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PNP: Liquor ban for May 13 polls to start on Sunday

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019

A 48-hour liquor ban will be imposed from May 12 to 13 in time for the Midterm National and Local Elections on Monday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

The PNP said the liquor ban would take effect from 12:01 a.m. of May 12 until 12 midnight of May 13.

The ban includes drinking and selling of alcohol in stores.

“Ito ay bahagi ng ating security preparation na ipinatutupad para magkaroon tayo ng mapayapa at maayos na halalan sa Lunes,” PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said in a press briefing on Thursday.

Aside from the liquor ban, the PNP has been enforcing a gun ban, prohibiting the transportation or bearing of firearms and other deadly weapons during the election period from January 13 to June 12.

As of May 8, a total of 5,316 individuals have been arrested for violating the election gun ban, and more than 4,000 firearms and 42,000 other deadly weapons were confiscated.

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TESDA exec with alleged links to Abu Sayyaf Group nabbed

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A high-ranking official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) was nabbed in a joint operation by soldiers and police for illegal possession of explosives in Isabela City, Basilan.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Regional Field Unit 9 Chief PCol. Tom Tuzon said the suspect was identified as Muida Hataman, TESDA’s provincial director based in Basilan, believed to have links with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Police Colonel Bernard Banac said Hataman was arrested early morning on Tuesday (June 25) at Barangay San Rafael in Isabela City as a warrant for her arrest was being served.

Seized from the suspect several materials in making explosives such as blasting cap, chemical ingredients, four cellular phones, and two laptop devices.

“Ang suspek ay kasalukuyang nasa kustodiya ng CIDG Region 9 at sumasailalim na po sa imbestigasyon at patuloy na inaalam ang posible pang kasamahan at iba pang gamit sa pampasabog na maaari pang nakatago sa ibang lugar,” PNP Spokesperson PCol. Banac said.

(The suspect is currently under the custody of the CIDG Region 9 and is now being investigated. [Authorities] are looking into some of her possible cohorts and other explosive materials that are still being kept somewhere.)

While the CIDG already received information that Hataman is connected to an ASG sub-unit, authorities are still verifying information regarding her identity as the investigation goes on.

“Patuloy pang inaalam ng mga taga CIDG kung ano ang kanyang background, kung meron ba siyang kinalaman sa grupong ASG at (kung) mayroong kamag anak at bakit nasa possession niya ang mga naturang gamit pampasabog,” Banac said.

(CIDG personnel are still verifying her background – if she has links to the ASG, any relative and why she was in possession of bomb making paraphernalia.)

Hataman is believed to be the wife of ASG sub leader Radzmir Janatul. – (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP-HPG says Makati to Cubao in 5 minutes is possible if…

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) on Monday said it is looking at several measures to meet the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte in reducing the travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati City to five minutes.

PNP-HPG Director Brigadier General Robert Fajardo said that in order to comply with Duterte’s order to shorten the travel time, they are looking at closing down all bus terminals along Edsa, transferring all bus barriers and motorcycle lane to decongest Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

“‘Yung motorcycle lane ay nasa fast lane, kaya imo-move natin ito dito sa pangatlong lane, para yung fast lane ay talagang mabilis, hindi nag-aagawan. At yung motorcycles hindi nakikipag-patintero sa mga sasakyan,” he said.

The President earlier said the travel time from Cubao to Makati will be shortened to five minutes by December.

According to Fajardo, the five-minute travel is possible during off-peak hours, adding that he completed the simulation from Guadalupe to Cubao within 4 minutes and 58 seconds.

The simulation was conducted early in the morning with a motorcycle escort.

“Wala namang sinabi si Presidente kung anong oras at anong araw so kaya,” he said.

When asked if the 5-minute travel is possible without a police escort, Fajardo said this may be done if motorists will travel around 1:00 a.m.

During the sidelines of the “Angkas Pilot Run” in Quezon City, Fajardo admitted to reporters that the chief executive’s directive was a tall order but they will do their best to help the government achieve its goal.

“We will try our best to comply with the orders of the president,” Fajardo said.

He also said they are now working with the MMDA and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in resolving heavy traffic along Edsa.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earlier said that traveling from Cubao to Makati within 5-minutes is “mathematically impossible.” (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP intel officer dies after ambush in Quezon City

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

The body of 49-year-old Police Staff Sergeant Fernando Diamzon after he was shot by two suspects riding a motorcycle.

A Philippine National Police (PNP) intelligence officer was shot dead near Camp Crame in Quezon City Friday morning (June 21).

According to Cubao Police Station Commander PLtCol. Giovanni, 49-year-old Police Staff Sergeant Fernando Diamzon just left Camp Crame on a motorcycle with his colleague.

Two suspects, also riding a motorcycle, approached them and shot Diamzon seven times. His colleague, meanwhile, was unharmed.

“According doon sa witness natin, initially may narinig siyang putok akala nga nila noong una ay galing sa gulong nila. Pagkatapos ng putok na galing sa likod ay nakita na lang niya na may sumulpot sa unahan niya habang moving sila ay may pumutok pa sa unahan. We are looking for two suspects on board a motorcycle, (Our witness said, he initially heard gunshots which they thought came from their tires. Afterwards, he saw [a motorcycle] drove past them and began shooting),” he said.

The suspects were able to escape immediately after shooting the victim.

Caliao added that the investigation is still ongoing and the suspects might have been monitoring the suspects because they seemed to know when Diamzon’s shift ends.

“Tinitingnan po natin dito iyong anggulo since PNP member siya ay tinitingnan po natin iyong work related, pero hindi po natin inaalis ang possibility na may iba pang anggulo o motibo, (We are looking into other angles. Since he is a PNP member, we are studying if it is work related. However, we are not dismissing other angles),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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