PNP warns of ‘tokhang’ for security firms keeping high powered firearms

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019   •   246

File photo: Assault machine guns

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police Civil Security Group (PNPCSG) warns security agencies of facing ‘tokhang’ if they will not surrender all high-powered firearms in their possession.

According to PNP-CSG Director Police Brigadier General Roberto Fajardo, since May 20, 2017, the law prohibits civilians from owning high-powered firearms especially those who are not members of the PNP and the military.

Only government law enforcers including members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are allowed to possess one.

Security guards, on the other hand, are allowed to possess shotguns.

“We will issue cease to operate at hindi namin ire-renew yung kanilang license to operate (we will not renew their license to operate),” warned Police BGen. Roberto Fajardo.

“I-tokhang na natin yang may mga high powered firearms na i-surrender, kasi ang tokhang ay pakiusap e na iturn over yung kanilang high powered, so itokhang natin (We will place them under tokhang if they will not surrender their high-powered firearms. Tokhang is ‘knock and plead’ so we will ask them to surrender them),” the PNP CSG director added.

Meanwhile, Fajardo noted that they will investigate why security firm AY-Security Specialist Incorporated in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental still owns high-powered firearms.

The firearms were discovered when members of the New People’s Army (NPA) stormed the security agency and robbed about five units of AK-47 in August 19.

“(Si) President na ang nag utos na wala dapat high powered firearms ang mga different security agencies (No less than the President ordered that security agencies should not be safekeeping high-powered firearms),” Fajardo said.

“Unang-una kasi hindi naman sila trained to use high powered firearms so ire-revoke namin yung mga licenses (Primarily because they are not trained to use high-powered firearms so we will revoke their licenses),” he added.

The official assured that government troops are continuously hunting the rebels who took the firearms from the agency. Apart from the AK-47 units, the rebels also took several magazines and ammunitions as well as a handheld radio device. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

DOJ asks PNP to suspend re-arrest of GCTA-freed heinous crimes convicts

Robie de Guzman   •   September 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to temporarily suspend the operation to re-arrest heinous crimes convicts wrongly released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law after the deadline for them to surrender lapsed.

In a radio interview on Friday, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said they made the request on Thursday night in order to thoroughly check the list of heinous crime convicts submitted by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Perete noted the list contains some errors which could pose possible violence and other problems such as mistaken identity during the manhunt operation.

Also included in the list were some names of prisoners released under parole and pardon.

At least 1,950 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) surrendered to authorities as of midnight of Thursday when President Rodrigo Duterte’s 15-day deadline ended.

The number of surrenderers is higher than the 1,914 heinous crime convicts on the original list given by BuCor.

Perete said they already ordered BuCor to immediately release the persons who turned themselves in even if they are not included in the list.

The 1,914 heinous criminals were freed earlier because their sentences were shortened for good behavior under the Republic Act 10592.

Duterte earlier ordered these convicts to surrender within 15 days for the recomputation of their good conduct credits or be treated as fugitives from justice after the deadline.

He also offered P1 million bounty for the capture of each freed heinous crime convicts.

PNP-HPG recovers 15 stolen vehicles in Parañaque City casino

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019

The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has recovered fifteen allegedly stolen vehicles at a parking area of a casino in Parañaque City.

The SUVs, AUVs, sedans, and motorcycles that are already collecting dust are assumed to have been abandoned in the parking lot for several months or years now.

The PNP-HPG said the vehicles could have been only rented and have not been returned to the owners as they had been pawned to financiers in the casino.

The authorities are now coordinating with the registered owners of the vehicles who could have been victims of “rentangay” or rent-sangla scheme. (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

PNP prepares to launch manhunt ops for GCTA-freed convicts still at large

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it has formed tracker teams in preparation for the manhunt operations against beneficiaries of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law who will fail to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s 15-day deadline.

The PNP said the 121 tracker teams formed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) will be deployed at the end of the 15-day period, which will be on Sept. 19.

There are only six days left before the deadline lapses.

“Nag-organize na agad tayo ng mga teams ng CIDG sa bawat regional offices sa mga provincials at cities,” PNP-CIDG deputy director for administration Police Brigadier General Bernabe Balba told UNTV News in a phone interview.

The president on Sept. 4 ordered convicts who were freed early for good behavior to present themselves within the said period to the nearest police station or to the military.

This is for the investigation and recomputation of their good conduct credits whether they are eligible to avail of the law.

Duterte warned they will be treated as fugitives if they fail to surrender within the given period.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier said it is eyeing to get the help of the International Police (INTERPOL) in arresting heinous crimes convicts freed due to GCTA. This is after they received information that some of the 1,914 released convicts have already left the country.

READ: DILG eyes Interpol, ASEAN police aid in catching GCTA-freed convicts abroad

Balba said that as early as now, tracker teams have started perusing the list of freed heinous criminals who are still at large, as well as their personal information in order to locate their possible whereabouts.

“Even before the deadline ay tumutulong na tayo na malocate at meron din namang namang nagsu-surrender in fact as of today ay nakapagtala na tayo ng 47 surrenderers sa CIDG,” he said.

Data from the PNP showed that as of 6 a.m. Friday, around 353 heinous crimes convicts freed due to GCTA have surrendered to authorities.

Of this number, 115 were convicted for murder while 108 were involved in rape cases.

Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) Regional Police Office has the highest number of surrenderers with 51 followed by Cagayan Valley (Police Regional Office 2) with 35.

The PNP said 234 of the total number of surrendered convicts have been turned over to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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