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PNP takes custody of two suspects-turned-witnesses in Batocabe slay

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Batocabe murder crime scene | Photo courtesy of Daraga MPS

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Two suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Party list representative Rodel Batocabe have surrendered and are now under the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The two suspects were turned into witnesses for the information they know about the crime and according to Pnp Spokesperson PCSupt. Benigno Durana Jr., they are now being investigated.

“Ini-interview sila ngayon. Let’s see if out of these witnesses we can get suspects. Ongoing ang investigation,” Durana confirmed.

Durana said the testimony of the witnesses will help the authorities identify the rest of the suspects and hopefully the mastermind behind the crime.

“Their testimonies can shed light into the case and that it may or may not give us a positive lead that will lead us to the perpetrators including the mastermind,” Durana said.

A source told UNTV that the two suspects-turned-witnesses were former soldiers.

One of them was involved in the planning of Batocabe’s assassination while the other one was responsible for scouting potential gunmen.

According to the source, the two witnesses identified an Albay politician as the mastermind in the crime and the one who provided cash and motorcycles as getaway vehicles for the suspects.

They added that the politician’s personal driver was among those who helped the gunmen escape.

The two witnesses also revealed that said politician-mastermind offered P3 million pesos to the suspects to execute the killing of Cong. Batocabe.

Until now, they said, the mastermind has not yet paid them.

The two suspects-turned-witnesses surrendered as they wanted the P50 million pesos reward money.

Their decision was also out of fear for their safety.

The PNP and the Batocabe family, meanwhile, are set to file formal charges of murder and frustrated murder against the remaining six to eight suspects linked to the assassination of Rep. Batocabe. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP returns to normal operations as election period ends

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

The Philippine National Police has lowered its alert status as the election period comes to an end.

PNP spokesperson PCol. Bernard Banac said only a few areas that have reports of the presence of threat groups such as the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and communist groups, are still on full alert.

These include Police Regional Office 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Banac, however, stressed that these areas are not under security threat.

“Wala namang security threat sa naturang mga lugar, nakafull alert pa din ang mga lugar na yun dahil martial law,” Banac said.

Banac added the past election period has been generally peaceful and validated election-related incidents had been low as compared with the 2016 Presidential Elections. (with reports from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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PNP records 6,000 violators as election gun ban ends tomorrow

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Seized firearms from violators

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban will come to a close as the election period ends tomorrow, (June 12).

This gives way for gun owners to carry firearms outside of their homes as long as they have the permit to do so.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded more than six thousand violators of the gun ban since it was launched on January 13.

More than five thousand guns and close to fifty thousand deadly weapons were confiscated by the authorities.

PNP spokesperson PCol Bernard Banac said, “lahat ng mga ito ay nakalaboso at sinampahan ng kaukulang kaso. Doon naman sa mga pulis na lumabag ay meron po silang kinakaharap ngayon na kasong administratibo dahil sa paglabag sa ating mg alituntunin at patakaran [all of them were detained and were filed cases against. The police officers who violated (the gun ban), are now facing administrative cases for violating our rules and regulations].” (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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6 Abu Sayyaf members nabbed in separate NBI operations

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) presented to the media on Tuesday (June 11) six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who were arrested in separate operations last month.

The NBI said that the six were arrested in Taguig City, Balanga City in Bataan, and Zamboanga City on May 16 and 20.

NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said, “the six arrested were involved in various terrorist activities, ranging from ambush, kidnap for ransom, bombing in Southern Philippines, and recruitment of other members.”

He added that the arrest stemmed from the intelligence reports that they gathered and have led them to the whereabouts of Azmier Maalum in Taguig City.

The joint operations of the NBI, the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had led to the arrest of Maalum, along with Amar Assan, Musa Tahil Sampang, Jamil Ibrahim, Yong Aming, and Majuk Tahil Amil.

Maalum has several warrants of arrest for eight counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Golden Harvest plantation workers in Basilan in 2001, while Sampang was involved in several bombing incidents also in Basilan.

The NBI said the six had been recruiting members in Metro Manila. (with reports from April Cenedoza) /mbmf

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