Senate orders arrest of one of 13 ninja cops involved in Agaw Bato controversy

Maris Federez   •   October 9, 2019   •   990

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Wednesday (October 9) ordered the arrest of SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos after he was cited for contempt for failing to attend the hearing set by the committee on the alleged Agaw-Bato controversy.

In the information that UNTV has exclusively received, Santos was one of those who had major participation in the said anomalous operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

The affidavit of arrest that Santos prepared on November 29, 2013, stated that a confidential agent went to their office, the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, at two in the afternoon in relation to the illegal drug activity in Woodbridge Subd., Brgy. Divisoria in Mexico, Pampanga.

At 3:00 pm, they headed out to the target area onboard a Nissan Urban and Hyundai Santa Fe, and arrived there are 4:30 in the afternoon.

This was also contained in the report of the group’s Team Leader, Maj. Rodney Baloyo to then PCol. Oscar Albayalde.

In the said operation, the authorities were able to confiscate 36 kilos of shabu and some cash amounting to P300,000, aside from the P100,000 marked money.

It was the same report that then Col. Albayalde has signed and forwarded to the Regional office.

Santos was also, according to the report, the one who received the 100 pieces of P1,000 marked money with initials “RS” which were used in the operation.

Santos was also the one who arrested the Chinese nationals, Ding Wekun alias Ding and Roel Cabag alias Owiena in the buy-bust operation.

He was also the one who did the inventory of the confiscated illegal drugs which were signed by the witnesses and police operatives but were refused to be signed by the suspects.

According to the research done by UNTV Senior Reporter Lea Ylagan and her team, Santos was supposed to be transferred from Police Regional Office (PRO) 3 to PRO-9 or the Zamboanga Peninsula on July 18, 2016.

He, however, went on AWOL and no longer reported to PRO-9 until he was removed from the service on November 13, 2017, for grave neglect of duty. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

Blue Ribbon to release initial report on ‘overpriced’ medical supplies from Pharmally

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is set to release the initial report on its investigation into the alleged overpriced medical supplies for COVID-19 procured by the government from Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation.

Blue Ribbon chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said they will try to release the said preliminary report within this week.

He said the committee had been very careful in preparing the report from the results of the investigations conducted in the series of hearings. He added that individuals who must take accountability for the said anomaly will be included in the report in accordance with the anti-graft law and the procurement law.

“Ang lalabas ngayon, ano ang naging resulta ng imbestigasyon. Well, mabusisi ito. Malinaw na kung anong ginawa. ‘Yun ang ipapalabas natin. Ito ang ginawa ng mga taong ‘to, ito ang mananagot sa anti-graft, ito ang mananagot sa violation ng procurement law, at sino ba talaga ang nagpaikot niyan,” Gordon said.

The senator said they will hold the twelfth hearing on the said issue on Tuesday, following its cancellation last October 12. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Doctors group urges Duterte to reverse order barring Cabinet members from attending Senate hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 11, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — A group of doctors appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse his order barring  Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies.

The group wants the Senate hearing to continue the hearing, questioning why the Department of Health (DOH) transferred the said procurement to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This, despite the earlier clarification made by the Commission on Audit that there was no overpricing in the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and that the said government transaction went through careful inspection.

“Kung bakit ipinasa ng Department of Health ang pagbili nung mga protective equipment na ito sa Department of Budget (and Management), sa DBM. ‘Yun pa lang hindi ma-explain, kase ang ipinapasa lang po talaga sa DBM ay yung mga administrative. ‘Yung mga may kinalaman sa administrative part which means yung mga office supplies, ang mga protective equipment, definitely this is a health. This should actually belong to the Department of Health,” said the group’s president, Dr. Maricar Limpin.

The group also defended the manner of questioning of some senators on the resource persons, saying that there was no bullying that was taking place during the hearing.

“Sa paningin ko yun ay part ng pagku-cross examine, at different personalities have different way of trying to get information. Whatever form na ginagawa nila in order to extract the truth, kase hindi siya maliit na pera. Forty-two billion. At napunta po iyong deal na iyan, yung kontrata, sa isang maliit na kumpanya,” Dr. Anthony Leachon, former president of PCP, said.

The group appeals to the Senate to finish the hearing on the said issue and forward the result of their investigation to the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the administration will no longer allow Cabinet members and other officials in the Executive Department to attend any succeeding Senate hearings.

“In fact, they appeared before 12 hearings of the Senate and the House and he only said itigil na iyan, after 12. Kasi wala namang bago pong tinatanong at walang bagong sagot,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Duterte won’t withdraw memo barring gov’t officials from Pharmally hearings

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night (October 6) defended his memorandum order barring government officials from attending the Senate investigation on the government’s management of pandemic funds.

During his regular public address, Duterte slammed senators who were calling for the withdrawal of the memo directing government officials and employees to no longer attend the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings.

“Kayo ang nag-umpisa nito eh. Kayo ang nag-umpisa nitong lahat (You’re the ones who started this. You started all of this), he said referring to the panel.

READ: DOJ chief defends Duterte memo barring Cabinet execs from attending Senate panel probe

The committee is currently conducting investigation on alleged irregularities in the government’s procurement of COVID-19 pandemic supplies last year.

“I have to protect the Executive department from the incessant and steady dose of insults coming from the senators,” Duterte said. “There ain’t no way that I will withdraw it. You can do your worst and I will do mine,” he added.

The Chief Executive said government employees, including Cabinet members, should be focused on addressing the  pandemic instead of participating in Senate hearings. The President also slammed Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan for threatening government employees.

“I’m told that it was Pangilinan who said that ‘the worst is yet to come’ to mga empleyado (the employees). Who are you to threaten or even to intimidate government workers?” Duterte said. AAC

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