PNP Chief relieves Negros Oriental top cops over farmers’ killing

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2019   •   1861

Remains of two of the 14 farmers who were killed in a police operation on March 30, 2019 in Negros Oriental

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Oscar Albayalde has ordered the relief of Negros Oriental’s top policeman as well as police chiefs of three towns over the death of 14 local farmers during a string of operations.

The incident occurred at dawn last Saturday after authorities served arrest warrants to suspected criminals who allegedly fought back.

Ordered to be relieved from their posts were Negros Oriental police chief Col. Raul Taraca, Canlaon City police chief Lt. Col. Patricio Degay, Manjuyod police chief Lt. Kevin Mamaradlo and Sta. Catalina police chief Capt. Michael Rubia.

The relief order was issued to give way to the investigation in connection with the bloody operation.

“Yes, we are expecting it. We are open for further investigation, however, we have also directed our Regional IAS (Internal Affairs Service) to conduct their own investigation for that incident,” said Police Regional Office 7 Regional Director BGen. Debold Sinas.

Makabayan Solons and Human rights advocate earlier tagged the incident as a massacre. They also called for an investigation into the incident, noting that claims of resisting arrest “need to be tried before courts to ensure that there are no lapses and ascertain if the circumstances really warrant the offense from the police.”

Malacañang on Monday insisted that the operation conducted by police against loose firearm and suspected hitmen and supporters of the New People’s Army was legitimate.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, believes police should be given the chance to prove the claim that the police operation was indeed legal.

“Huwag tayong madala doon sa mga propaganda because you may have noticed ‘yung mga maiingay ’yung mga tinatawag nating front organizations,” he said. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Ryan Mallari)

PNP confirms female suicide bomber in Indanan, Sulu blast

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed that the suicide bomber responsible for the Indanan, Sulu blast on September 8, 2019 was a female.

According to PNP Deputy Spokesperson Police Lt. Col. Kimberly Molitas, the DNA test conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory revealed that the human tissue, flesh and bone specimen recovered from the blast site was similar to a female DNA profile.

But the official clarified that the PNP has no way to determine the identity and the nationality of the suicide bomber because the Crime Laboratory has no equipment yet to do it.

“Remaining specimen and extracted DNA material is currently stored at PNP Crime Laboratory 11, DNA laboratory in Davao,” Molitas said. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

PNP prepares to launch manhunt ops for GCTA-freed convicts still at large

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it has formed tracker teams in preparation for the manhunt operations against beneficiaries of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law who will fail to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s 15-day deadline.

The PNP said the 121 tracker teams formed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) will be deployed at the end of the 15-day period, which will be on Sept. 19.

There are only six days left before the deadline lapses.

“Nag-organize na agad tayo ng mga teams ng CIDG sa bawat regional offices sa mga provincials at cities,” PNP-CIDG deputy director for administration Police Brigadier General Bernabe Balba told UNTV News in a phone interview.

The president on Sept. 4 ordered convicts who were freed early for good behavior to present themselves within the said period to the nearest police station or to the military.

This is for the investigation and recomputation of their good conduct credits whether they are eligible to avail of the law.

Duterte warned they will be treated as fugitives if they fail to surrender within the given period.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier said it is eyeing to get the help of the International Police (INTERPOL) in arresting heinous crimes convicts freed due to GCTA. This is after they received information that some of the 1,914 released convicts have already left the country.

READ: DILG eyes Interpol, ASEAN police aid in catching GCTA-freed convicts abroad

Balba said that as early as now, tracker teams have started perusing the list of freed heinous criminals who are still at large, as well as their personal information in order to locate their possible whereabouts.

“Even before the deadline ay tumutulong na tayo na malocate at meron din namang namang nagsu-surrender in fact as of today ay nakapagtala na tayo ng 47 surrenderers sa CIDG,” he said.

Data from the PNP showed that as of 6 a.m. Friday, around 353 heinous crimes convicts freed due to GCTA have surrendered to authorities.

Of this number, 115 were convicted for murder while 108 were involved in rape cases.

Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) Regional Police Office has the highest number of surrenderers with 51 followed by Cagayan Valley (Police Regional Office 2) with 35.

The PNP said 234 of the total number of surrendered convicts have been turned over to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP to look into illegal drugs as possible motive for attack on ex-governor Espino

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will look into illegal drugs as possible motive for the ambush on former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr.

The PNP said they are looking into all possible motives for the attack which include Espino’s campaign against illegal drugs during his term.

“Ang lahat ng ito ay tinitingnan ng mga posibleng anggulo. Wala pa naman talagang matukoy kung ano talagang dahilan (We are looking at all possible angles. We still haven’t figure out the real motive),” according to PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac.

“Maaaring may mga sindikato na maaaring naapektuhan ng kanyang kampanya na iyan (There may be crime syndicates that were affected by his campaign),” Banac added.

READ: Former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino hurt in ambush

Espino is already in a stable condition after sustaining bullet wounds on his arm and body.

One of his three wounded bodyguards, on the other hand, remains in critical condition.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

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