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Mario J. Mallari

PDEA names former police officer as new regional director for NCR

Saturday, 23 September 2017 00:00 Published in Metro

 

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has named a new regional director for the National Capital Region (NCR) where proliferation of illegal drugs has been highest in the country.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino appointed Director III Ismael Fajardo Jr., a former police officer, as Regional Director of PDEA Regional Office-NCR.
Fajardo was officially installed yesterday in a simple ceremony at the PDEA National Headquarters in Quezon City.
Fajardo replaced Director III Wilkins Villanueva who was recently designated as head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs.
Aquino expressed confidence that Fajardo is up to the challenge of curbing illegal drugs in Metro Manila.
“A lot of work must be done. NCR has the highest rate of barangay drug-affectation in the country,”  Aquino said.
“Owing to his vast experiences and impressive credentials, I am confident that Fajardo will deliver results of significantly reducing the extent of the drug problem in the region,” the PDEA chief added.
As PDEA-NCR director, Fajardo has jurisdiction over 16 cities and one municipality — with a total area of 638.55 square kilometers. The 16 cities are Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Manila, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig and Valenzuela while the lone municipality is Pateros.
Quezon City has the biggest land area of 161.12 square kilometers while Pateros, the only municipality in the region, has the smallest land area of only 2.10 square kilometers.
Prior to the position, Fajardo served as Regional Director of PDEA Regional Office III since May 21, 2017. He was appointed Director of PDEA Special Enforcement Service from August 2014 to May 2017.
Before entering PDEA, Fajardo has served the Philippine National Police for 35 years where he held various vital and sensitive posts. He is a recipient of numerous awards for his superb performance and competence in the field of law enforcement, especially in counter-narcotics.
Fajardo took up his Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Isabela Colleges from 2001 to 2003 and completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration in the same learning institution in 2015. He is a licensed criminologist and an alumnus of Philippine College of Criminology.

 

PNP monitors ships loaded with rallyists

Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00 Published in Headlines

4 FROM MINDANAO, 2 FROM VISAYAS

Protest groups in today’s mass action to mark the 45th year of the declaration of martial law led by the yellow group Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) is leaving no stone unturned in terms of mobilization including the hiring of six ships to bring in rallyists from Visayas and Mindanao.
Reminiscent of “hakot (paid participants) system” in political rallies, the Philippine National Police (PNP) high command said it has monitored efforts by groups critical to the administration to “recruit” people in Mindanao and the Visayas to join today’s protest rally in Manila in commemoration to the declaration of martial law.
PNP chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa said they received reports that the groups, which he did not identify, supposedly hired six ships to transport “rallyists” to Metro Manila from Mindanao and Visayas.
“We are validating the information. They supposedly ships to fill these with those coming from Mindanao and Visayas to go here,” said dela Rosa.

