PNP: Another Pampanga ‘ninja cop’ dismissed from service

Robie de Guzman   •   November 4, 2019   •   554

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it has dismissed another policeman linked to a controversial anti-narcotics raid in Pampanga in 2013.

PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said he ordered the dismissal of Lieutenant Joven de Guzman over a May 2019 anti-drug operation in Antipolo City, Rizal, which also involved six other police officers.

“I have ordered the dismissal from police service of Police Lieutenant Joven de Guzman of Antipolo City Police Station who led a team of seven PNP personnel that figured in a highly irregular activity in Antipolo City early this year and were recommended for dismissal by the Internal Affairs Service as a consequence of their actions,” Gamboa said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

The PNP OIC said De Guzman was dismissed after he ordered a review of his case.

De Guzman was initially penalized with only a 59-day suspension because the less grave neglect of duty filed against him was not enough for him to be punished with dismissal from service.  

As part of due process, Gamboa said De Guzman can still appeal the dismissal order.

“Without his participation, the case went ahead. And it’s not even required by law that he will answer. So, ‘pag hindi siya sumagot, ibig sabihin, wala siyang bagong ebidensya na iprisinta,” he said.

The other six police officers involved in the Antipolo raid have already been removed from police service.

Three of these officers, as well as De Guzman were among the 13 police officers tagged as ‘ninja cops’ for allegedly recycling illegal drugs seized from an operation in Mexico town in Pampanga. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Duterte to meet with AFP, PNP commanders following Jolo incident

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to fly to Mindanao to meet with top officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the wake of the killing of four soldiers by policemen in Jolo, Sulu last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.

Año, however, did not disclose the date and place of the president’s upcoming meeting with police and military commanders.

The Interior Secretary, who supervises the PNP, also said that Duterte may possibly talk to nine policemen involved in the shooting of soldiers.

“The president is going to the south to talk to our PNP and AFP commanders, sabi ko nga kung may time pa siya ay kakausapin niya yung mga suspek,” Año said.

Malacañang said the president was saddened by the incident between the police and military officers.

He has also ordered for the National Bureau of Investigation to expedite the release of its probe findings.

The Palace also denied that the incident is the result of the alleged state-sponsored extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration as claimed by former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Hindi po natin kinukunsinte ang patayan kaya nga po masinsinang imbestigasyon ang ginagawa natin dito sa pagpatay sa 4 na sundalo sa hukbong sandatahan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Año echoed Roque’s statement as he assured that those responsible for the Jolo incident will be held accountable.

“Extrajudicial killing is not the policy of this government and the Sulu incident, we will exact justice and make sure those responsible shall be accountable, umasa kayo diyan. Ako mismo ang personal na nag-follow up ng kaso,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Pangilinan seeks Senate probe on fatal shooting of 4 soldiers in Jolo

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan is calling for an inquiry into the killing of four soldiers by local policemen in Jolo, Sulu.

“Nakakabahala ang balitang ito. Ngayon pa lang na hindi pa batas ang anti-terror bill, may nangyayari nang ganito. Ano na lang ang laban ng ordinaryong tao?” Pangilinan said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday afternoon, June 29, four members of the Philippine Army were fatally shot by police officers some meters away from the Jolo police station.

The Army said the four soldiers were on an official mission and were tracking suspected suicide bombers  when they were accosted by the local police.

The soldiers, who had been wearing plain clothes, were said to have introduced themselves to the policemen. The cops allegedly told them to go with them to a nearby police station for identity verification.

Initial police report said that as their team and Army officers approached the police station, the soldiers’ vehicle allegedly sped off, prompting a car chase.

Police said they only defended themselves when the soldiers opened fire.

The Army disputed this claim, saying the soldiers did not try to escape and never fired a single shot towards police officers based on eye-witness accounts of two civilians and of a motorcycle-riding soldier who was part of the operation trailing the soldiers’ vehicle.

Pangilinan said the police and military have different versions of what happened, and an “independent and impartial” Senate probe will “help bring out the truth.”

“This incident is disturbing because it appears that the police are quick in pulling the trigger without careful judgment. If they can do this to their fellow uniformed men, how much more to the ordinary civilians who are unarmed and defenseless?” the senator said.

Nevertheless, Pangilinan called on military and police ground commanders to “rein in their men to preserve peace and avert escalation of tension between the armed personnel.”

“We should be going after the common enemy — terrorists, drug lords, armed groups, and in this time of the pandemic, COVID — not against each other,” Pangilinan said.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial probe into the incident.

The nine policemen involved in the incident, as well as the chief of Jolo police station have also been ordered relieved from their posts pending investigation.

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4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members killed in Parañaque raid

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Four suspected members of terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in a raid launched by government security forces in Don Bosco, Parañaque City past Friday midnight.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) identified the suspects as Bensaudi Sali alias “Boy,” his wife Merhama Abdul Sawari alias “Mheng,” Rasin Hussin alias “Boscon,” and Jamal Kalliming alias “Pando.”

According to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) regional director Major General Debold Sinas, the four suspects died during the raid jointly conducted by elements from the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Sinas said the team tried to serve a search warrant at the house of the suspects in Better Living Subdivision at 12:26 a.m. when the suspects engaged law enforcers in a firefight.

The security forces retaliated which eventually led to the killing of the suspects.

The police and military said the operation stemmed from the information they received about the presence of members of Daulah Islamiyah, who were tagged as a financial conduit of Daesh-East Asia, in Parañaque City.

Daulah Islamiyah is a faction of the ASG that is affiliated with the Islamic State.

The search warrant against the suspects was issued by Judge Noemi Balitaan of the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 258 for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

According to reports from the AFP and the PNP, the suspects’ profiles are as follows:

  • Sali was tagged as a member of ASG/Daulah Islamiyah in Sulu. He was a native of Jolo and had been working as a security guard in a residential condominium in Parañaque.
  • His wife, Sawari was tagged as ASG/Daulah Islamiyah-Sulu group’s finance and logislitics facilitator. She was said to be the recipient of money remittance from Indonesian ISEA facilitator Yoga Fabrianto who was arrested in Sabah on June 2019.
  • Hussin and Kalliming, who were also both working as security guards like Sali, were alleged cohorts of the two ASG members.

The military said that after the operation, authorities recovered from the site three blasting caps, different kinds of wire, two bottles of white and brownish granules (suspected explosives), two revolvers and two pistols with live ammunition, two black ISIS flags, two hand grenades, one M16 rifle, and one electric match.

The PNP said the encounter also resulted in the wounding of Police Corporal Ehrol Gamboa, who is now receiving treatment for the gunshot wounds he sustained on both legs.

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa said crime scene investigators are thoroughly sifting through the recovered evidence while a complete investigation has been ordered into the circumstances surrounding the presence of the alleged Abu Sayyaf members in Metro Manila. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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