Palace defends PNP’s security measures for Traslacion 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   January 9, 2020   •   240

Filipino policemen try to control a crowd of devotees during the Black Nazarene to mark its feast day in Manila, Philippines, 09 January 2020.  EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday defended the strict security measures imposed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for this year’s Traslacion in Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the stringent measures were enforced to ensure the safety and security of Catholic devotees participating in the annual event.

“The PNP has to undertake measures that will provide for the safety of those devotees, it may be strict but the goal is protect them from any harm,” he said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo made the statement in reaction to criticisms and frustrations expressed by some devotees and netizens over the increased police deployment during the procession.   

During the procession, policemen formed a so-called “Andas wall,” which consists of hundreds of cops guarding the andas (carriage) from devotees.

Police’s move to set up barbed wires of the beams of the Ayala bridge, and the placement of container vans along some parts of the Traslacion route also drew mixed reactions.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) earlier explained the installation of barbed wires on the bridge’s beams is to prevent devotees from scaling its frames.

This year’s Traslacion took a shorter and slightly different route through the Ayala bridge instead of Jones bridge which has been used for years.

More than 13,000 policemen were deployed to secure the event. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

2 Bilibid convicts behind grisly killing of ex-Batangas solon – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Two convicts detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) allegedly orchestrated the grisly killing of former Batangas Representative Edgar Mendoza and his two aides, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel identified the principal suspect as Sherwin Sanchez, who has been imprisoned since 2015 for murder charges.  

Investigation revealed that Sanchez was a client of Mendoza, a lawyer who handled his transactions concerning financial and properties.

Sanchez did not pay Mendoza for his services after the former was convicted.

Sanchez allegedly conspired with his fellow detainee, Arthur Fajardo, to have Mendoza killed.

Fajardo, a member of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group who has been detained at the state penitentiary since 2005, then contacted his wife, Jael, who allegedly hired the killers.

Mendoza and his companions, bodyguard Nicanor Mendoza and driver Ruel Ruiz, were found burnt inside the former solon’s car in Tiaong, Quezon Province on January 9.

The day before they were killed, Mendoza and his aides went to the home of the family of Fajardo in Calamba, Laguna supposedly to collect a sum of money owed by Sanchez.

“Apparently, on the day he disappeared, and later on found dead, he was supposed to collect a sum of money from representatives of the principal suspect in Calamba,” Coronel said.

Investigation showed that Sanchez and Mendoza had disagreements on the amount for his legal services but later agreed on a sum amounting to millions of pesos.

However, Sanchez had no intention of paying the amount from the start and instead hired some gunmen to kill Mendoza. He allegedly contracted the killers for the sum of P100,000.

“There was a disagreement on the amount to be collected and also base on the revelations of the witnesses and some of the suspects’ confession, there was really no intention on the part of the suspect to the amount agreed by them,” Coronel said.

Police identified Sanchez and Fajardo’s cohorts as Jael Fajardo, Arthur’s wife; Madonna Palermo, Jael’s household worker; Kristine Fernandez, Jael’s errand runner; Carlo Acuña and Erickson Balbastro who were said to be members of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group.

The five suspects were arrested by authorities on January 22.

Police found that prior to their murder, Mendoza and his aides were drugged with coffee laced with sleeping pills while they were in Fajardo’s home. They were later stabbed and struck in the head with a hard object.

The three victims were already dead when their remains were brought and burned in Tiaong, based on Balbastro’s statement.

Coronel said the suspects’ target was only Mendoza and that the two aides were “collateral damage.”

Police said they are hunting down a certain Rodel Mercado, said to be the one who stabbed and struck the victims.

PNP chief Archie Gamboa said three counts of murder have been filed against the suspects.

“This case is considered solved and it is now elevated in the prosecution office arm of the justice system,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Palace says Duterte still pondering on attending ASEAN-US Summit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 23, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte is still pondering on whether or not to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States Summit in March.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President expressed willingness to visit the United States, however the president is not sure whether his visa will be approved.

Panelo added Duterte might not want to visit the US since some US senators “would be unhappy to see him”. This is amid the resolution of banning the entry of Philippine officials involved in imprisoning former Senator Leila de Lima.

READ: Bato confirms his US visa has been canceled

The Palace official also clarified that the President is not enforcing conditions regarding his visit in the US.

“From what I look at his responses, gusto niya pumunta, iyan ang naisip ko, (he wants to visit, that’s what I think),” Panelo said. “[Duterte] just expressed certain sentiments relative to some issues that may affect his entry.”

Duterte has been previously invited by US President Donald Trump but he refused due to the extreme weather conditions in the US as well as the long-hour flight.

Panelo cited that the recent invitation was not a personal one so the President is still pondering on whether to accept the invitation or not.

READ: Trump invites Duterte, other ASEAN leaders for March Summit

“This one is an official invitation to all ASEAN leaders and there is a special summit,” he said.

Trump has invited Duterte and nine other ASEAN leaders for the US-ASEAN Summit in Las Vegas.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

New PNP Chief Gamboa eyes ‘no-take policy’, faster administrative case hearing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2020

The new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa eyes a ‘no-take policy’ among the PNP personnel.

As the new PNP chief, Gamboa said he will not tolerate erring policemen, such as those accepting bribes and engaging in illegal drugs. He said he will also heighten internal cleansing among the police ranks.

“I stand before you today not just the ‘chief’ but a father who will stand and support you till the end if you are doing your job the right way,” he said.

“However, for those erring PNP personnel, you will be reprimanded, castigated or be dismissed in the service if necessary,” added Gamboa.

He also reminded police officers to respect their senior officers and always wear proper attire.

READ: Gamboa officially assumes PNP chief post; to implement reshuffling in PNP

The new PNP chief wants to expedite administrative case hearings from 60 days to 15 days.

“Work simplification is the conscious seeking of the simplest, easiest and quickest method of doing work. We should accomplish more tasks within a given amount of time, so watch for my deadlines,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gamboa warned drug personalities and other individuals involved in illegal drugs.

“Heed my words, with the guidance of our President, we won’t stop until you’ve been destroyed and neutralized,” he said. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

(+632) 8920.8336 (Fax)

info@untvweb.com (General inquiries)

support@untvweb.com

UNTV News and Rescue Emergency Hotlines:

LANDLINE (+632) 8396-8688

ADVERTISE WITH US

(+632) 8 442.6244 Loc. 143, 144, 162, 164

advertising@untvweb.com

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.