Probe sought on alleged money-making schemes of erring cops delaying release of detainees

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2021   •   189

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) chief has ordered an investigation into the alleged money-making schemes of some policemen involving the release order of detainees.

PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar, in a statement on Monday (September 6), said he received complaints of several policemen deliberately delaying the release of detainees, despite a release order from the courts after posting bail.

Eleazar added that the delay is purportedly a ploy to make money from the detainees.

Nakarating sa akin ang mga reklamo ng ating mga kababayan tungkol sa diumano’y ilegal na aktibidad ng ilang tiwaling mga pulis kung saan sinasadyang patagalin ang pag-release ng mga detainees kahit may court order na upang pagkakitaan sa pamamagitan ng sinisingil na ‘board and lodging fee’, ‘protection fee’ at may ‘visitation fee’ pa, (We received complaints from our fellowmen about alleged illegal activities of several erring policemen wherein they would deliberately delay the release of detainees despite the release order from the court so that they can make money by charging fees for ‘board and lodging’, ‘protection’, and even ‘visitation’),” he said.

The PNP chief said the erring policemen would allegedly reason out that they could not yet release the detainees despite the court order as they still have to check if the subject detainees are facing other cases or wanted for other criminal activities.

Eleazar on the other hand reiterated that the said background check on detainees must be done “right after the arrest.”

He also ordered the immediate release of the detainees in adherence to due process.

“I am also ordering all chiefs of police and other unit commanders to immediately release detainees under their custody if a court order is already issued and if the subject detainees have already complied with all the requirements for their release, except if they have other pending cases and if there are other legal grounds to continue their detention,” he said.

COMELEC formally deputizes PNP, AFP for conduct of 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has formally deputized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the conduct of “free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible” May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

Under Resolution No. 10755 promulgated on Wednesday, January 19, the COMELEC listed the following duties and functions to be performed by AFP and PNP personnel as its deputized agents:

  • Provide security to polling places, polling centers/voting centers, canvassing centers, and such other places or buildings, including election paraphernalia, equipment, forms, and supplies, that will be used in connection with the elections;
  • Provide security to the personnel of the Commission, its deputies, and other persons performing election-related functions;
  • Deploy, at the least time possible, troops for election duty in coordination with the concerned Regional Election Director, Provincial Election Supervisor, and Election Officer;
  • Make available, at the least time possible, land, air, and watercraft assets, communication systems, and other equipment, in connection with the conduct of the elections;
  • Look into the existence of any armed group organized to commit, or which is committing or attempting to commit, acts of terrorism, or threats to intimidate or coerce any person to vote for or against a candidate, and to suppress or prevent said acts of terrorism or threats;
  • Assist the Commission in implementing more effectively election laws and/ or rules and regulations, particularly the laws governing prohibition against military, policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards for the candidates, the use of armored vehicles and air or watercraft, and the prohibition on bearing, carrying or transporting firearms and other deadly weapons in public places;
  • Provide security escorts to candidates, subject to the conditions and restrictions on the Resolution imposing the ban on the carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons and the ban on the use of security personnel or bodyguards; provided that, the AFP can provide security escorts only in the absence of personnel of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies;
  • Conduct a periodic assessment of the peace and order conditions in critical areas and recommend measures which may be adopted by the Commission in the interest of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections;
  • Comply with and/ or implement directives or resolutions of the Commission, which shall take precedence over and above the orders and directives issued by any other office or agency of the Government, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus cases;
  • Render periodic reports on action taken in accordance with this Resolution

The poll body reminded that despite being deputized, soldiers shall continue with the conduct of all Internal Security Operations or its own functions and responsibilities and that no changes in the assignments of police personnel can be effected except upon prior written permission of the commission.

The resolution shall take effect after its publication in two daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, the COMELEC said.

 

 

Commuters na hindi bakunado vs COVID-19, hindi aarestuhin – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi magpapatupad ng aresto ang Philippine National Police (PNP) sa mga pasaherong hindi pa bakunado laban sa COVID-19 sa gitna ng ipinaiiral na “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Roderick Augustus Alba, papayuhan at pauuwiin lang sa kani-kanilang mga bahay ang mga pasagerong hindi papayagang sumakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan.

