangay Lamita in Basilan last July 21, 2018. Eleven individuals died in the incident.

PNP Chief PGen. Camilo Cascolan also said Saripada assisted Sawadjaan in making the improvised explosive device (IED) used by the Indonesian suicide bombers in Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu last January 27, 2019.

Meanwhile, PNP Intelligence Group Director PBGEn. Edgar Monsalve said they have been monitoring Saripada. He reported that Saripada left Basilan after the Lamitan bombing and went to Sulu.

“Mayroon pong mga kapatid natin sa community na nagbigay ng impormasyon na sighted ito uli si Saripada sa Zamboanga (We received reports from our community that Saripada was sighted again in Zamboanga)” he said.

Cascolan also said the arrest is a big blow on Sawadjaan because he has lost a trusted assistant.

“Karamihan ng kaniyang activities ngayon ay hindi na matutuloy because of that and he knows na mino-monitor na siya ng lahat ng intelligence unit, (Most of his activities now will not push through because of that and he knows he is being monitored by all intelligence units), the PNP Chief said.

He also assured the PNP will boost their intelligence group to help curb terrorism in the country. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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21 COVID-19 test labs begin operations—DILG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that 21 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories have begun operations in various areas in the country.

Out of the 21 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) laboratories, 14 of them are in Luzon, 3 in Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao. DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there are currently a total of 130 licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in the country.

Batid po natin na sa community transmission talaga malakas ang hawaan nitong COVID-19. Kaya magandang balita po ito na pinapalakas ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan ang kanilang kapasidad upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan (We know that community transmission of COVID-19 is really high. It is good news that our local government units are boosting their capacity to address the needs of the citizens),” he said.

Año also said the daily number of COVID-19 tests has reached over 30,000. Twenty more COVID-19 testing laboratories are currently being reviewed by the Department of Health. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DILG tells LGUs: Endorse mild, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to Oplan Kalinga facilities

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday urged local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila to endorse to Oplan Kalinga quarantine facilities mild and asymptomatic novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients that could no longer be accommodated in local isolation centers.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there now 4,000 beds available in Oplan Kalinga facilities due to the increase in discharges or recoveries in the previous weeks.

“We urge all Metro Manila LGUs to endorse patients which they can no longer accommodate in their local isolation facilities to endorse them to the Mega TTMFs and Oplan Kalinga Hotels which now has some 4,000 beds available because many have already been discharged,” he said.

Año said this is in compliance with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 74 which states that all confirmed mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are required to isolate in government-approved facilities, except those who are vulnerable or have comorbidities as certified by a local health officer.

Also exempted in this rule are confirmed mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in areas where the government-recognized isolation centers are in full capacity.

“Meron tayong mga Mega Quarantine Facilities and 31 COVID hotels na kung saan puwede sila mag-isolate. Importante kasi talaga na mailabas sila sa bahay kasi nakahahawa sa pamilya,” the DILG chief said.

According to DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, LGUs can coordinate directly with the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) located at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which was created to facilitate a comprehensive and coordinated response to the pandemic by ensuring an efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila.

Malaya said that with the establishment of the OHCC, LGUs and individuals can now easily locate hospitals or isolation facilities near them.

The DILG said the command center is open 24/7 and individuals needing treatment may call the OHCC hotlines at 0927-728-0750, 0927-728-0753, 0927-728-0755, and 0927-728-0798.

Individuals needing assistance from the OHCC may also download the PureForce Citizens App via Google Play Store or App Store, it added.

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