PNP warns public against individuals posing as police personnel to extort money

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 26, 2021   •   722

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned the public against individuals posing as members of the national police or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to extort money and obtain personal information.

In an advisory, the PNP said they received reports from citizens about individuals claiming to be members of the military or the national police. 

The said malicious individuals would inform their victims that they are on the list of suspected members of ‘Communist Terrorist Group-New People’s Army’. They will then extort money from the victims in exchange for removing their names from the list.

Initial reports said these individuals have extorted up to P500,000.

The PNP reminds the public to remain vigilant and make sure to verify the identities of individuals claiming to be members of the authority. 

It also advised the public to observe the following safety protocols to prevent being victimized by scammers:

1. Think before you speak. Scammers want you to act and give out information;

2. If the activity is made through phone transactions, be aware that caller IDs can be easily spoofed by scammers, hence:

   a. Verify phone numbers before calling back;

   b. Use a different phone to call back;

   c. Never divulge or share any sensitive information over the  phone; and

   d. Block automated calls

Meanwhile, the PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group is already conducting further investigation on the issue.  

“We condemn these fraudulent acts and assure the public that our PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has initiated an investigation and case-build up against scammers,” the PNP said in a statement. -AAC

1 dead, 3 hurt in military clash with Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member was killed while three soldiers were injured in a gunfight in Sulu, the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP-WestMincom said the encounter between the ASG and the operating forces of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu occurred early morning Friday in Barangay Kagay, Indanan.

The bandits fled the scene after the firefight that lasted for five minutes.

JTF Sulu commander Major General William Gonzales identified the slain ASG member as Arab Undo, one of the remaining followers of the slain ASG senior leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Authorities recovered from the clash site one cal. 45 pistol, one backpack, a solar panel, personal belongings, and food items.

Meanwhile, the three soldiers who were wounded in the encounter were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical attention. They are now in stable condition.

“Pursuit and blockade are being conducted by the Joint Task Force Sulu to thwart the extrication of the local terrorists group,” Gonzales said.

“This is another one blow to the ASG and we hope we could be able to neutralize the remaining members of the terrorist group the soonest,” he added.

Military backs Anti-Terrorism Council’s resolutions on terrorist tag

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday expressed support for the decision of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) to publish resolutions designating some individuals as terrorists.

“The AFP supports the Anti-Terrorism Council’s Resolution Nos. 16 and 17 which designate 10 local terrorist group individuals and 19 CPP-NPA members as terrorists,” AFP chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement.

“The military organization further conveys its full confidence to the ATC’s decision which was carried out based on verified and validated information,” he added.

The ATC published on Thursday Resolution No. 17, designating 19 alleged leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army as terrorists.

The council also listed as terrorists in Resolution No. 16 ten members of different local terrorist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the Daulah Islamiyah.

These individuals are accused of conspiring, planning, and preparing for the commission of terrorism, covered by Sections 6, 7, and 10 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

With this development, the AFP said it will be able to further protect the public citizens from terrorist acts by closely working together with government law enforcement agencies and focusing resources to bring the mentioned personalities to justice.

“We are optimistic that the ATC’s resolution will continue to empower government, under the rule of law, to eradicate terrorism in our country, and maintain a peaceful and progressive nation for every Filipinos,” Sobejana said.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020, the ATC has the authority to designate individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, or associations as terrorists without a court hearing.

This measure will allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the assets of designated personalities or organizations.

Persons designated as terrorists have 15 days to file a request for delisting.

PNP to support PCG, BFAR patrols in West Philippine Sea — Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) has been tapped to assist the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in their ongoing maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea, police chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

“The PNP, specifically the Maritime Group, is ready to provide assistance and augment personnel from the PCG and BFAR in enforcing maritime laws on the West Philippine Sea and our Exclusive Economic Zone,” Eleazar said in a statement on Thursday.

“Despite our limitations when it comes to resources, we will make sure that it will not discourage and prevent us from asserting and fighting for what is ours,” he added.

The National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday said the PNP-MG will deploy four high-speed tactical watercraft, three police gunboats, and police fast boats to patrol the municipal waters and portions of the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.

The assets will be deployed to police maritime units mostly in Palawan province.

Personnel of the PNP-MG who will be posted at the Municipality of Kalayaan will depart on May 15.

Eleazar said the PNP continues to consult with the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, the PCG, and BFAR to determine the PNP-MG’s specific role and participation in maritime patrols.

“Patuloy po ang koordinasyon natin sa mga ahensyang ito dahil sila ang mas nakakaalam ng sitwasyon sa West Philippine Sea,” he said.

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