“We are expecting that because they are having difficulty getting people in Luzon area, so they get those who are vulnerable natives of Mindanao. We know that and we are monitoring such movement,” he added.
The chief PNP noted that even members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are participating in such rallies, without carrying their firearms.
Reports from independent online news outlets said a 2GO employee based in Bacolod City bared to DYHB Radyo Agong of the same city that a “Manila-based company” rented at least six ships from shipping line Superferry that will bring people to Manila on September 18 and 19.
The employee noted that the hiring of the vessels was unprecedented in 2GO’s history.
The employee said that six ships, four from Mindanao and two from Bacolod and Cebu, have been rented to transport possible September 21 rallyists from Visayas and Mindanao.
The employee did not disclose the agreed amount, but said the rental would cost millions of pesos.
“This is the first time that a company rented the whole ship. Not just one but six. There is no major event on September 21 aside from the Martial Law anniversary so I guess the ships will be used for transporting the protesters”, the employee said.
The employee said that one ship can carry 1,700 to 2,500 passengers.
She added that four ships left Mindanao ports on the night of September 18, while two ships from Cebu and Bacolod-Iloilo left the Visayan ports on the night of September 19.
All ships are expected to arrive at Manila South Harbor on the night of September 20.
Since the employee has no information about the passenger manifests, she estimated only that all the ships can transport at least 14,000 passengers.
Police avoiding mayhem
“That’s why we are closely watching these because we don’t want a repeat of what happened in Kidapawan where the troops were instigated that resulted in firefight. That is what we are watching,” said dela Rosa.
The chief PNP stressed that the 175,000-strong organization is prepared for any eventuality during today’s expected massive protest rallies, particularly in Luneta.
At the same time, dela Rosa said the PNP has not monitored any specific threat against the activities for today.
“We have enough preparations and we have monitoring for the event tomorrow (Thursday), we are prepared,” said dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa also emphasized that while the PNP will observe maximum tolerance, rallyists should not create chaos or violence during their gathering.
“On alert status but still maximum tolerance (but) they (rallyists) should not harm others, they should not block motorists and they should not damage properties. I think they can air their gripes up to high heavens just don’t stepped on other people,” said dela Rosa.
“We don’t want to experience a breakdown in the peace and order,’ he added.
Various militant and cause oriented groups are expected to launch massive protest rallies today in Metro Manila in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.
However, some groups are also expected to take the rally as an opportunity to criticize the Duterte administration.
Rody explains day of protest
In declaring Sept. 21 a “National Day of Protest,” Mr. Duterte recognized the atrocities committed under the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Today marks the 45th year anniversary of the declaration of martial law that allegedly caused thousands of human rights violations and political extrajudicial killings.
The Chief Executive, through Proclamation 319 signed Sept. 19 and released yesterday, said today’s protest actions is a reminder of what happened under Marcos’ martial law that should not be repeated.
“The Martial Law era that began with the promulgation of Proclamation No. 1081 (s. 1972) has imprinted itself in the collective memory of the people as a time attended by the commission of gross human rights violations, arbitrary state interventions, rampant corruption, and disregard of fundamental civil liberties,” the document signed by Duterte stated.
“The Administration recognizes the fear and indignation of the people against a repetition and perpetuation of such human rights violations and all other failings of the government,” it added.
Duterte also said that the protest actions set today should be maximized by the public to express their grievances against the government.
“(This proclamation is) in solidarity with the people’s call against all excesses and shortcomings of the government, and with the people’s desire to uphold the highest standards of integrity, efficiency and accountability in government,” he said.
A mass demonstration led by the Movement Against Tyranny is set today at the Luneta Park in Manila. Simultaneous rallies will also be held in various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the President warned of possible infiltrators from among the ranks of communist rebels to join the mass demonstrations.
“I urge all protesters to act within the bounds of the law, maintain a peaceful conduct of rallies, marches and demonstrations, be vigilant of possible infiltrators who may instigate violence in an effort to provoke the police and other law enforcement authorities, and avoid causing any undue inconvenience to their fellow citizens,” the proclamation stated.
Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that there is nothing that will prevent nor intimidate them in pursuing their demonstrations.
“Duterte has embarked on a desperate effort to obfuscate the objectives of the September 21 rally in Luneta and the entire country,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said in a statement.
“Duterte thinks that by trolling protesters and creating absurd scenarios, he can confuse the public into inaction,” he added.
According to Reyes, the issues that they will be fighting for are “extrajudicial killings, Martial Law, militarization in the countryside, the war in Marawi, attacks on institutions, the Marcos restoration, and the steady march towards dictatorship of the Duterte regime. “
Critics of Mr. Duterte have adopted the three-finger salute from the hit “Hunger Games” films as a sign of resistance against his rule and drug war killings.
The sign is in contrast to Duterte’s own iconic gesture, a clenched fist raised at or above eye level that is immensely popular with his supporters but which opponents have likened to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s hand salute.

A military asset within the Maute Group extricated Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob and another hostage from the hands of the Islamic State(IS)-inspired terrorists last Saturday.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, public affairs chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) issued this statement, following the pronouncement from Bishop Edwin dela Pena that Suganob escaped his way out from the terrorists.
Arevalo maintained that Suganob was rescued — describing the operation that led to it as an “intricate intelligence combat operation.”
“The rescue operation that happened is not known even to Father Chito himself that’s why we respect it if that was the perception he has,” said Arevalo.
“What we are saying is the fact that he went out guided by one of the assets of the intelligence service, he reached the place where he was to be fetched by already pre-determined soldiers is already a manifestation that it is a grand intelligence properly planned and well executed,” he further explained.
According to Arevalo, Suganob and Lordbin Acopio, a teacher at Dansalan College, were extricated from the hands of the terrorists during last Saturday’s firefight at Bato Mosque between government troops and the group of Omar Maute.
“It’s a product of an intricate intelligence combat operation… both of them did not know it was an intricate intelligence combat rescue operation…we got both of them alive…to us that is what matters the most,” said Arevalo.
Pressed on the intelligence asset responsible on the rescue, Arevalo admitted it was an “insider” from the Maute group.
“It was an insider, okay. That’s what we can say,” said Arevalo. He said the “insider” continued to assist the military in the ongoing operations in Marawi City.
“We do not want to delve any further on the issue whether he was rescued or he was able to escape,” he added.
As of Tuesday, the military said that there were about 50 more hostages being held by the group of Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon, the designated emir or leader of the ISIS in Southeast Asia.
Arevalo said that the military is currently validating the existence of the so-called Meranao Victims Movement and if it does, who are the personalities behind it.
He expressed hopes that those behind it are not out to disrupt government efforts in Marawi City, particularly the massive rehabilitation and repair works.
“With regard to that particular group, we are also doing our own verification and validation because we would like first to determine if that group indeed exists…and who are behind it,” said Arevalo.

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