MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the killing of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) legal division chief Atty. Frederic Anthony Santos.
In a directive issued on Wednesday, February 19, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered and granted authority to NBI director Dante Gierran to conduct an investigation and case build-up against those behind the murder.
Santos was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon by unidentified gunmen while waiting to pick up his child in front of a school in Muntinlupa City, just a few meters away from the gate of the New Bilibid Prison.
He died instantly after sustaining gunshot wounds to head, neck and left arm based on an autopsy conducted by authorities.
Guevarra also ordered the NBI to file appropriate charges against persons found responsible for the crime if evidence warrants.
He also directed Gierran to submit to his office reports on the progress of the subject investigation and case build-up within 30 days.
In a separate statement, the DOJ chief said that Santos’ fatal shooting is still under investigation but is “very likely” connected to the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) issue.
Santos was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman last September 2019 in relation to the alleged misapplication of the GCTA law and other time credits to prisoners.
He was supposed to return to work in March after serving six months of suspension.
Santos was among the resource persons in a Senate Investigation into the GCTA mess.
Irregularities in the GCTA law application grabbed headlines following reports on the possible early release of former mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta and her companion, Allan Sanchez in 1993 after his sentence of 7-term Reclusion Perpetua was shortened.
The issue led to the revelations of the release of some heinous crime convicts and the anomalies in the BuCor. It also led to the dismissal of Nicanor Faeldon as BuCor chief, and President Duterte to set a deadline for the surrender of nearly 2,000 GCTA-freed convicts or be hunted down by police.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and 12 so-called ninja cops over the 2013 drug raid in Pampanga.
The DOJ has found probable cause to indict Albayalde and 12 others for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In a statement on Thursday (January 16), the DOJ maintained that the said personalities are in “violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations in connection with the official duties of the latter, and for causing any undue injury to any party, including the government.”
Albayalde, however, has been cleared of other charges, such as misappropriating confiscated drugs, falsifying public documents, and failure to prosecute police officers.
The 12 cops, on the other hand, will also be indicted for other charges including bribery, planting of evidence, as well as delay and bungling in the prosecution of drug cases.
The 12 police officers are Police Lt. Col. Rodney Raymundo Louie Juico Baloyo IV, Police Lt. Joven Bagnot De Guzman, Jr., Police Master Sgts. Jules Lacap Maniago, Donald Castro Roque, Ronald Bayas Santos, Rommel Muñoz Vital, Alcindor Mangiduyos Tinio, Eligio Dayos Valeroso, Dante Mercado Dizon; Police Staff Sgts. Dindo Singian Dizon, Gilbert Angeles De Vera, and Romeo Encarnacio Guerrero Jr.
The said officers were allegedly involved in seizing 200 kilos of illegal drugs during an anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.
In a statement, Albayalde welcomed the development and is confident that the truth will still prevail.
“I welcome this development as the chance to once and for all clear my name in the proper forum. Finally, I will have my day in court,” he said. “My conscience remains clear, and I am confident that the truth will bear me out in the end.”—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the reported incidents on lambanog poisoning in Laguna and Quezon over the holidays, a government official said Friday.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this is in a message to reporters.
The NBI was ordered to submit its findings immediately.
Around 16 people were killed and hundreds of others were hospitalized after ingesting lambanog or distilled coconut wine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier revealed that five of the seven samples of lambanog tested positive for high levels of methanol.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that lambanog poisoning is caused by residual methanol, which in high levels becomes highly toxic for humans.
Methanol is a naturally occurring substance present during the distilling process, that should be separated and removed thereafter, the DOH added.
The symptoms of methanol poisoning include vomiting, stomach pain and dimming eyesight.
The FDA has repeatedly issued warnings to lambanog brewers over its high methanol content, and urged the public to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming the alcohol beverage.
It also advised the public to only buy lambanog brews that are registered with the FDA.
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