TESDA exec with alleged links to Abu Sayyaf Group nabbed

Marje Pelayo   •   June 25, 2019   •   1349

MANILA, Philippines – A high-ranking official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) was nabbed in a joint operation by soldiers and police for illegal possession of explosives in Isabela City, Basilan.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Regional Field Unit 9 Chief PCol. Tom Tuzon said the suspect was identified as Muida Hataman, TESDA’s provincial director based in Basilan, believed to have links with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Police Colonel Bernard Banac said Hataman was arrested early morning on Tuesday (June 25) at Barangay San Rafael in Isabela City as a warrant for her arrest was being served.

Seized from the suspect several materials in making explosives such as blasting cap, chemical ingredients, four cellular phones, and two laptop devices.

“Ang suspek ay kasalukuyang nasa kustodiya ng CIDG Region 9 at sumasailalim na po sa imbestigasyon at patuloy na inaalam ang posible pang kasamahan at iba pang gamit sa pampasabog na maaari pang nakatago sa ibang lugar,” PNP Spokesperson PCol. Banac said.

(The suspect is currently under the custody of the CIDG Region 9 and is now being investigated. [Authorities] are looking into some of her possible cohorts and other explosive materials that are still being kept somewhere.)

While the CIDG already received information that Hataman is connected to an ASG sub-unit, authorities are still verifying information regarding her identity as the investigation goes on.

“Patuloy pang inaalam ng mga taga CIDG kung ano ang kanyang background, kung meron ba siyang kinalaman sa grupong ASG at (kung) mayroong kamag anak at bakit nasa possession niya ang mga naturang gamit pampasabog,” Banac said.

(CIDG personnel are still verifying her background – if she has links to the ASG, any relative and why she was in possession of bomb making paraphernalia.)

Hataman is believed to be the wife of ASG sub leader Radzmir Janatul. – (with details from Lea Ylagan)

PNP to look into illegal drugs as possible motive for attack on ex-governor Espino

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will look into illegal drugs as possible motive for the ambush on former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr.

The PNP said they are looking into all possible motives for the attack which include Espino’s campaign against illegal drugs during his term.

“Ang lahat ng ito ay tinitingnan ng mga posibleng anggulo. Wala pa naman talagang matukoy kung ano talagang dahilan (We are looking at all possible angles. We still haven’t figure out the real motive),” according to PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac.

“Maaaring may mga sindikato na maaaring naapektuhan ng kanyang kampanya na iyan (There may be crime syndicates that were affected by his campaign),” Banac added.

READ: Former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino hurt in ambush

Espino is already in a stable condition after sustaining bullet wounds on his arm and body.

One of his three wounded bodyguards, on the other hand, remains in critical condition.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

PNP forms tracker teams to locate heinous crime convicts freed under GCTA

Maris Federez   •   September 5, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has formed tracker teams that will locate the heinous crime convicts that were released after benefitting from the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) credited to them.

The PNP said the tracker teams will be deployed after the 15-day grace period set by the president for the voluntary surrender of said convicts.

PNP chief P.Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the tracker teams are composed of police officers from the different provincial and regional offices of the Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG).

“We have institutionalized tracker teams and also we have yung tinatawag na [what we call] manhunt bravo, that goes after people with standing warrant of arrest,” the PNP chief said.

Albayalde said they are yet to take hold of the list of the released heinous crime convicts.

He has also directed the director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to obtain a copy of the list and other information from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“Meron tayong parallel coordination na ginagawa ng CIDG sa DOJ din so that will also know kung sino sino yung mga bibigyan din natin ng priority dito at kung meron din tayong dapat na sundin na procedure coming from the Department of Justice [We have parallel coordination that the CIDG conducts with the DOJ so they will also know those who will be given priority. We also have procedures that we have to follow from the Department of Justice],” Albayalde continued.

The PNP warns that they will consider those who will not surrender after the 15-day period as fugitives.

On Wednesday’s conference with the Malacanang Press Corps, the President ordered to capture, dead or alive, those who will not surrender and will violently resist arrest.

“Kung yan ay nanlaban o lalaban sa ating arresting officers baka magkaroon ng disgrasya [If they fought or will fight back against the arresting officers, problems might arise],” Albayalde added.

He also urged the public to call PNP hotline No. 09178475757 for any information that they may have regarding the released convits. (with reports from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

Lawmakers ask for additional fund for TESDA in 2020 budget

Maris Federez   •   August 29, 2019

Several members of the House of Representatives are pushing for an increase in the budget of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) next year.

This will ensure that a larger number of Filipinos will be provided more job opportunities, whether locally or abroad.

From the original 2020 budget allocation of P19.9-billion for TESDA, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only allotted P11.75-billion for the agency.

This prompted TESDA Director-General Isidro Lapena to appeal against such reduction to the House Committee on Appropriations during its deliberation on the said budget.

“We will appeal for more budget so that we can access and provide more assistance to more Filipinos. You cannot give a job or a livelihood without going through training,” he said.

Among the items in the proposed TESDA budget which the DBM reduced is the request for mobile training laboratories that will go to far-flung areas to provide training to those who are interested to take technical-vocational courses.

Of 63 mobile training laboratories requested, only 10 were approved by the DBM.

Lapena said the P11.8-B proposed budget for TESDA does not cover the funding for the implementation of the Tulong Trabaho Act and some other programs of the agency.

Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy didn’t let this slide.

“There is a law na kailangang i-set aside ang pondo na ito [There is a law that seeks to set aside such budget]. So I’m wondering why it was slashed out by the DBM considering this was signed by the President,” she said.

RECOBODA Partylist Rep. Godofred Guya said, “Dapat siguro, Mr. Chair, baliktarin natin [I think, Mr. Chair, we have to reverse this]. We have to give more budget for skills training because if we are going to look out sa unemployed ang dami pa [to the (number of) unemployed, there is still a lot].”

The committee chair promised to consider the recommendation to increase the TESDA fund, which will be heard in the plenary session next month. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

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