Roxas, De Lima on GCTA controversy: Why blame the IRR?

UNTV News   •   September 12, 2019   •   414

MANILA, Philippines – Former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and detained Senator Leila de Lima have broken their silence amid reports linking them to the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

Roxas and De Lima were among those who drafted the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

The Office of the Ombudsman has requested Roxas and De Lima to explain why the provisions concerning convicts of heinous crimes in relation to the GCTA privilege was not clarified in the IRR.

But the former Interior chief maintained that the IRR shouldn’t be blamed just because the law wasn’t properly implemented.

In a tweet, Roxas stressed that those who approved the convicts’ release order should face the questioning, not those who drafted the IRR.

He accused his critics of passing the buck because of the controversial law.

Nevertheless, Roxas vowed to appear and cooperate in the Ombudsman’s probe.

“Apparently iimbestigahan ng Ombudsman itong (The Ombudsman will probe this) GCTA issue. Well and good, at masasagot ko kung ano man ang mga tanong nila (I will have the chance to answer their questions),” Roxas tweeted.

Meanwhile, De Lima expressed doubts over the intention behind the linking of her name to the GCTA issue when she has nothing to do with the controversy.

“I find this development highly irregular,” the lady senator said in a statement.

De Lima emphasized that the focus of the probe should be on whether or not the officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) followed the rules and reviewed the cases using the proper guidelines of releasing a convict under GCTA.

Roxas and De Lima were given three days to respond to the request of the Ombudsman.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman has launched a fact-finding investigation to determine the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the GCTA law. — MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

ICAD launches centralized info system for anti-drugs campaign

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 12, 2019

First ICAD meeting with its new co-chair Vice President Leni Robredo

The Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) has launched the Anti-Illegal Drugs Information System (AIDIS) for the administration’s illegal drug campaign.

The Anti-Illegal Drugs Information System (AIDIS) is a web-based centralized information system that will store relevant information and figures on the illegal drugs problem from the different drug agencies.

The DILG said AIDIS contains graphs, charts, and other visual representations on other aspects of the anti-drug campaign, in the form of 6 dashboards: drug affectation, juvenile, offenders, operations, rehabilitation, and surrenderers.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the AIDIS generate reliable data that we can use to map out our strategies and plans to further boost our anti-illegal drugs drive.

“AIDIS will help us tell the real story on how the government through its different drug enforcement agencies is really faring in the anti-illegal drugs drive,” he said.

Año said the system will only be accessible to authorized users from the various agencies involved in the anti-illegal drugs campaign, which includes the DILG, Department of Health (DOH), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).—AAC

DILG looking forward to Robredo’s fresh ideas, strategies in handling PH drug problem

Robie de Guzman   •   November 7, 2019

Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo delivers a statement to the press in Quezon City, Philippines, 06 November 2019. Robredo announced on 06 November, she would accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s designation of her as the co-chairperson of the country’s Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. (EPA-EFE / ROLEX DELA PENA)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it is looking forward to closely working with Vice President Leni Robredo after she accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to be co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Robredo has the competency and can make a significant contribution in government efforts to reduce public demand for illegal drugs, citing her work with various organizations and sectors over the years.

The DILG, together with the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, leads the illegal-drug demand reduction campaign.

“We feel that it is in the area of illegal-drug demand reduction that the Vice President can make a significant contribution,” Malaya said in a statement.

The DILG official also cited the following ICAD objectives, as provided for in Executive Order 15, which they believe could be met by government agencies with the vice president’s help and guidance:

  • Advocacy campaign initiatives against illegal-drugs on the community level;
  • Barangay anti-drug clearing operations;
  • Cleansing the bureaucracy of unscrupulous personnel involved in illegal drugs;
  • Community-based drug rehabilitation program

Malaya said these are some of the functions of the ICAD but they are open to Robredo’s fresh ideas and alternative strategies on how to handle the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

He added that the DILG has directed all its attached agencies to provide the necessary assistance to the Vice President as she takes on her new assignment.

“We are ready to assist the Vice President in her new task. After all, the objective is the same — to eliminate the drug problem in our country,” he said.

No basis to file administrative raps vs Albayalde over ‘ninja cops’ issue – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said it has found no substantial evidence to file an administrative complaint against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde.

This is in relation to the alleged anomalies in a 2013 drug raid conducted by 13 Pampanga police officers, tagged as “ninja cops” for allegedly pilfering and recycling part of the illegal drugs they confiscated during the operation.

Albayalde was the provincial police head when the controversial operation occurred.

“Albayalde is liable for command responsibility; that is why he was relieved as Pampanga Provincial Director in 2014,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“However, since he already relinquished his post as chief of PNP, he can no longer be relieved of his position at this time,” he added.

Albayalde relinquished his post and went on a non-duty status on Oct. 14 following allegations of his involvement in the anomalous raid.

He is set to retire from police service on Friday, Nov. 8.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group included Albayalde as among the respondents in its amended referral complaint about the “ninja cops” issue.

Año said the cases against Albayalde will be up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman.

As to the 13 “ninja cops,” the DILG chief said new administrative charges will be filed in light of the new evidence gathered against them.

“The filing of new administrative charges against these Ninja cops is in light of new evidence gathered by the Joint DILG-Napolcom Review Committee as well as those that came out during the Senate Investigation,” Año said.

“The President has given his guidance to the DILG to pursue the administrative cases against the 13 Ninja cops which we have already started,” he added.

The DILG said the charges being pursued against these cops include serious irregularity in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct.

These cops are also facing criminal charges before the DOJ.

“The charges to be filed against them will not be for the same offenses for which they were charged in the past. Moreover, the complaining witness this time will be the Napolcom which is vested with competent jurisdiction on the matter, hence, res judicata will not apply,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said that the Joint Review Committee subpoenaed 21 persons composed of personalities who testified at the Senate.

The committee also reviewed documentary evidence consisting of the transcript of stenographic notes from the Senate hearings, as well as pertinent documents related to the 2013 Lakeshore incident.

Año also said that the National Police Commission has convened a Summary Hearing board to hear the charges against the alleged ninja cops.

He added that the summary dismissal proceedings against the respondents can be completed within 45 calendar days “without violating their right to due process.”

“Pending the resolution of their cases, the respondents will be placed under restrictive custody at Camp Crame,” he said.

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