No threat monitored for SONA so far – Albayalde

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2019   •   739

File Photo: Police General Oscar Albayalde

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it has yet to monitor any threat hours before President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

On Monday morning, PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde arrived at the Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to inspect police personnel deployed to the area. He was accompanied by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar.

“As of this time, wala pa tayong nakukuhang threat. But then again, we appeal to the public to remain vigilant,” the PNP chief told reporters.

A total of 14,000 police officers have been deployed in Metro Manila to monitor the peace and order situation during Duterte’s SONA. Around 8,500 of which were assigned to Quezon City.

The police chief said he sees no reason to deploy additional personnel for the major event.

He added that as of this time, no untoward incidents have been reported along Commonwealth Avenue and Batasan Hills but the traffic is heavy along these areas due to the staging of SONA-related protests.

Unlike previous SONAs, there are no barbed wires installed along the Commonwealth area this year but Albayalde assured that the police force is ready in case of security threat.

Albayalde further stated they will not conduct a random check on people carrying bags or backpacks and wearing a jacket unless they have compelling reasons to do so for the safety of the public.

The police chief also advised cops to remain patient and implement maximum tolerance amid SONA-related protests. (with details from Lea Ylagan)

DILG tells PNP to fast track probe on ambush of Lanao del Sur mayor

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to speed up its investigation into the ambush of Masiu, Lanao del Sur Mayor Nasser Pangandaman Jr.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the PNP, in coordination with its military counterparts, should exert all efforts to ensure the immediate arrest of the suspects behind the ambush.

“The DILG condemns this atrocity which is a huge affront to the efforts of the government through our law enforcement groups to ensure peace and order in our communities. The PNP, in coordination with its military counterparts, should exert all efforts to arrest the suspects of this dastardly act,” Año said in a statement.

Pangandaman and his convoy were ambushed by unidentified men on Sunday, Nov. 10, while on their way to a council meeting.

The mayor survived the attack but his police escort, Corporal Jabbar Pangandaman was killed while two others were injured.

Following the incident, Año called for intensified security measures from police and the military such as regular foot and mobile patrols and setting up checkpoints.

The DILG chief also said that a manhunt operation has been launched against the suspects.

Investigators are also looking into possible motives behind the ambush, including “rido” or feud between warring clans in Lanao del Sur.

“The PNP is exploring several leads and interviewing witnesses so that we can easily track down the suspects behind this ambush. We assure the Pangandaman family that all hands are on this case,” Año said.

The DILG chief has expressed his condolences to the family of Corporal Pangandaman, and assured them of the government’s assistance.

PNP alerts maritime units, local police on TS Ramon

Maris Federez   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has alerted its local police and maritime units in the areas that are on the path of Tropical Storm Ramon.

PNP officer-in-charge PLtGen. Archie Gamboa said the police must always be ready to support the local government units, if necessary.

Gamboa assured that police personnel is ready to respond to any emergency disasters or calamities and help the public.

“We are always alerting our forces in the Philippine National Police para tulungan ang local government unit who usually spearheads the disaster control and management,” Gamboa said.

The areas that are expected to be hit by TS Ramon are Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon, as well as, the Eastern and Northern Samar. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

PNP eyes to complete procurement of body cams before the year-end

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing to complete the procurement of body-worn cameras to be used during anti-illegal drug operations.

PNP Officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa on Monday said a post-qualification process is being conducted to six bidders to meet all the requirements.

The body cameras are expected to be delivered in the second or third quarter of 2020.

Initially promised to be rolled out in 2018, Gamboa said the procurement of the P334 million worth of body cameras was delayed for over a year due to an alleged extortion case involving three police officers.

“The funds were released 2018. Nagkaroon ng bidding, may eight proponents but in the middle of the post-qualification, I found out that three of my men in the technical working group were asking money from the proponents,” Gamboa told reporters in a briefing.

He said the anomaly was exposed after one of the losing bidders in the project complained to him as the then chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee.

Gamboa identified the three policemen as Major Emerson Sales, Major Rholly Caraggayan, who are now both AWOL (absent without leave), and Major Angel Beros, who is still in active service.

“Nung na-disqualify, nag-complain sa’kin ‘yung proponent, and then, from then on, I caused the investigation,” he said.

Gamboa said the involved police officers will face criminal and administrative raps and will be dismissed from service.

“Honestly, it’s a setback on the part of the Bids and Awards Committee because I was believing myself na malinis kami,” he said.

“But of course, very isolated naman ‘yung case na ‘yun,” he added.

Vice President Leni Robredo, the newly-installed co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, earlier reiterated the need for law enforcers to wear body cameras during operations to protect the agents and the operation’s integrity.

Despite the delay, Gamboa said the re-bidding process has already resumed for the project.

The acting top police official stressed the procurement process must be done before the year ends as the 2019 budget is going to expire by December 31. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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