No basis to file administrative raps vs Albayalde over ‘ninja cops’ issue – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019   •   145

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said it has found no substantial evidence to file an administrative complaint against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde.

This is in relation to the alleged anomalies in a 2013 drug raid conducted by 13 Pampanga police officers, tagged as “ninja cops” for allegedly pilfering and recycling part of the illegal drugs they confiscated during the operation.

Albayalde was the provincial police head when the controversial operation occurred.

“Albayalde is liable for command responsibility; that is why he was relieved as Pampanga Provincial Director in 2014,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“However, since he already relinquished his post as chief of PNP, he can no longer be relieved of his position at this time,” he added.

Albayalde relinquished his post and went on a non-duty status on Oct. 14 following allegations of his involvement in the anomalous raid.

He is set to retire from police service on Friday, Nov. 8.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group included Albayalde as among the respondents in its amended referral complaint about the “ninja cops” issue.

Año said the cases against Albayalde will be up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman.

As to the 13 “ninja cops,” the DILG chief said new administrative charges will be filed in light of the new evidence gathered against them.

“The filing of new administrative charges against these Ninja cops is in light of new evidence gathered by the Joint DILG-Napolcom Review Committee as well as those that came out during the Senate Investigation,” Año said.

“The President has given his guidance to the DILG to pursue the administrative cases against the 13 Ninja cops which we have already started,” he added.

The DILG said the charges being pursued against these cops include serious irregularity in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct.

These cops are also facing criminal charges before the DOJ.

“The charges to be filed against them will not be for the same offenses for which they were charged in the past. Moreover, the complaining witness this time will be the Napolcom which is vested with competent jurisdiction on the matter, hence, res judicata will not apply,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said that the Joint Review Committee subpoenaed 21 persons composed of personalities who testified at the Senate.

The committee also reviewed documentary evidence consisting of the transcript of stenographic notes from the Senate hearings, as well as pertinent documents related to the 2013 Lakeshore incident.

Año also said that the National Police Commission has convened a Summary Hearing board to hear the charges against the alleged ninja cops.

He added that the summary dismissal proceedings against the respondents can be completed within 45 calendar days “without violating their right to due process.”

“Pending the resolution of their cases, the respondents will be placed under restrictive custody at Camp Crame,” he said.

PNP: Mission ends only until last foreign delegate leaves Phl

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said security for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will remain until the last foreign delegate has left the country.

In a statement on Wednesday (December 11), PNP Officer-in-Charge Pol. Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said he has ordered the PNP security contingent to continue police visibility and provide assistance to SEA Games delegates.

“This mission ends only until after the last foreign delegate has left the country,” Gamboa said.—AAC

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DILG supports DND recommendation to lift martial law in Mindanao

Robie de Guzman   •   December 5, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Armed Forces of the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday expressed support for the recommendation of the Department of National Defense (DND) not to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao after it expires on December 31 this year.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said his agency concurs with the DND’s view that “the purpose of Martial Law has been attained based on the assessment of military and police forces.”

The DILG chief also said that “normalcy has returned to the entire region and the peace and order situation in the area has remarkably improved since the Marawi Siege of 2017.”

“In the last two years and eight months that Martial Law is in effect in Mindanao, our military and police forces in the region have significantly degraded the forces and capabilities of the Maute and other threat groups that they no longer have any capacity to launch a Marawi-type attack,” he said in a statement.

“Moreover, three guerilla fronts have been cleared and three Pulang Bagani commands of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) have been dismantled,” he added.

The DILG chief also stated that the lifting of martial law will be beneficial to the country’s economy, bringing with it more local and foreign investments and increase tourist arrivals in the region.

“We also believe that the lifting of Martial Law will be advantageous to the economy as it will signal the full return to normalcy and the end to perceived security risks of investing and travelling to Mindanao,” he said.

Mindanao has been under martial law since 2017 after Maute Terror group attacked Marawi City.

The martial law was initially set for 60 days but it was extended until the end of 2017, then until the end of 2018 and to the end of 2019.

Año further noted that local government units, through their respective local peace and order councils from the regional down to the barangay level, are also now more engaged and are actively working with their counterparts in the security sector to carry out peace and security measures in Mindanao.

“In fact, there is a 30% drop in crime in the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) alone,” he said.

Año also assured the public that even without martial law, the police and military will continue to launch security operations to protect the public against possible threat from extremists and communist rebels.

Tisoy death toll now at 13

Maris Federez   •   December 4, 2019

A handout photo made available by Greenpeace-Philippines shows villagers working among damaged houses in the aftermath of Typhoon Kammuri in Legazpi city, Albay Province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/BASILIO SEPE

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll on the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy (International Name: Kammuri) has now reached 13.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 5 data, five were confirmed dead in the Bicol region, with one person recorded injured.

The Mimaropa Public Information Office, on the other hand, reported four fatalities in Oriental Mindoro and one in the province of Marinduque.

Calabarzon recorded two deaths in Quezon Province, while Leyte reported one fatality in Ormoc City.

So far, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has not issued an official death toll on Tisoy’s aftermath.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said they are still verifying the reported fatalities.

The families of deceased victims will be given P20,000 financial aid, while those who were injured by the typhoon will be handed out P10,000.

The agency is still conducting damage assessment in infrastructure and agriculture.

“Yung assessment po sa Bicol at sa Samar provinces na dinaanan ng bagyo, ongoing. At nakikita po natin na ‘yung mga reports na nagkaroon ng mga pagbaha doon sa area, ito po’y unti-unting pinapadala sa atin ng mga kasamahan natin from the ground,” Timbal said.

The latest data from the NDRRMC said more than 100,000 families or over 400,000 individuals in Regions 3, 5, 8, NCR and Mimaropa were evacuated from their homes.

The NDRRMC has assured that relief goods are available and ready to be distributed in case affected provinces, even those under a state of calamity, will signify their need for additional supplies. (with inputs from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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