PNP chief Sinas orders probe on Kalinga road crash

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021   •   373

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas on Monday ordered an investigation into a road accident that killed 13 people, including children, in Kalinga on Sunday.

Sinas directed the Cordillera Police to look into the incident as he reminded motorists to strictly observe load limits and maximum passenger capacity in private and public vehicles.

He also ordered the PNP Highway Patrol Group to strictly enforce regulations against overloading and other transportation policies.

Sinas’ directive comes after 13 individuals died when their vehicle fell into an irrigation canal in Tabuk City, Kalinga.

The vehicle was driven by Soy Lope Agtula who was identified as a personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Initial investigation showed that Agtula and his passengers were heading to Bulo Lake from Tadian Mt. Province.

The vehicle was carrying 15 people.

Twelve of the victims were rushed to Mija Kim Medical Center but were declared dead on arrival, while three others were brought to the Kalinga Provincial Hospital (KPH) where one of them died.

Two passengers survived the incident, authorities said.

“I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of these victims. May their souls be at peace and I hope that our Creator brings you the much-needed peace during these trying times,” Sinas said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP begins probe on death of ex-mayor Sabal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has begun its investigation on the death of Montasser Sabal, former mayor of Talitay town in Maguindanao.

“This operation which resulted in a death of a suspect, the Internal Affairs Service through their motu propio investigation will be conducting an investigation so we provided directive or guidance to the IAS just like any other operation that resulted in the death of the suspect,” according to PNP Chief P.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.

Sabal was killed on Thursday after allegedly grabbing the service firearm of a police escort during his transport to Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Authorities were escorting Sabal towards the National Capital Region Field Unit of the CIDG at Camp Crame when he grabbed his police escort’s firearm.

Police heavily wounded Sabal and he was rushed to San Juan Medical Center. He was declared dead Thursday morning.

To remove any suspicion, Eleazar directed the motu propio investigation. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Former Maguindanao mayor on ‘narcolist’ killed after grabbing police escort’s gun

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former Talitay, Maguindanao mayor, Montasser Sabal, was killed during the operation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday after allegedly grabbing the service firearm of a police escort during his transport to Camp Crame in Quezon City.

PNP Chief P.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Sabal is one of the high-value targets.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested Sabal on Wednesday (June 16) at the Batangas Port in Batangas City.

The PNP said he was wanted for drug and illegal possession of firearms charges. Eleazar also said that Sabal is included in the ‘narcolist’.

“Isa siya sa kino-consider natin na high value target (We consider him a high-value target) considering he was a former police officer, recruited and trained by special action force on explosive ordnance disposal and sniper course,” he said.

During Sabal’s arrest, authorities recovered six high-caliber firearms, 400 grams of suspected illegal drugs, and P200,000 cash.

Authorities were escorting Sabal towards the National Capital Region Field Unit of the CIDG at Camp Crame when he grabbed his police escort’s firearm while onboard the vehicle which resulted in a scuffle.

Sabal was able to shoot the police officer beside him which prompted the accompanying police officer to use reasonable force.

“Sabal tried to escape by grabbing the firearm of his police escort the scuffle between the suspect and the police escort resulted in the latter to hit and fatally wounded Sabal, the suspect was rushed at San Juan Medical Center but declared dead at around 6:13 in the morning,” Eleazar said.

The PNP Chief also added that the confiscated firearms from Sabal might probably be used during the 2022 national elections.

“Another possible attempt by a partisan armed group to beef up armaments as they prepared for the coming 2022 election,” according to Eleazar.

Sabal was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman and eventually suspended for failure to disclose his properties and business interests in his SALN from 2011 to 2015.

Meanwhile, Sabal’s cohorts will undergo an investigation to determine appropriate cases to be filed against them.

PNP nabs alleged big-time gun runner in Cavite

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2021

 MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Police authorities have arrested an individual allegedly involved in the illegal sale of firearms online, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar identified the alleged gun runner as John Christian Bautista, 33, and a resident of Barangay Bucandala IV, Imus, Cavite

Eleazar said Bautista was arrested after the Northern Police District (NPD) Special Operations Unit received information about a transaction for the sale of loose firearms in a Facebook chat group.

Upon validation of the information, police operatives then arranged a meeting with the seller for the purchase of guns at the Metropolitan Petron Gas Station along Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City at around 11:00 AM of June 15, 2021.

The entrapment operation resulted in the arrest of Bautista and the confiscation of the following firearms:

  • Thompson submachine gun cal .45 M1 SN 175291 with one magazine
  • MGV 176 Cal .22 LR SN 3037
  • STI 9mm with SN# KF 11205
  • Cobra Special Cal .38-no serial no.
  • Cal .40 Smith and Wesson with SN NEH 8367
  • Cal .45 COLT 38720

Follow-up operations by the NPD at the suspect’s residence resulted in the voluntary surrender of Bautista’s wife and the confiscation of more loose firearms:

  • Assault Riffle FMK F/A (Tactical) Infant
  • One Shotgun Mossberg T 851464
  • One AK SN-A 502975
  • One MA Carbine Cal. 5.56 MM SN 123561
  • One US Carbine Defaced SN
  • One .22 TCM SN TR008777
  • One Sniper Riffle SN Defaced
  • One Performance STR SW-SN Defaced
  • One Taurus SN NDX 91540
  • Assorted Box of Ammunition; Assorted Ammunition; Assorted Magazine

Eleazar said Bautista’s arrest would “reduce the proliferation of loose firearms and incidents of gun-related violence in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and nearby provinces.”

He also commended the efforts of local police and the public’s help in the operation.

“Malaking bagay ang tulong ng publiko upang mapanatili ng ating mga kapulisan ang kaayusan sa ating mga komunidad,” Eleazar said.

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