PNP says POGO hubs near police, military camps pose no threat to nat’l security

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019   •   666

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde on Friday said that Chinese-dominated Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) hubs near police and military installations so far do not pose threat to the country’s security.

Albayalde told reporters in an interview at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City that foreign businesses usually consider setting up office near a police or military camp for security purposes.

“Ang pinaka-common action ng mga ‘yan ay to find a place nearest to a police station o nearest to a police camp for security reason sa kanila din,” he said.

Albayalde made the remark following concerns raised by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana over the growing presence of Chinese-staffed online gaming hubs and the risks its proximity poses to military and police installations.

Some POGO hubs are located near the headquarters of the Philippine Army in Taguig, the Philippine Air force in Pasay and the Philippine Navy in Manila. Other online gaming hubs are located near the headquarters of the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City.

“Kung ikaw ay negosyante, kung ikaw ay merong pwesto or facility na malapit doon sa police station o sa kampo you are already safe,” he said.

Malacañang earlier said it sees nothing wrong with the location of POGO hubs if this means foreign workers’ rights will be better protected.

“Military camps? Eh di lalong magaling kung military camps dahil binabantayan sila ng military for their protection,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

However, the PNP chief earlier pointed out that too many POGO hubs near police and military offices might be detrimental to the national security. (RRD with details from correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP to implement 50-50 work scheme due to COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement a 50-50 work scheme among personnel who are based at the national headquarters in Camp Crame.

This is due to the rising number of PNP personnel who have become patients under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

The 50-50 work scheme would use 50 percent or the first batch of personnel to go on duty at the administrative office until April 19 while the second batch will go on duty from April 20 to May 3.

According to a memorandum issued on April 4, the heads of offices/units with essential functions shall determine the work scheme applicable to the personnel, as long as they should observe a 14-day self-quarantine/isolation as part of the PNP’s health protocol.

“Maaaring magpatupad sila ng kani-kanilang scheduling para hindi naman maapektuhan ang ating normal functions,” said PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac.

Meanwhile, police personnel who are aged 45 years old and above will have to be pulled out from the checkpoint areas.

“Mas vulnerable sila sa COVID-19 (They are more vulnerable to COVID-19),” Banac said.

The PNP will also launch Admin Support to COVID-19 Task Force (ASCoTF) to ensure an organized and speedy logistics, response, and development of frontliners.

The PNP has already recorded 19 police personnel that tested positive for COVID-19 with two deaths.

The total number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the PNP has already reached more than 1,300. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP-ACG nabs fake doctor for selling overpriced, unregistered medical equipment

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) has arrested a fake doctor and her live-in partner for selling overpriced and unregistered medical equipment.

In a statement, the Regional ACG 4A arrested Tristan Joy Banaag Calip on Sunday (April 5) and her partner Jefferson Abundo Castillo for selling 20 boxes of China-made infrared thermometers for P4,500 a piece and 21 boxes of surgical masks for P1,500 per box.

The said medical equipment were found to be unregistered due to the lack of Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) stickers.

“Aside from profiteering off heightened demand for medical equipment, Calip was found to be falsely representing herself as a medical doctor,” the PNP statement said.

The two will face charges for violation of The Price Act, The Consumer Act and Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DICT, PNP to launch ‘Kontra Peke’ to combat fake news on COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 6, 2020

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are set to create Task Force COVID Kontra Peke” to prevent the spread of fake news on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Task Force COVID Kontra Peke is a group tasked with preventing and reporting fake news.

According to DICT Assistant Secretary for Digital Philippines, Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic, the department is willing to lend their expertise to the PNP.

“We cannot take fake news lightly, as it threatens peace and order as well as safety of our society, especially during this time of national emergency,” he said.

The DICT’s Cybersecurity Bureau (CSB) through the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-PH) is charged with technical assistance on information sharing and analysis for the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

PNP Deputy Chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar previously lamented the spread of fake news amid the COVID-19 threat in the country. He called on the public to refrain from proliferating misinformation and fake news on social media and other online platforms. AAC

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