PNP conducts manhunt vs Acierto, 7 others

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 25, 2019   •   2605

Former police official Eduardo Acierto

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has conducted a manhunt against ex-policeman Eduardo Acierto and seven others.

This was after they received the warrant of arrest ordered by the Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 24). Acierto and seven others were indicted due to their alleged involvement in the smuggling of billions worth of illegal drugs concealed inside magnetic lifters.

According to PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde, the tracker team of the CIDG has begun searching possible areas where they can find Acierto.

The seven individuals are former Customs Intelligence Officer Jimmy Guban and former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Deputy Director for Administration Ismael Fajardo; importers Chan Yee Wah, alias KC Chan; Zhou Quan, alias Zhang Quan; consignees Vedasto Cabral Baraquel Jr. and Maria Lagrimas Catipan of Vecaba Trading; and Emily Luquingan.

They are facing charges for unlawful importation of illegal drugs pursuant to Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

READ: Acierto releases matrix showing Michael Yang’s links to drug trade

Acierto linked former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, and his business partner, Allan Lim to illegal drug trade in the country.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP says POGO hubs near police, military camps pose no threat to nat’l security

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde on Friday said that Chinese-dominated Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) hubs near police and military installations so far do not pose threat to the country’s security.

Albayalde told reporters in an interview at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City that foreign businesses usually consider setting up office near a police or military camp for security purposes.

“Ang pinaka-common action ng mga ‘yan ay to find a place nearest to a police station o nearest to a police camp for security reason sa kanila din,” he said.

Albayalde made the remark following concerns raised by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana over the growing presence of Chinese-staffed online gaming hubs and the risks its proximity poses to military and police installations.

Some POGO hubs are located near the headquarters of the Philippine Army in Taguig, the Philippine Air force in Pasay and the Philippine Navy in Manila. Other online gaming hubs are located near the headquarters of the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City.

“Kung ikaw ay negosyante, kung ikaw ay merong pwesto or facility na malapit doon sa police station o sa kampo you are already safe,” he said.

Malacañang earlier said it sees nothing wrong with the location of POGO hubs if this means foreign workers’ rights will be better protected.

“Military camps? Eh di lalong magaling kung military camps dahil binabantayan sila ng military for their protection,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

However, the PNP chief earlier pointed out that too many POGO hubs near police and military offices might be detrimental to the national security. (RRD with details from correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP warns of ‘tokhang’ for security firms keeping high powered firearms

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

File photo: Assault machine guns

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police Civil Security Group (PNPCSG) warns security agencies of facing ‘tokhang’ if they will not surrender all high-powered firearms in their possession.

According to PNP-CSG Director Police Brigadier General Roberto Fajardo, since May 20, 2017, the law prohibits civilians from owning high-powered firearms especially those who are not members of the PNP and the military.

Only government law enforcers including members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are allowed to possess one.

Security guards, on the other hand, are allowed to possess shotguns.

“We will issue cease to operate at hindi namin ire-renew yung kanilang license to operate (we will not renew their license to operate),” warned Police BGen. Roberto Fajardo.

“I-tokhang na natin yang may mga high powered firearms na i-surrender, kasi ang tokhang ay pakiusap e na iturn over yung kanilang high powered, so itokhang natin (We will place them under tokhang if they will not surrender their high-powered firearms. Tokhang is ‘knock and plead’ so we will ask them to surrender them),” the PNP CSG director added.

Meanwhile, Fajardo noted that they will investigate why security firm AY-Security Specialist Incorporated in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental still owns high-powered firearms.

The firearms were discovered when members of the New People’s Army (NPA) stormed the security agency and robbed about five units of AK-47 in August 19.

“(Si) President na ang nag utos na wala dapat high powered firearms ang mga different security agencies (No less than the President ordered that security agencies should not be safekeeping high-powered firearms),” Fajardo said.

“Unang-una kasi hindi naman sila trained to use high powered firearms so ire-revoke namin yung mga licenses (Primarily because they are not trained to use high-powered firearms so we will revoke their licenses),” he added.

The official assured that government troops are continuously hunting the rebels who took the firearms from the agency. Apart from the AK-47 units, the rebels also took several magazines and ammunitions as well as a handheld radio device. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

PNP denies alleged militarization of campuses

Marje Pelayo   •   August 20, 2019

Student activists at the University of the Philippines oppose the proposed presence of police and military in school campuses.

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald dela Rosa is suggesting that universities and colleges should welcome the military and police and allow them to conduct their respective indoctrination.

The proposal is to curb the recruitment and brainwashing of students being practiced by the rebel group, New People’s Army (NPA).

But according to Police Chief General Oscar Albayalde, such recommendation was given a different interpretation by militant youth groups.

“This is misunderstood and medyo overreaction ang mga militanteng grupo. There is no such thing as militarization of a campus,” Albayalde said.

Albayalde insists that cops do not enter the school premises unless they have official business inside as stated in the agreement between the University of the Philippines, the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the government specifically the Department of National Defense that police and military personnel are off limits inside campuses unless approved by the university administration.

“Itong mga militanteng grupo, they are trying to abuse that charter. Kami naman, we can freely enter the campus of UP even today,” the Police Chief noted.

Meanwhile, the PNP respects U.P. students’ decision to hold a day of walkout on Tuesday (August 20) citing their right to assembly provided that it is in accordance with the law. – MNP (with details from April Cenedoza)

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