Ronald Dela Rosa to go after smugglers

Marje Pelayo   •   May 29, 2018   •   3425

Director of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Ronald Dela Rosa

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Former Police Chief now Director of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Ronald Dela Rosa has an additional task after being chosen as president of the newly formed Anti-Crime Council of the Philippines (ACCP.)

A multi-sectoral council composed of law enforcement agencies, businessmen and other non-governmental organizations, ACCP aims to fight crimes and illicit trades particularly smuggling which is highly rampant in the country.

Dela Rosa said they are considering the adoption of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Oplan Tokhang in pursuing smugglers in the country.

“Kung ano iyong pinaka objective ng organisasyon which is to fight illicit trade iyon ang ating tutukan ngayon how to help the government fight illicit trade to particularly iyon smuggling,” said Dela Rosa.

Reports show that the government is losing P200 billion in revenue annually due to smuggling. Jess Arranza, the president of the Federation of Philippine Industries said one factor that contributes to the proliferation of smuggling activities in the country is the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. He cited as an example the rampant smuggling of cigarettes which is being blamed on the high excise tax imposed on tobacco products.

“Ikaw ba kapag bagsak ang presyo sa isang country pupunta ka? Ikaw smuggler ka, hindi ka pupunta sayang lang ang pagod mo, tutubuin mo centavo ang hinahanap nilang tutubuin piso, limang piso, sampung piso, dollar pa,” Arranza said.

(If you were a smuggler, would you go to a country where prices of goods are low? You’d be wasting your efforts earning a few centavos. Smugglers look to earn one peso, five pesos, 10 pesos, even in dollars.)

Meanwhile, the PNP expressed its support to Dela Rosa and vowed to join the agency in the conduct of Oplan Tokhang to smugglers.

“Probably ang suporta natin dito ay sa security side kung talagang mangangailangan sila ng security or enforcement coming from the Philippine National Police,” said PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.

The agency encourages businessmen to report to them incidents of smuggling and ACCP will call the attention of police to launch Oplan Tokhang. ACCP vows to file appropriate charges against personalities who are involved in such illegal activity – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo

Dela Rosa on Espenido being in drug watchlist: “I am vouching for his integrity.”

Marje Pelayo   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald dela Rosa wants to know the person who included the name of P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido in the government’s drug watchlist or list of cops linked to illegal drug trade.

Senator dela Rosa said it surprised him to hear that Espenido’s name was on the list when it wasn’t the case when he was still the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Hindi ko nakita noong panahon ko, otherwise, hindi ko iyan i-a-appoint (I didn’t see (his name) during my time, otherwise, I wouldn’t have appointed him),” the Senator said.

Dela Rosa transferred Espenido from Albuera, Leyte to Ozamiz City.

Espenido spearheaded the raids that resulted in the killing of then Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and the downfall of the Parojinog drug chain.

Given Espenido’s service history, dela Rosa expressed doubt as to how his name ended up in the President’s drug watchlist.

“Saan galing yan? Lumabas lang out of thin air? (Where did it come from? Did it appear out of thin air?),” the former PNP Chief said.

He urged that the PNP leadership should investigate how it happened, adding that there might be a ‘syndicate’ inside the PNP who wanted to dishonor their comrades.

“Dapat ungkatin ng PNP kung sino ang gumawa ng report na iyan, most likely sindikato na pulis ang gumawa noon (The PNP should investigate who made that report. It’s most likely a syndicate of cops who did that),” dela Rosa noted.

“Dahil kung andyan pa iyang mga pulis na iyan most likely meron na naman iyang gagawing kalokohan sa ibang kasamahan nila na makakalaban nila (Because if those cops are still in position, most likely they will repeat their follies against other cops who oppose them),” the Senator added.

Senator dela Rosa clarified that Espenido still has his full trust and similar to President Duterte, he doesn’t believe Espenido is involved in illegal drugs trade.

“He is my man I am vouching for his integrity,” dela Rosa said of Espenido.

“Kilala ko siya na matino siya (I have known him as a straight cop),” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Duterte can scrap PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement without Senate approval – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte can terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States (US) even without the concurrence of the Senate, Malacañang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the president threatened to scrap the VFA if the US government does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.

“Because it (VFA) is an executive agreement so he can cancel it without the approval of the Senate,” Panelo said.

Dela Rosa on Wednesday confirmed to media that he is not allowed to travel to the US for now after he received notification about his visa cancellation.

The senator said the exact reason on why his US visa was cancelled remains unclear but he heard reports it might be linked to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs that he spearheaded when he was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from 2016 to 2018.

The VFA, signed by Manila and Washington in 1998, is a bilateral deal which outlines the guidelines for the conduct of government troops when they are visiting the US or the Philippines.

Panelo said the US government should not intervene with the Philippines’ internal issues.

The Palace official also believes the president’s threat to cancel the VFA will not affect Filipino workers in the US. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

16 police officers implicated in contraband smuggling in NBP undergo NCRPO probe

Maris Federez   •   October 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The 16 police officers who were implicated in the alleged smuggling of contrabands inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) have undergone the pre-charge investigation of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson PBGen Bernard Banac confirmed that said police officers are under probe for bringing in a cellular phone, cigarettes and an iced tea bottle that actually contained alcoholic drink inside the facility which is strictly prohibited.

Banac said he is saddened by the fact that police officers who are supposed to guard and implement laws inside the national penitentiary are the ones actually violating its rules.

If found guilty, they will be charged administratively.

Banac added that the NCRPO has also pulled out the more than 500 police personnel assigned in the NBP last October 5 and will undergo assessment on their performance.

“Kung nakita naman na katiwa-tiwala ang mga pulis natin ay maaari naman na sila pa rin ang ipadala doon. So kasalukuyan ay irerepaso lamang ang kanilang mga background at titingnang maigi kung karapat dapat pa silang pagtiwalaan at hindi agad masisilaw sa anomang ihahain sa kanilang bribe,” Banac said.

The PNP reminds said police personnel not to even attempt violating the regulations of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to avoid being filed charges against and be dismissed from service.

It can be recalled that the NCRPO assigned around 552 police officers at the NBP after BuCor Director-General Gerald Bantag sought the help of the police force to guard the Bilibid.

This, following the Bantag’s course of action that removed BuCor personnel from the NBP due to corruption. (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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