CoA clears former health officials in controversial anti-dengue vaccine deal - Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 00:00 Published in Metro
Only 53 out of the 387 erring policemen of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) showed up yesterday at Villamor Air Base for their flight to Zamboanga City for deployment in Basilan.
Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, spokesman for the Philippine National Police (PNP), said 53 boarded an Air Force C130 cargo plane bound for Zamboanga City.
“They arrived in Zamboanga City on board C130 plane around 9 a.m. then to Basilan (aboard) MPAC (multi-purpose assault craft) of the Philippine Navy,” Carlos said.
Carlos added those who failed to take the flight would be facing additional charges.
“They will have additional administrative cases those who did not show up—Awol (absent without official leave) and insubordination/defiance to a lawful order from the PNP chief,” Carlos said.
Originally, 387 rogue members of the NCRPO were scheduled for retraining after being slapped with minor offenses.
PNP Director General Ronald de la Rosa said the erring cops could be rehabilitated compared to those who are involved in heinous and organized crimes.
However, President Duterte ordered de la Rosa to present the NCRPO personnel to Malacañang.
During a formation at Camp Crame, only 339 showed up to de la Rosa. The number went down to 229 when they were presented to the President who scolded them in front of television cameras and ordered their deployment in Basilan instead of undergoing retraining.
Last Monday, NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde said only 36 presented themselves during a head count at the NCRPO headquarters.
Albayalde said some were recalled from deployment to Basilan while others went Awol.
The deployment of the erring cops in Basilan came amid the ongoing efforts of the PNP high command to cleanse its ranks of scalawags following the involvement of active cops in the kidnap-slaying of South Korean Jee Ick Joo.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00 Published in Headlines
The primary motive in the murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo was to sow fear among South Koreans who refuse to give in to extortion by a Filipino syndicate, the Philippine National Police’s anti-kidnapping group chief yesterday said.
“Joo was a straight person, he did not give in to extortion…since he did not like extortion, other legitimate Korean businessmen also reject extortion,” Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, chief of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) told reporters in Camp Crame.
“That is what we are saying mafia style to instill fear to others so that they will give in…it’s not Korean mafia,” he stressed.
According to Dumlao, demanding ransom from Jee’s family was only an “afterthought” by SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel and other suspects who were a part of a bigger syndicate.
The suspects initially demanded and received P5 million from the victim’s family more than a week after Jee was kidnapped at his residence in Angeles City and subsequently strangled to death inside Camp Crame.
They demanded additional P4.5 million which prompted the victim’s wife to report to the police.
Aside from Sta. Isabel, three other active policemen were implicated in the case, namely, Supt. Raphael Dumlao, the team leader of the now disbanded PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group; SPO4 Roy Villegas and PO2 Christopher Baldovino.
The AKG chief said police investigators are now considering one or two more principal suspects in the kidnap-slay case.
“There will be additional one or two, they are also principal in this case,” said Dumlao but he refused to identify the additional respondents.
Dumlao admitted that the Korean go-between the suspects and Jee’s wife Choi is considered a “person of interest.”
“Actually, there was a Korean go-between who advised the victim’s wife to go with the ransom and asked P600,000 supposedly to expedite the investigation. So, this became a person of interest in the course of our in depth probe and we saw the link with the group,” he stressed.
Dumlao said the case is scheduled for preliminary investigation on Feb. 26.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said the joint investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP into the controversial kidnap-slay will cover all possible angles and motive, including the possible involvement of a Korean mafia.
He stressed the investigators are working hard to uncover the truth behind the Jee case that led to President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to disband all anti-drug units of the PNP from involvement in anti-drug operations following reports that the accused, including several policemen, used the cover of an anti-drug operations to abduct the businessman.
“Every angle and theory will be covered by the joint investigation. There’s no definite conclusion yet so I believe the investigation will continue,” Aguirre has said.
Sta. Isabel’s group allegedly used Oplan “Tokhang” against Jee.
The President also made a public apology to South Korea for the gruesome killing of Jee and subsequently directed PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa to focus on cleansing the police ranks of scalawags..
The President said police across the country who had been the subject of internal investigations should be assigned to conflict zones in the country’s troubled southern provinces where the Army is fighting Muslim extremists.
He admitted that he had under-estimated the country’s drug problem when he initially promised to wipe out the narcotics within six months of taking office last June 30.
Referring to his order to extend the crackdown, he, however, stressed: “I have a duty to do and I will do it.”
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00 Published in Nation
Amid the intensified military efforts to address kidnapping and piracy in Southern Philippines, unidentified armed men attacked a Vietnamese vessel in Tawi Tawi on Sunday — killing one of its crew members and abducting seven others.
Cmdr. Armand Balilo, spokesman for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), said that M/V Giang Hai, a Vietnamese flag vessel, was attacked at around 7:10 p.m. Sunday about 17 nautical miles north of Pearl Bank near Baguan Island in Taganak.
Balilo said that the incident was reported to the PCG by Vietnamese authorities.
Immediately after receiving the report from its Vietnamese counterparts, Balilo said that the PCG leadership directed its Taganak Station to conduct security and rescue operations — dispatching two speed boats manned by combined PCG and Marine troops.
According to Balilo, the responding PCG and Marine troops managed to locate the vessel of the waters off Baguan Island and rescued 17 Vietnamese onboard.
However, one crew members was found dead.
“Accordingly, seven other crew were abducted by the unidentified armed men and were brought to undetermined location,” Balilo said.
“The ill-fated vessel was towed by the fishing vessels organized by the Coast Guard and has arrived at vicinity Taganak anchorage area at around 11 a.m. today (Monday),” he added.
Balilo said that preliminary investigation is currently being conducted to determine the circumstances surrounding the latest abduction incident.
At the same time, Balilo said that the PCG issued notice to mariners regarding the incident and organized pursuit operations, in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) units in the area.
The latest kidnapping happened amid the ongoing intensified military operations against terrorists and pirates operating in Tawi Tawi, Basilan and Sulu.
A few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año set foot on Tawi Tawi to rally local officials and residents to support government efforts against lawless elements operating in the area.
According to Año, the military has the momentum in the ongoing offensives against terror groups in southern Philippines.
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat was appointed as new commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps vice Maj. Gen. Andre Costales Jr.
Costales is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 tomorrow (Wednesday).
Salamat will be installed as PMC commandant today during change of command ceremony to be presided over by Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado.
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