Zamboanga drug enforcement chief faces raps over positive drug test

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 13, 2021   •   183

MANILA, Philippines — The drug enforcement chief of Zamboanga City Police Office has been relieved from his post after testing positive for narcotics.

PNP Chief Police General Debold Sinas in a statement said that Police Major Jivertson Pelovello has been reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section of Police Regional Office 9 while undergoing pre-charge investigation and summary dismissal proceedings.

Western Mindanao PNP Regional Director, Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan reported that Pelovello has been disarmed of his issued firearms and slapped with corresponding administrative charges.

The PNP Chief reiterated that members of the national police who are using illegal drugs do not deserve to stay in service and should immediately be dismissed.

Pelovello is among the 60 police personnel in Zamboanga City that tested positive for illegal drugs.

Parts of Zamboanga City, Jolo town flooded due to heavy rains

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains due to a low pressure area (LPA) spotted in the vicinity of Western Mindanao have resulted in flooding in parts of Zamboanga City and Jolo town proper in Sulu.

Floodwater due to rains that poured overnight since Sunday until before dawn on Monday affected many residents in Barangays Talisayan, Patalon, and Ayala.

Local authorities said the floodwaters reached knee-deep in some areas in the city and affected around 200 families. High-value crops and rice fields in the said areas were also affected.

The City’s Emergency Response Teams have been deployed to monitor the situation, and to evacuate, when necessary, residents in coastal barangays amid the weather disturbance.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported it has assisted in the evacuation of residents in Jolo, Sulu affected by the flooding in Barangays Asturias, Tulay, Hadju Butu, Chinese Pier, Serrantes, Takut-Takut, and Alat.

Photos posted by the PCG on its Facebook page show knee-deep floods and residents wading on water holding onto ropes held by rescuers.

No casualties were reported.

The state weather agency on Monday said the LPA was estimated at 90 kilometers southeast of Zamboanga City, embedded along the intertropical convergence zone.

The weather bureau warned that the combined effects of the weather disturbance will bring moderate to heavy rains in some parts of Mindanao and may cause flashfloods and landslides in areas prone to these hazards. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

Makati City Prosecutor’s Office begins prelim probe on Christine Dacera case

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday started its preliminary investigation into the complaint lodged against 11 individuals over the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

The respondents are facing a complaint for rape with homicide. They were identified as among the individuals who were with Dacera hours before she died on January 1, following a night of partying with friends.

In a press statement, the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office said 7 out of 11 respondents and their legal counsels attended Wednesday’s hearing.

Five of them submitted their counter-affidavit.

The office also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has submitted a supplemental complaint but manifested that it is still awaiting results of the DNA analysis, histopath examination, and laboratory results from Makati Medical Center

“Hence, they moved for the resetting of the preliminary investigation,” it said.

Dacera was found in the bathtub of a hotel room in Makati where she attended a party with some friends on December 31, 2020.

Three of the respondents were detained by police but was ordered released by the City Prosecutor’s Office after it referred the case for further investigation to allow both the complainant and the respondents to submit more evidence.

The next hearing is scheduled on January 27.

DOJ issues hold departure order vs nine cops in Jolo shooting

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a hold departure order against the nine policemen involved in the shooting of four army personnel in Jolo, Sulu.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered prosecutors to file a motion in the court for a hold departure order against the policemen accused of killing the four army personnel in Jolo, Sulu last June 2020.

The order was issued after the Philippine National Police (PNP) released the said cops after being dismissed from service.

“The DOJ prosecutors filed the criminal information against the 9 police officers last January 4. The court was supposed to issue the warrants of arrest thereafter, but apparently failed to do so because of the current lockdown in Sulu,” he said.

Guevarra, meanwhile, hopes the accused would voluntarily turn themselves in once the warrants are issued.

“We hope that the 9 accused will voluntarily turn themselves in when such warrants are eventually released by the court. Otherwise, law enforcement agents will look for them and take them into custody,” Guevarra said. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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