PNP: Over 700 police under observation for possible COVID-19 infection

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 26, 2020   •   966

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has announced that over 700 police officers are under observation for possible coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.

According to PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa, 709 policemen are considered as persons under investigation (PUIs) while a police colonel and a patrolman already tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to this, Gamboa reminded policemen deployed in checkpoints to always wear personal protective equipment (PPEs) to prevent getting infected.

The PNP already implemented a ‘biosafety plan’ in all their camps to prevent the further spread of the virus among their ranks.

It includes a decontamination procedure for policemen who are manning the checkpoints.

Meanwhile, PNP Deputy Chief of Operations PLt.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar also advised the policemen stationed in checkpoints to also care for their safety while implementing the enhanced community quarantine.

“Lagi niyong tandaan na hindi dapat tayo ma-infect nito dahil kapag nangyari iyon, malaking problema kapag na-paralyze tayo (Always remember that we should not get infected because if that happens, it will become a huge problem if our operation is paralyzed),” he said.

He also reminded them not to let individuals from Metro Manila cross over the provinces. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Pangilinan seeks Senate probe on fatal shooting of 4 soldiers in Jolo

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan is calling for an inquiry into the killing of four soldiers by local policemen in Jolo, Sulu.

“Nakakabahala ang balitang ito. Ngayon pa lang na hindi pa batas ang anti-terror bill, may nangyayari nang ganito. Ano na lang ang laban ng ordinaryong tao?” Pangilinan said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday afternoon, June 29, four members of the Philippine Army were fatally shot by police officers some meters away from the Jolo police station.

The Army said the four soldiers were on an official mission and were tracking suspected suicide bombers  when they were accosted by the local police.

The soldiers, who had been wearing plain clothes, were said to have introduced themselves to the policemen. The cops allegedly told them to go with them to a nearby police station for identity verification.

Initial police report said that as their team and Army officers approached the police station, the soldiers’ vehicle allegedly sped off, prompting a car chase.

Police said they only defended themselves when the soldiers opened fire.

The Army disputed this claim, saying the soldiers did not try to escape and never fired a single shot towards police officers based on eye-witness accounts of two civilians and of a motorcycle-riding soldier who was part of the operation trailing the soldiers’ vehicle.

Pangilinan said the police and military have different versions of what happened, and an “independent and impartial” Senate probe will “help bring out the truth.”

“This incident is disturbing because it appears that the police are quick in pulling the trigger without careful judgment. If they can do this to their fellow uniformed men, how much more to the ordinary civilians who are unarmed and defenseless?” the senator said.

Nevertheless, Pangilinan called on military and police ground commanders to “rein in their men to preserve peace and avert escalation of tension between the armed personnel.”

“We should be going after the common enemy — terrorists, drug lords, armed groups, and in this time of the pandemic, COVID — not against each other,” Pangilinan said.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial probe into the incident.

The nine policemen involved in the incident, as well as the chief of Jolo police station have also been ordered relieved from their posts pending investigation.

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Former cop linked to kidnapping group nabbed in Bulacan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2020

The Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) on Monday (June 15) arrested a former police officer linked to the kidnapping group, Gapos Gang.

PNP-AKG Spokesperson PMaj. Rannie Lumactod said former PO3 Allan Formilleza was arrested in a subdivision in Barangay Caypombo, Sta. Maria in Bulacan.

Lumactod said Formilleza has a standing warrant of arrest for murder, estafa, and theft. He is also allegedly a member of Gapos Gang which targets officials from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

The group goes to the houses of their victims to steal or kidnap BIR members. Lumactod also reported that the group now has another mode of operation.

“Sa kalaunan nag-evolve ang kanilang grupo. Babanggain nila ang kanilang target sa kalsada or ika-cut nila. Ngayon kikidnapin na nila iyong BIR official, doon sila humihingi ng ransom (Eventually, the group evolved. They would hit their target or cut them on the road then they would kidnap the BIR official and ask for ransom),” he said.

Formilleza is currently detained at the PNP-AKG headquarters. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in PNP reach 414; deaths 7

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 15, 2020

The confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among the troops of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has reached 414 with seven deaths.

According to PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, two police officers succumbed to the virus, increasing the number of deaths to seven.

He also said that the PNP continues to remain vigilant to prevent the further spread of the virus among their ranks.

“Maging ang mga police frontliner natin ay hindi rin exempted sa pagkakasakit kaya po patuloy tayong nananawagan ng pag-iingat at pagsunod sa mga panuntunan ng general community quarantine (Even our police frontliners are not exempted from getting infected so we continue to call for vigilance and adherence to the general community quarantine protocols),” Banac said.

The PNP also recorded 240 COVID-19 recoveries while 17 are still recovering in their quarantine facilities. The rest of the COVID-19 patients, according to Banac, are in their homes awaiting full recovery. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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