PNP gives evacuees chance to check homes; patrols Taal Lake to bar anyone from fishing

Maris Federez   •   January 16, 2020   •   1151

Local resident Erwin Apilo walks near a damaged house in Agoncillo, Batangas, Philippines, 16 January 2020. EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is implementing maximum tolerance and permitted the evacuees who had been insisting to go back and check their homes despite the lockdown being implemented in several towns due to Taal Volcano’s continuous activities.

The five towns that had been locked down were Lemery, Agoncillo, Talisay, Laurel and Balete.

More than 2,000 police are stationed at the five towns’ entry and exit points.

PNP Calabarzon director PBGen. Vicente Danao, Jr. clarified that they only allowed those who have very important things to get back to in their homes, and only for a limited time.

“May limited time lang kaming ibinigay kasi sabi namin sa kanila hindi namin kayo dyan pwedeng payagan forever.  What is the use of evacuation kung lahat naman babalik? So, the same people naman na hahakutin na naman natin lahat e dapat siguro in every family isa, dalawa lang. Hindi yung buong pamilya ang babalik,” Danao said.

Army BGen. Marceliano Teofilo said it will create bigger problems for them if they will allow all residents to go back to their houses.

“Ang iba kasi nagbabalikan. Yun ang challenge na tinitake natin. Kaya yung mga pulis ay nag establish ng checkpoint para ma-avoid na nila ang pagpunta doon. Kasi ang inaavoid natin pag may pumasok. That would be another problem lalo na pag pumutok na, mahihirapan yung mga rescuer na pumasok din,” Teofilo said.

To date, around 1,000 military personnel and 99 vehicles are being used in the rescue operations.

The PNP-Maritime group is closely patrolling and strictly monitoring the Taal Lake for those who will try to fish.

“May patrol craft kami don na umiikot sa Taal Lake to make sure na walang bangka na lalaot towards the volcano at any civilian along the coastline. Wala dapat makikitang civilian along the coastline,” said PNP-Maritime director PBGen. Rwin Pagkalinawan.

They are also conducting rescue operations on animals that were left behind by their owners.

“In order to appease those owners, sige ikarga natin sa barges yung inyong mga kabayo, aso at baka para lamang umalis kayo dyan,” Pagkalinawan added.

In total, around 29 horses and 3 cows were rescued since Wednesday (Jan. 15).

Authorities appeal to the public to cooperate on the rules that they are implementing to avoid dangers and untoward incidents. — (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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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