PNP puts top officials under 3-month probation after major reshuffle

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2019   •   640

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has put on hold promotions as it placed all its key officials under three-month probation starting Monday, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa announced.

“Beginning today, all key positions are under probation for three months and all promotions will be on hold. I will make sure the ax will fall under where it should if these leaders will not deliver results,” Gamboa said in a media interview.

Gamboa made the announcement after a major reshuffle that moved more than 20 key officials, with General Oscar Albayalde’s move of stepping down as PNP chief and going on a non-duty status following accusations that he protected Pampanga policemen tagged in the ‘ninja cops’ issue.

The officials who were reassigned to new posts include former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Major General Amador Corpuz, who was designated as director of Human Resource and Doctrine Development; Brigadier General Dionardo Carlos as acting director of the Highway Patrol Group; former Manila Police District director Brigadier General Vincente Danao Jr. as Calabarzon police chief; and Brigadier general Rhodel Sermonia as deputy director of Directorate for Police Community Relations.

The PNP OIC said the revamp was implemented upon the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte during a Command Conference on Oct. 15 which tackled the controversy on ‘ninja cops’ and other issues facing the police force.

Gamboa said that after the probation period, another reshuffle may be implemented after its officials are re-evaluated in January.

“So, I’m also giving a chance to other officers to perform. That’s why, mag-reshuffle tayo, to have a fresh idea, fresh start, and then, we’ll see what you will do in the next three months,” he said.

Malacañang said the president agreed with the recommendation to revamp PNP key officials during the command conference last week.

“Any revamp will always be good for any organization after a while because mahirap yung magkakaroon ng ugat sa mga posisyon ninyo. Tama lang yun,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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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