UP students condemn alleged campus militarization; walk out of classrooms

Maris Federez   •   August 20, 2019   •   752

UP student activists stage an anti-campus militarization rally during the university’s so-called “National Day of Walkout” on August 20, 2019.

Students of the University of the Philippines (UP) walked out of their classrooms Tuesday to condemn what they claim as campus militarization in their school.

Wearing black, the students stepped out of their classes at past 11 with placards in hand.

They call this day the “National Day of Walkout”, pointing out that the police and the military are meddling with the affairs of the school.

The students said the campus militarization is curtailing their academic freedom.

Read: PNP denies alleged militarization of campuses

“Hindi po namin papayagan na pumasok ang AFP at PNP lalo na si Senador Bato at Duterte sa aming pamantasan dahil nakikita namin na wala silang puwang o agenda upang i-address ang mga bitbit naming panawagan [We will not allow the AFP and the PNP, especially Senator Bato and Duterte to enter our university because we know that they have no agenda to address our petitions],” said UP student Rachiel Villamor.

Several UP professors also joined the walkout.

“Alamin at kumilos na ipaglaban ang tingin nila ay tama. Yan ang itinuturo namin sa classroom. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging edukador. At magagawa yan hindi lang sa loob ng classroom. Magagawa yan kahit sa labas kahit sa lansangan [Know and act to fight what they think is correct. That is what we teach in the classroom. That is what a teacher is all about. And we can do that not only in the classrooms. We can do that even in the streets],” said Josephine Dionisio, chairperson of UP Department of Sociology.

Aside from the campus in Diliman, the National Day of Walkout was also observed in other UP campuses in the country. (from the report of Mon Jocson) /mbmf

2 Bilibid convicts behind grisly killing of ex-Batangas solon – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Two convicts detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) allegedly orchestrated the grisly killing of former Batangas Representative Edgar Mendoza and his two aides, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Brig. Gen. Joel Coronel identified the principal suspect as Sherwin Sanchez, who has been imprisoned since 2015 for murder charges.  

Investigation revealed that Sanchez was a client of Mendoza, a lawyer who handled his transactions concerning financial and properties.

Sanchez did not pay Mendoza for his services after the former was convicted.

Sanchez allegedly conspired with his fellow detainee, Arthur Fajardo, to have Mendoza killed.

Fajardo, a member of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group who has been detained at the state penitentiary since 2005, then contacted his wife, Jael, who allegedly hired the killers.

Mendoza and his companions, bodyguard Nicanor Mendoza and driver Ruel Ruiz, were found burnt inside the former solon’s car in Tiaong, Quezon Province on January 9.

The day before they were killed, Mendoza and his aides went to the home of the family of Fajardo in Calamba, Laguna supposedly to collect a sum of money owed by Sanchez.

“Apparently, on the day he disappeared, and later on found dead, he was supposed to collect a sum of money from representatives of the principal suspect in Calamba,” Coronel said.

Investigation showed that Sanchez and Mendoza had disagreements on the amount for his legal services but later agreed on a sum amounting to millions of pesos.

However, Sanchez had no intention of paying the amount from the start and instead hired some gunmen to kill Mendoza. He allegedly contracted the killers for the sum of P100,000.

“There was a disagreement on the amount to be collected and also base on the revelations of the witnesses and some of the suspects’ confession, there was really no intention on the part of the suspect to the amount agreed by them,” Coronel said.

Police identified Sanchez and Fajardo’s cohorts as Jael Fajardo, Arthur’s wife; Madonna Palermo, Jael’s household worker; Kristine Fernandez, Jael’s errand runner; Carlo Acuña and Erickson Balbastro who were said to be members of the Fajardo kidnap-for-ransom group.

The five suspects were arrested by authorities on January 22.

Police found that prior to their murder, Mendoza and his aides were drugged with coffee laced with sleeping pills while they were in Fajardo’s home. They were later stabbed and struck in the head with a hard object.

The three victims were already dead when their remains were brought and burned in Tiaong, based on Balbastro’s statement.

Coronel said the suspects’ target was only Mendoza and that the two aides were “collateral damage.”

Police said they are hunting down a certain Rodel Mercado, said to be the one who stabbed and struck the victims.

PNP chief Archie Gamboa said three counts of murder have been filed against the suspects.

“This case is considered solved and it is now elevated in the prosecution office arm of the justice system,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

New PNP Chief Gamboa eyes ‘no-take policy’, faster administrative case hearing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2020

The new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa eyes a ‘no-take policy’ among the PNP personnel.

As the new PNP chief, Gamboa said he will not tolerate erring policemen, such as those accepting bribes and engaging in illegal drugs. He said he will also heighten internal cleansing among the police ranks.

“I stand before you today not just the ‘chief’ but a father who will stand and support you till the end if you are doing your job the right way,” he said.

“However, for those erring PNP personnel, you will be reprimanded, castigated or be dismissed in the service if necessary,” added Gamboa.

He also reminded police officers to respect their senior officers and always wear proper attire.

READ: Gamboa officially assumes PNP chief post; to implement reshuffling in PNP

The new PNP chief wants to expedite administrative case hearings from 60 days to 15 days.

“Work simplification is the conscious seeking of the simplest, easiest and quickest method of doing work. We should accomplish more tasks within a given amount of time, so watch for my deadlines,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gamboa warned drug personalities and other individuals involved in illegal drugs.

“Heed my words, with the guidance of our President, we won’t stop until you’ve been destroyed and neutralized,” he said. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Duterte to appoint PNP OIC Gamboa as next chief

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

PNP Officer-In-Charge, Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa arrives at Police Regional Office 4A and gives reminders and guidance to deployable PNP personnel involved in the evacuation, relief, and rescue operations in Taal eruption-hit areas.

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he will appoint Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as the next police chief.

Duterte made the announcement during a speech in Davao City.

The president said he would formally designate Gamboa as the next PNP chief after they meet with Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.  

Duterte earlier asked Año to supervise the police force until he has chosen its next chief.

“We have the PNP chief. I’m going to appoint you as the regular PNP [chief]. But […] you and Secretary Año and I will have a long, long talk first,” he said addressing Gamboa in his speech.

“Pinakita mo sa akin ‘yung sincerity mo and I’d like you to leave something that you will be remembered by the country,” he added

Gamboa, who was in the event, acknowledged Duterte’s remarks by standing up and giving a salute.

Gamboa was designated as PNP OIC after former chief Oscar Albayalde stepped down in October over allegations that he protected some police officers tagged as ‘ninja cops’ for their involvement in the selling or recycling of illegal drugs seized from an operation in Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde was the chief of Pampanga police when the operation was conducted.

In a statement, the PNP welcomed Duterte’s pronouncement of Gamboa’s appointment.

“The PNP welcomes the pronouncement of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte to appoint PNP OIC PLTGEN. Archie Francisco Gamboa as the regular PNP Chief,” the statement read.

“Under the able leadership of PLtGen Gamboa, we assure the public that the PNP remains committed to intensify the campaign against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption, following the rule of law and with utmost respect for human rights, and vigorously pursue internal cleansing to weed the ranks of rogue cops, all towards winning back the trust and confidence of the people,” it added.

In a separate statement, Año also welcomed Gamboa’s designation as the next PNP chief.

“He is very qualified for the job. I expect that he will work harder now that he is the permanent Chief PNP and lead the organization in its intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminalities, communist terrorist groups and extremists,” Año said.

“I also expect that he would continue to cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags,” he added.

He also called on the entire police force to support Gamboa, enforce the law and fulfill their mandate “to serve and protect the people.”

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