PNP urged to monitor, address rising kidnapping cases involving POGO workers

Robie de Guzman   •   December 24, 2019   •   513

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to closely monitor the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) following the rise of kidnappings and other crimes involving POGO workers in the country.

In a statement, Senator Joel Villanueva said the reported spate of kidnappings of POGO employees allegedly committed by fellow Chinese nationals “support our theory that the negative effects of the industry outweigh any benefit that the country may get from the proliferation of POGOs and POGO service providers.”

“We urge the Philippine National Police to be vigilant and prevent these kidnappings and other related crimes from happening,” he said.

Villanueva also noted the explanation of Police officials that one of the reasons why these abductions are happening is the “seemingly unfamiliarity” of Chinese employers to the country’s laws.

“However, ignorance of the law excuses no one. I don’t know of any country where kidnapping is legal. It is the responsibility of these Chinese nationals operating in the country to familiarize themselves and abide by our laws, particularly labor laws,” he said.

“The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must continue its labor inspections on offices, particularly POGO facilities and enforce our labor laws and regulations to protect all workers and ensure their rights are upheld at all times,” he added.

Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor and employment, also revealed that his panel is planning to hold a legislative hearing on the issue in January 2020.

He said they intend to include the information provided by the police on the rising incidences of kidnappings involving Chinese nationals during the hearing.

“We hope to establish the breadth and scale of the negative effects of POGO operations in the country,” he said.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases among PNP reaches 22

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2020

There are now 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said additional three police officers assigned in Metro Manila were added to the list.

Out of the total number, two have died while two others have recovered from the virus.

There are 299 PNP members who are considered persons under investigation (PUI) while 1,374 are under monitoring.

Meanwhile, PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa will again undergo self-quarantine for 14 days after being exposed to three individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. AAC (with reports from 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)

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