Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

PNP, AFP to probe misencounter in Samar between soldiers, police

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Soldiers recover remains of policemen killed in the misencounter. (Photo courtesy of HPG REGION 8)

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Spokesperson PSSupt. Benigno Durana Jr. said Tuesday (June 26) that they have formed a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to conduct a fact-finding investigation into the bloody misencounter between the police and military in Samar, in response to the immediate order from PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

Also, a Board of Inquiry (BOI) was formed to serve as a support group that will coordinate closely with its counterparts in the military. It will be led by Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) Eastern Visayas Director Rolando Felix.

“The Board of Inquiry will not only look into the incident itself but look into the operational strategic ramification of that incident so that this kind of unfortunate incident will not happen in the future,” said Durana.

The incident, which happened in Sitio Lunoy Barangay San Roque in Sta. Rita, Samar early Monday (June 25), accidentally killed six policemen and injured nine others when members of the 87th Infantry Battalion mistaken as rebel troops of the 805th Mobile Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8 conducting minor combat operations in the area.

Among the issues that the investigating body will determine is MGen. Raul Farnacio’s claim that the cops were using outdated radio units that did not match their Harris communication equipment and so caused failure in coordination.

The investigation will also look into the matter on whether or not an official was accompanying the troops during the operation.

Durana said the PNP Chief already instructed SITG head PCSupt. Mariel Magaway to facilitate the processing and speedy release of all benefits due to the families of the victims.

Magaway, for his part, assured that the incident will not affect the working relationship between the Armed Forces of the Philippine and the PNP; emphasizing that no one on both sides expected for it to happen as it was an accident.

“It will not affect in any way. Aksidente ito (It was an accident). This is an unfortunate incident so wala naming may gusto nito (nobody wanted it). This is an accident, wala ng iba (nothing more),” Magaway firmly said in a press briefing in Samar.

Malacañang through Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, meanwhile, appealed to the public to give the investigation a chance to uncover what really transpired in the shooting ground. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

Tags: , ,

Measles outbreak declared in San Roque, N. Samar

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

NORTHERN SAMAR, Philippines – A measles outbreak was recently declared in the municipality of San Roque following the deaths of two minors last week.

Department of Health (DOH) regional head for epidemiology and surveillance, Boyd Roderick Cerro, said that even though there are existing cases of measles infection in other areas in the region, the case of the two siblings who died recently warrants the declaration of an outbreak.

“Masasabi nating ito ay outbreak kung clustered by time, by place, and by person sa isang pamilya. Epidemiologically may relationship kasi makikitang nagkahawa-hawa na sila,” Cerro explained.

Measles is a viral infection that primarily targets the respiratory system. It is highly contagious that can spread through the air through coughing and sneezing and through contact with infected mucus and saliva. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat followed by a rash that spreads over the body.

Cerro noted that there is no drug available to cure measles but the infection can be prevented through vaccination.

“Pabakunahan nila ang mga anak nila ng measles vaccine kasi napatunayan na ito at matagal nang ginagamit ng Department of Health, certified ng WHO na safe ang bakunang ito,” he assured.

The DOH is set to hold a special immunization activity within the region to curb the spread of measles infection. – Archyl Egano / Marje Pelayo

Tags: , ,

Probe on Samar misencounter to end on Wednesday – BOI

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Board of Inquiry (BOI) Head Police Director Ronaldo Felix

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Board of Inquiry (BOI) investigating the Samar misencounter between soldiers and policemen has set to end its probe on Wednesday (July 4).

Board of Inquiry (BOI) head Police Director Ronaldo Felix said they are just waiting for the result of the ballistic test from the crime laboratory on the firearms the soldiers used during the incident.

Felix, however, said they couldn’t tell yet if there is truth behind claims that the incident that happened in Sitio Lunoy, Barangay San Roque in Sta. Rita, Samar on June 25 was an ambush against policemen.

“Our focus is the aspect ng (of the) coordination, the aspect of what really transpired. Iyong mga minor details noon ay dapat sa special investigation task group (The minor details of the incident should be dealt by the special investigation task group),” Felix said.

Six members of the PNP Special Action Force were killed in the said misencounter while nine others were injured. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

Tags: ,

DILG assures no whitewash in probe over Samar misencounter

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) allayed fears of possible whitewash in the ongoing investigation into the deadly misencounter between soldiers and policemen in Sta. Rita, Samar.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured that persons responsible in the incident will face appropriate charges and that they will implement measures to ensure no recurrence of a similar incident.

“We will institute measures to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future and identify the responsible commanders why this misencounter happened,” Año said.

On Wednesday, members of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) inspected the area in Sta. Rita where policemen and soldiers exchanged fire.

Surviving policemen also accompanied the group to re-enact and provide details of the incident.

Initial investigation showed that the nearest soldier who fired against the policemen was situated around 12 to 13 meters away based on the recovered bullet shells.

“Hindi na ganoon iyong original na itsura nung pwesto or yung level nung visibility… may part na medyo marerecognize mo may mga part kung saan narecover yung mga shells ay medyo hindi,” described PDir. Rolando Felix, the head of the BOI.

PO1 Arafat Abah, one of the survivors, said the military should have been able to identify them as they were wearing uniforms.
“Sobrang lapit lang. Diyan kami nakapwesto bago magsimula iyong putukan. Imposible iyon na hindi kami makilala kasi iyong iba iyong bandolier may nakalagay na police,” recalled Abah.

“Sumisigaw ako ng pantakot nalang din sa kabila na forward, forward, putok, putok, putok walang aalis dito lang kasi kapag umalis kami dun babakbakan lang kami. Parang ini-offer lang iyong mga sarili namin para patayin,” recalled another survivor, PO1 Orlando Guino.

Año believes such incident should have been avoided with all the modern devices that the armed forces are using on the ground.

Meanwhile, relatives of the slain cops are set to receive P500,000 cash assistance from President Rodrigo Duterte which is apart from the burial assistance, monthly pension and livelihood offered to the spouses of the victims as well as education scholarship to their children. – Raymond Octubre / Marje Pelayo

Tags: , ,