PH Telcos asked to suspend mobile services for Trasclacion event in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   January 8, 2020   •   548

The Black Nazarene enters the Quiapo Church after a near 23-hour procession through Manila, Philippines, 10 January 2017. The feast of the Black Nazarene is one of the most celebrated religious events in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, where more than 80 per cent of the population professes the faith. The wooden statue, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, is believed to have been brought from Mexico to Manila in 1606 by Spanish missionaries. The ship that carried it caught fire, but the charred statue survived and was named the Black Nazarene.

MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) have asked the two major local telecommunications company to suspend mobile phone services in select areas during the yearly Traslacion in Quiapo being observed by the Catholic community in the country.

In a memorandum, the NCRPO and the NTC directed the Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom to temporarily shut down services starting on January 8 at 11 p.m. until 12 noon on January 10 in select areas.

“In view of the request of Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas, you are hereby directed to temporarily cut off all network services during the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene 2020 from 11:00 p.m. January 8 to 12:00 noon January 10, 2020,” the memo read.

“There shall be no signal, direct and/or reflected, in the area specified in the order/directive, coming from any cell sites (base stations),” it added.

In compliance to the directive, Smart Communications posted an advisory on Facebook stating areas which will be affected by the temporary network service shutdown.

“In the interest of public safety, upon the instructions of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), we are temporarily shutting down mobile phone services of Smart, TNT, and Sun in Quiapo, Manila along the route of the Black Nazarene Procession starting Wednesday, 08 January 2020,” it said.

“We are also temporarily stopping the operation of some of our cell sites in parts of Pasay, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Malabon, Caloocan and Quezon City that are near the procession route,” it added.

The company assured its subscribers that services will be restored as soon as it gets a go-signal from the authorities.

Globe Telecom has yet to respond to the memo.

The Traslacion event held every January 9 draws thousands of Catholic devotees to Quiapo, enduring hours of walk for the procession.

More than 13,000 police officers will be deployed to the event to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the procession.

Authorities have also implemented a suspension of permit to carry firearms outside of residence in Manila starting 8 a.m. January 7 until 8 a.m. January 10.

The gun ban covers Quiapo, Sta. Cruz and Binondo areas in Manila.

Only on duty policemen and other members of the law enforcement agencies are allowed to bring their service firearms in the said areas.

Road closures will also be implemented along the Traslacion route.

Classes in schools and work in offices under Manila City government have also been suspended in anticipation of the large volume of Catholic devotees who will participate in the event. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

NCRPO to probe link of GCTA mess to BuCor exec’s killing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 21, 2020

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is looking into the connection of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) issue with the killing of Bureau of Corrections legal chief Atty. Frederic Anthony Santos.

According to NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas, the NCRPO already formed a special investigation task group to investigate the said case.

“Iyong tinitingnan nila ay iyong dating kaso ni Atty. Santos, iyong GCTA. Iyon ang latest na case niya at iyon ang cause kung bakit siya na suspend (They are looking into the former case of Atty. Santos which is the GCTA. That was his latest case and it was the cause of his suspension),” he said.

“We are checking sa angle na iyon kung sino ang nag-benefit sa pagkapatay ni Atty. Santos (We are checking that angle, and who benefited from killing Atty. Santos),” Sinas added.

Investigators, however, were not able to retrieve the CCTV footage from the incident. According to Sinas, the CCTV around the area were all broken.

The dash cam of Santos’ vehicle was also unable to capture the shooting.

“The shooters approached on the left side of the driver seat, kaya hindi nahagip ng dash cam (so it was not captured by the dash cam),” Sinas said.

The NCRPO official said there were two suspects in the shooting and they were on board a motorcycle.

Santos was suspended as the BuCor’s legal chief last September 2019 for the Senate hearing on the GCTA issue. He was supposed to resume work this March.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

NCRPO: No more gambling during wakes

Marje Pelayo   •   February 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday (February 11) ordered a ban on all forms of gambling in Metro Manila, even during wakes and fiesta celebrations.

“Nag-issue ako ng directive na maski sa patay bawal,” NCRPO director Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas told reporters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

The NCRPO Chief added that his directive was already cascaded to local chief executives across the metropolis.

These include any form of numbers game like color games, video karera and ‘sakla’ which gamblers usually set up in wakes.

Sinas added that they received reports that funeral shops allegedly sell or rent out cadavers for fake wakes to set up betting games.

Ang guidance ko pakiusapan muna at pag ayaw ay saka i-raid para hindi nila masabi na wala din kami konsiderasyon (My guidance to the police is to talk to the organizers and if they refuse, they may raid the location so they may not accuse us of being inconsiderate),” Sinas explained.

The NCRPO chief warned to automatically relieve police official in charge once he received reports of gambling in his area of duty.  

“Lantarang saklaan, sabungan, number games, VK pag andyan yan ibig sabihin meron talaga kayong proteksyon (If sakla or card games, derby, number games, video karera is still in practice in your area, that would mean you are a protector),” Sinas warned members of the police.

Such effort by the NCRPO is in support of Philippine National Police Chief DG Archie Gamboa’s ‘no-take policy’ in order to curb illegal gambling in the country.

Other police officials, meanwhile, also expressed similar support to the program.  

“On behalf of the MPD, I would like to pledge to our chief PNP and our regional director to support all their focus program and program trust the “NO TAKE POLICY” and to go against all forms of illegal activities,” assured Manila Police Director PBGen. Bernabe Balba.

“Ang buong SPD under my leadership are fully abide with the full commitment of following the no-take policy of our Chief PNP,” added Southern Police District Acting Director PCol. Emmanuel Peralta.

Sinas, likewise, encouraged the public to capture a video or a photo of any gambling activities in Metro Manila and immediately report the incident to the nearest police authority. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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NCRPO to form nCoV response team

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 4, 2020

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has formed their own response team against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

According to NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas, this team will be the first responders in case they receive reports of a suspected case of 2019-nCoV.

Sinas said they will also implement security measures before anyone can enter Camp Crame.

“Sa mga kampo or offices ang unang tanong sayo ay ‘Galing ka ba sa China or these places?’ So please answer it, baka hindi ka i-entertain, (In our camp or offices, they will ask if you’ve been to China or these places. So please answer it or they might not entertain you),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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