Suspected BIFF bomber nabbed in Maguindanao police ops

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021   •   680

MANILA, Philippines – The man allegedly behind the series of bombing incidents in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat has been arrested in a counter-terrorism operation, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

PNP chief General Debold Sinas identified the suspect as Norton Saptula, 23, an alleged member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter-Karialan Faction under chief staff Sukarno Sapal alias Diok.

He was said to be involved in the bombing incidents that transpired on August 28, 2018 in Brgy. Kalawag 3, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat that resulted in 36 wounded civilians and three deaths.

He was also accused of involvement in another incident on September 2, 2018 in Brgy. Kalawag 2, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat that resulted in 14 wounded civilians and two deaths.

Sinas said Saptula was also the 5th most wanted person in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region.

He was arrested on Wednesday in Poblacion, Ampatuan, Maguindanao when operating troops served a warrant of arrest against him for three counts of complex crime of murder with multiple frustrated murder.

The PNP said Saptula was booked at Ampatuan Municipal Police Station and was turned over to Isulan Municipal Police Station for documentation and proper disposition.

“The arrest of Saptula is a setback in the atrocities of the BIFF operating in Maguindanao area and nearby provinces. Moreover, this successful operation would likely affect the planned attacks of local and foreign terrorist organizations,” Sinas said.

PNP nets over P90M worth of illegal drugs, nabs 36 suspects in series of ops

Robie de Guzman   •   January 26, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday reported it has seized more than P90 million worth of illegal drugs in a series of operations this month.

In a statement, the PNP said the week-long simultaneous anti-criminality law enforcement operations (SACLEO) conducted from January 17 to January 23 also yielded the arrest of 36 top drug suspects.

These coordinated anti-drug operations comprised 14 buy-bust operations, 18 service of warrants of arrest, and two Marijuana Eradication operations in clandestine Cannabis farms in separate locations in different parts of the country, it added.

“We scored big anew in the campaign against illegal drugs. The arrest of drug personalities in various areas around the country is a reflection of our intensified strategies to eradicate the supply chain of this illicit activity,” PNP Chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said.

The PNP chief also lauded the efforts and intelligence gathering of the operatives involved in the operation, as well as the collaboration with their village counterparts to address the illegal drug concern in their community.

“They provided the police with material information so we can better track the movement of those who are engaged in this illegal business,” Carlos said while referring to an action program tagged as ‘Double Barrel Finale’.

The PNP said the double barrel finale focuses on drug trafficking and addiction in every barangay. It also seeks to help the community devise ways to avoid such vice and redirect the residents’ focus to more productive activities.

Carlos vowed to realize the program during his term as PNP chief.

PNP intensifies crackdown vs fake COVID-19 test kits, other medical supplies

Robie de Guzman   •   January 26, 2022

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it will intensify its intelligence networking following the seizure of P150 million worth of fake COVID-19 antigen tests, face masks, and medicines used to treat COVID-19 symptoms in a warehouse in Manila.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said he has directed all police units to further monitor stores and warehouses in their areas of responsibility that are selling and stockpiling unregistered medical supplies.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday reported it confiscated thousands of Clungene COVID-19 antigen test kits, counterfeit LianHua Chinese herbal medicines, and fake 3M N95 face masks during a raid in a warehouse in San Miguel last January 21.

Authorities also found intellectual property rights infringed goods such as apparel from brands like Nike, Fila, Converse, Adidas, as well as Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags, wallets, phone accessories, and others. A Chinese national, who allegedly owns the facility, was arrested during the operation.

“We want to know the extent of their operation given the large number of confiscated items,” Carlos said.

“If these products did not undergo government agencies regulation, then we aren’t sure if they are safe for use,” he added.

The PNP chief vowed to take a more aggressive step in curbing the proliferation of these products, with the guidance of the Department of Health.

“The PNP will wage a crackdown to curb the proliferation of these fake medical items,” Carlos said.

The public is advised to only buy medical items from accredited pharmacies and other related outlets.

PNP, ginunita ang kabayanihan ng SAF44 sa ika-7 taon ng Mamasapano clash

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Ginunita ng Philippine National Police (PNP) ang kabayanihan ng 44 miyembro ng Special Action Force (SAF) na nagbuwis ng kanilang buhay sa Mamasapano clash noong 2015.

Sa ika-pitong anibersaryo ng insidente ngayong Enero 25, muling sinariwa ng PNP ang sakripisyo ng SAF 44 para sa kapakanan ng mas nakararami.

“Exactly seven years ago, these modern-day heroes, donned with their fighting gears, reinforced with their commitment to bring lasting peace to the nation and most of all embraced with their faith to God, they partook in a one-way road towards ensuring peace and order in the country which is exactly the same road to led to the gate of heavens,” ang wika ni Polic Brigadier General Felipe Natividad, ang director ng PNP-SAF.

Ayon kay Natividad, buong tapang na hinarap ng mga nasawing SAF troopers ang bakbakan kaya dapat lang na mapahalagahan ang kapayapaang tinatamasa ngayon.

“’Ihandog ang iisang buhay,’ from the last phrase of the PNP Hymn, PNP Lingkod ng Bayan. This is the very phrase that our Gallant SAF 44 to whom we offer our tribute today, held in their hearts and placed the greatest possible meaning to it. With courage & commitment, they accomplished their mission even though it costed their very lives,” ang pahayag ng opisyal.

Para naman kay Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, mahal ang naging kabayaran para magkaroon ng kapayapaan at mamuhay ng walang takot ang pangamba ang mga kababayan natin lalo na sa bahagi ng Mindanao.

Masusuklian lamang aniya ang sakripisyong ito kung hindi gagawa ng anumang labag sa batas ang mga Pilipino, lalo na ang mga pulis.

“They paid the highest cost for the prizes that we enjoy today the gift of living in peace and liberty, part far from harm and free from fear. We repay them and honor their ultimate sacrifice by following their example enforcing the law those who do wrong and ensuring that we ourselves do no wrong,” ani Guevarra.

Sinabi rin ng DOJ chief na naisampa na ang mga kasong direct assault with murder laban sa 88 akusado sa pagpatay sa 44 SAF troopers.

“These cases have been filed not only for exact punishment for the wrongs committed against the 44 whose heroism we remember today, more than exact punishment these cases manifest our trust in the supremacy of our laws,” ani Guevarra.

Magugunitang noong Enero 25, 2015, sinalakay ng SAF ang ilang barangay sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao kung saan nagtatago ang mga wanted na terorista. Isa sa mga subject ng operasyon na si Zulkifli Binhir alyas Marwan ang napatay pero hindi na nakalabas ng buhay ang SAF troopers nang tambangan sila ng umano’y mga miyembro ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters at private armed groups sa lugar.

Si Marwan ay sinasabing Indonesian terrorist at bomb maker na wanted rin sa ibang bansa.

Maliban sa SAF44, 17 miyembro ng MILF rin ang nasawi, tatlo ang sibilyan at hindi natukoy na bilang ng Muslim rebels.

Sinasabing ang kawalan ng koordinasyon kaugnay ng operasyon, alinsunod sa kasunduan ng MILF at ng pamahalaan, ang naging dahilan umano ng pagkakaroon ng engkwentro.

Kinuwestyon noon ang sinseridad ng MILF sa pakikipagkasundo sa pamahalaan dahil sa presensiya ng mga terorista sa mga lugar na sakop ng grupo.

 

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