PNP to ramp up drive vs selling of entry permits to foreigners, fake vaccination cards

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2021   •   382

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Friday ordered the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to step up its campaign against the selling of fake entry permits to foreigners, and fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and RT-PCR results.

Eleazar issued the order following reports received by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) from the victims of the alleged illegal practice wherein scammers would refer them to an immigration officer to facilitate the foreigner’s entry, only to find that the point person was non-existent.

The BI earlier clarified that it has never been its policy to offer entry permits via social media.

“Titiyakin natin na mananagot ang mga taong ito dahil hindi katanggap-tanggap na nakukuha pa nilang magsamantala sa kabila ng mga pagsubok na hinaharap natin dahil sa pandemya,” Eleazar said.

Aside from selling fake entry permits, the PNP is also monitoring the alleged sale of vaccination cards and RT-PCR test results online.

Vaccination card is being eyed as an additional requirement for cross-border travel, the PNP said.

Some malls and other business establishments have also offered discounts for those who bear COVID-19 vaccination cards as part of efforts to encourage more people to get inoculated.

Eleazar said a number of people have been apprehended for selling fake RT-PCR results.

The PNP chief urged the public to report to authorities and lodge formal complaints if they have been victimized by this illegal practice.

“Pinapayuhan din natin ang ating mga kababayan na mag-ingat at huwag maniwala sa mga scammer na ito dahil hindi lang ang inyong mga sarili ang inilalagay ninyo sa alanganin kundi pati na rin ang ating mga kababayan sa gitna ng pagtaas ng mga kaso ng COVID sa ating bansa,” Eleazar said.

P1.1 million worth of shabu seized in Taguig City

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Around P1.1 million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated in a series of operations in Taguig City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the PNP said police operatives conducted four successive operations, led by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday, January 11.

Initial report revealed that a tricycle driver identified as Halil Abo, 26, was arrested after two heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu worth P173,400.00 were found in his possession.

An hour after, elements of the NCR Drug Enforcement Unit conducted a separate buy-bust operation leading to the confiscation of P515,440 worth of illegal drug and the arrests of drug suspects, Wynlove Buco, 38, and Eusebio Bahia Jr.,43.

Taguig City police also arrested 44-year old Raffy Lumenda, who was found with illegal drugs with a street value of P345,440.00.

Two individuals, identified as Alvin Co, 36, and Jessie Christopher Cruz, 38, were also nabbed for illegal drugs along MLQ St., Purok 5, Brgy. Lower Bicutan, Taguig City in another anti-illegal drugs operation conducted on the same day. Confiscated items were packs of suspected shabu worth P76,160.00.

PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos lauded police officers involved in the operation.

“Successive operations in a day—this is a feat. I thank the dedication of the police units involved. This huge amount of illegal drugs must be reflective of the network of narcotic operations that may be behind these cases,” he said.

“The next step is to identify the big fish,” he added.

PNP to monitor public safety as more schools resume limited in-person classes

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it will implement a deployment plan within the vicinity of various campuses as more schools are set to resume limited face-to-face classes amid the rising cases of COVID-19.

The PNP issued the statement following the announcement of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that it will push through with the Phase 2 of the limited in-person classes in higher education institutions (HEI) in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

CHED earlier said the Department of Health has allowed the in-person classes to commence on January 30 for HEIs located in areas under Alert Level 3, while universities and colleges under Alert Level 2 can begin anytime.

“We defer to the wisdom of CHED in allowing the limited resumption of face-to-face classes. Our primary duty is to make sure the minimum public health standards are strictly observed amid another spike of COVID-19 cases especially in areas under Alert Level 3,” PNP Chief General Dionardo Carlos said in a statement.

He said schools planning to resume limited physical classes should be prepared to welcome back the students, teachers and other non-teaching staff safely.

“These HEIs that are willing to reopen must assume the responsibility of complying with the health and safety protocols,” Carlos said.

Aside from the schools, the PNP said establishments surrounding educational institutions are also expected to begin receiving more customers or clients.

“Thus, they are reminded of the importance of implementing the minimum public health standards like temperature scanning before entry, observance of physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and non-acceptance of unvaccinated individuals if backed by a valid mandate,” it added.

The PNP also urged security officers from the private sector to work closely with the police to better control the gathering of people and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

DILG tells PNP to provide security for media members during 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide security for members of the media who may face threats or intimidation during the course of the 2022 elections.

In a statement, the DILG said the PNP should designate media security focal persons in each province and city nationwide to provide a mantle of protection for media workers.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Secretary Eduardo Año has issued a memorandum to PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos regarding the matter.

This was in response to the request of Presidential Task Force of Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Sy Egco in anticipation of a possible increase in violent incidents involving media personnel during the election season.

“We are one with the PTFoMS in providing security and other protective measures for media workers. They deserve to be shielded from every form of harm that they might be exposed to in the line of duty particularly during elections,” Año said.

“The 4th Estate is an integral part of our democracy and government’s partner for a more peaceful, honest and orderly polls,” he added.

Based on the memorandum, the PNP is directed to designate a focal person for media security, who will be the first to receive information and respond to any threats leveled against a media worker.

The focal person shall also directly coordinate with assigned Special Agents of the PTFoMS and assist the Task Force in expediting the resolution of cases of violence against journalists.

Malaya said the DILG shares the concern of the PTFoMS on the welfare of media workers who face the threat of violence, especially during the election season.

He recalled the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in November 2009 that claimed the lives of 58 people, including 32 members of the media who were covering the filing of candidacy of a local politician.

“The infamous massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in November 2009 is a constant reminder that media workers are mostly vulnerable a few months before, during and a few months after every elections,” Malaya said.

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