“No arrest will be effected except for specific violations of law that authorized lawful arrest of offenders,” ang wika ni Alba.

Ang PNP ay isa sa law enforcement agencies na katuwang ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) sa pagpapatupad ng nasabing polisiya.

“Naging matagumpay po ang unang araw ng ‘no vax. no ride’ policy ng PNP, DOTR at LTFRB sa kalakhang Maynila, hindi natin pinahihintulutang sumakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan ang mga walang maiprisintang katibayan na sila bakunado,” ani Alba.

Sa ilalim ng polisiya, hindi papayagang sumakay ang mga hindi bakunado laban sa COVID-19 at walang maipakitang katunayan o dokumento.

Hindi naman nito saklaw ang mga may medikal na kondisyon kaya hindi nabakunahan at ang mga lumalabas ng bahay para sa essential goods and services.

“Ang mga hindi nabakunahang pasahero na nameet naman ang criteria for exemption to the policy ay pinapayagang sumakay at bumiyahe,” ani Alba.

Hindi rin sakop ng polisiya ang mga manggagawang itinuturing na essential workers o nagbibigay ng mahahalagang serbisyo sa publiko.

Una nang ipinaalala ng DOTr na dapat may maipakitang kaukulang dokumento gaya ng medical certificate o iba pang katunayan ang isang indibiduwal upang ma-exempt sila sa nasabing polisiya.

Kung may medical check-up o examination, magtatrabaho, bibili ng essential goods, mag-a-apply ng lisensya, passport at iba pa, kailangan lang din na magpakita ng mga pruweba ng pagpunta sa mga kaukulang lugar gaya ng identification card sa mga empleyado, medical o exam appointment, barangay health pass at iba pa.

Kung fully vaccinated na, dapat ay dala ang vaccination card.

Samantala, plano naman ng PNP na magpakalat ng mga tauhang magsisilbing “mystery passenger” sa mga pampublikong sasakyan na magbabantay sa mga tsuper at konduktor na lalabag sa ipinatutupad na health protocols.

Kukunin ng mga ito ang plate number ng sasakyan at ang ruta nito at para sa karampatang aksyon.

Nagbabala naman ang PNP sa mga gumagamit ng pekeng vaccination cards na maaari silang makulong ng hanggang anim na buwan at magmulta ng hanggang P50,000. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

 

1,749 commuters attempted to ride trains sans proof on first day of ‘no vax, no ride policy – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday reported that a total of 1,749 commuters attempted to take rail lines without showing proof of their COVID-19 immunization during the first day of the implementation of the “no vaccination, no ride” policy in Metro Manila.

In a statement, the DOTr said the breakdown of commuters who tried to board trains are as follows:

  • Philippine National Railways: 8
  • MRT-3: 1,204
  • LRT-2: 136
  • LRT-1: 401

The DOTr said the first day of the implementation of the policy was “generally peaceful.”

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) – the agencies primarily responsible for enforcing the policy in the road sector – said the first day of the policy’s implementation saw enforcers comprehensively explaining the guidelines of the DOTr order to commuters.

“According to reports from our men on the ground, most of the passengers were prepared for the policy. They voluntarily handed over their vaccination cards to our enforcers for thorough inspection and verification before boarding public utility vehicles (PUVs),” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

“Since this is just the first day of the policy’s implementation, our enforcers were instructed to just issue the violators warnings instead of outrightly apprehending them for non-compliance,” said DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor.

“These persons were later properly turned over to their respective local government units (LGUs) for assistance,” added Pastor.

The “no vaccination, no ride” policy was implemented on Monday, January 17, 2022, in a bid to help curb the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 amid a recent spike in the number of infections in Metro Manila.

Tugade said the department’s “no vaccination, no ride” aims to also protect the unvaccinated from getting severe COVID-19 infections.

The policy will be in effect while a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 level or higher remains hoisted in the NCR as to be determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).

Meanwhile, exempted from the “no vaccination, no ride” policy are the following:

  • Persons with medical conditions that prevent their full COVID-19 vaccination as shown by a duly-signed medical certificate with the name and contact details of their doctor.
  • Persons who will buy essential goods and services, such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work, and medical and dental necessities, as shown by a duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to justify travel.

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