PNP, PDEA to comply with Duterte’s order to destroy seized illegal drugs in a week

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2020   •   179

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to destroy confiscated illegal drugs in one week.

PNP chief Police General Camilo Cascolan said they have already coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the procedure in the immediate destruction of the illegal drugs in compliance with the president’s directive.

“Actually, napag-usapan na namin yan dati ng PDEA. Okay naman, actually within three days dapat yun ang usapan, within three days dapat wala na yan, susunugin na yan,” Cascolan said.

In a public address late Monday night, Duterte said all illegal drugs seized from anti-drug operation, no matter its volume, should be eradicated in a week.

PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva, for his part, said they have been conducting destruction of seized dangerous drugs.

“Gumagalaw na kami para ma-beat itong one week niya. Pero actually, ginawa na natin yan last time noong nag-destroy tayo noong August,” Villanueva said, referring to the destruction of P13.36 billion worth of illegal drugs destroyed in a facility in Trece Martires town in Cavite.

The PDEA chief also bared they were supposed to destroy 800 kilograms of dangerous drugs this October but a local court decided to move it to November due to conflict of schedule.

Around 700 more kilograms of dangerous drugs from archived cases are also set for destruction, he added.

Villanueva likewise stressed that there is a procedure that must be followed in the destruction of illegal drugs and the process cannot proceed if representatives from the court, media, and officials of concerned barangays are not present.

“Hindi naman natin ma-destroy kasi walang accused, representative of the accused, so hindi pwede i-destroy. Marami tayong nire-resolve ngayon. Pipilitin namin na one week matapos yung kay president,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Police to file raps vs BIFF over Datu Piang attack

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to file criminal charges against two leaders and several members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the attack in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao on Thursday night.

The PNP on Friday said charges for attempted murder, arson (damage to government property), indiscriminate firing, damage to property, and grave threats and intimidation are being prepared against the suspects.

Police identified Salahudin Hasan alias Salah, and Muhiden Animbang Indong alias Commander Karialan as leaders of the group of 50 individuals who attacked the town around 9:25 p.m. on Thursday.

No casualty was reported but the suspects allegedly set a police vehicle on fire.

Authorities said the incident is currently being jointly investigated by the police and military.

Police said nearby municipal police stations have been alerted in case the BIFF launches another harassment.

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Duterte to consider AFP stand against holiday ceasefire with Reds – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will consider the position of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against declaring a ceasefire with communist rebels this holiday season, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte normally “gives a lot of weight” on the recommendations of the military.

“Pakikinggan po ‘yan, but ultimately it’s only the President who will decide,” he said during a press briefing.

AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo earlier said the military will not recommend a holiday truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, due to the rebels’ “incapacity for sincerity.”

“This was the AFP’s painful experience where the communist terrorist group reneged from their own ceasefire declaration by attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions,” Arevalo said.

“During the incumbency of a truce, these terrorists continued their extortion activities and committed crimes of murder, arson, and the likes,” he added.

Arevalo, however, said that the AFP would support whatever the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte will be despite their position on the matter.

Last year, the government and the CPP-NPA both declared a truce during the holiday season, from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz and Lea Ylagan)

Duterte to attend virtual UN General Assembly on COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.

The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.

During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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