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Arlie O. Calalo

Three drug pushers slain in encounter with Caloocan cops

Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:00 Published in Metro

Three more drug pushers were killed following separate gun battles with members of the Caloocan City police last Thursday afternoon and before dawn yesterday.
City police chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna said a certain alias Lauro, described by local authorities as about 35 to 40 years old, was killed by personnel of Police Community Precinct 3’s drug enforcement unit when he engaged lawmen in a shootout.
Reports said lawmen were conducting an anti-drug operation past 1 a.m. yesterday after receiving a tip from their informant regarding an ongoing pot session in Barangay 176, Bagong Silang when Lauro, the alleged drug den maintainer, fired successive shots at the approaching policemen.
The policemen returned fire, hitting him in the body that resulted in his untimely death while five of his cohorts managed to escape.
A .38 caliber revolver, two plastic sachets containing shabu and drug user’s paraphernalia were recovered from the crime scene, police said.
Earlier around 12:05 a.m. DEU operatives of PCP 1 led by Insp. Edgardo Esguerra were able to neutralize one Jimmy Predas, 42, during an exchange of gunfire.
Predas was the subject of a buy-bust operation conducted by lawmen in Barangay 86 when he managed to run inside his house after sensing that he was dealing with a police decoy.
PO3 Jonathan de la Cruz tried to convince him to surrender but instead of doing so, he pulled out a revolver and fired at the policemen, prompting the lawmen to retaliate and hit the suspect in the body, killing him instantly.
Three plastic sachets of shabu were recovered from his possession while another sachet of illegal substance and drug paraphernalia were found on top of the table inside his house.
In Barangay 175, Camarin, Ranillo Benavidez, 29, was shot and killed by DEU personnel of PCP 5 past around 4 p.m. when he engaged lawmen in a shootout.
Senior Insp. Alan Apa, PCP 5 commander, said a team led by PO3 Ferdinand Casino was conducting a buy-bust operation on Benavidez past 4 p.m. near his house when the latter pulled out his gun upon sensing the presence of policemen and fired at the lawmen but missed.
An exchange of gunfire ensued until the suspect was hit by bullets in the body. A .45 pistol and four plastic sachets of shabu were recovered from the crime scene, police said.               

QC Council throws support behind expanded MMDA powers

Friday, 23 June 2017 00:00 Published in Metro

The Quezon City Council has declared its 100-percent support to two proposed measures filed at the Lower Chamber designed primarily to expand the powers and functions of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
According to Councilor Peter Anthony Crisologo, QC, along with the other 15 cities and one municipality in Metro Manila, backs giving the MMDA more teeth to formulate and implement uniform policies, guidelines and programs and projects.
“For example, there is Ordinance No. 550 in Mandaluyong City allowing only spouses, parents and siblings to be with motorcycle riders. On the other hand, Quezon City has its own, too, regulating child back riders on motor bikes. Both have different features,” he told the Quezon City Press Club.
Crisologo said Caloocan Councilor Carolyn Cunanan, Metro Manila Councilors League president, has tasked him to represent her and take part at the recent meeting of a technical working group (TWG) created by QC’s District 2 Rep. Winston Castelo, House committee on Metro Manila development chairman, to discuss and extensively study the details of House Bill 4642 and HB 5057 authored by him (Castelo) and Marikina City’s District 1 Rep. Bayani Fernando, former MMDA chairman, respectively.
Under the two proposed measures, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) composed of 17 metro mayors, MMDA’s policy-making body, shall ensure that the policies, guidelines, and programs and projects of the 17 localities are consistent with one another and with the MMDA.
The TWG is scrutinizing thoroughly the provisions of HB 4642 to amend Republic Act 7924 that created the MMDA, and give the agency the powers and functions to review development permits with metro-wide transport and traffic impacts, undertake the delivery of basic services in coordination with and authority of the local government, and ensure all the 17 concerned local government units are well-informed of the MMC’s approved  ordinances with penal sanctions through the publication in a daily newspaper of general circulation.
As far as HB 5057 is concerned, it is also aimed to strengthen the MMDA and amend its charter, Crisologo said.
Under the proposal, the MMDA may deputize personnel from the Philippine National Police, local traffic bureaus, duly licensed security guards or any member from a non-government organization to enforce all traffic laws and regulations metro-wide, promulgate rules and regulations, set policies and standards, and enact ordinances for metro-wide application.                                                                                                    

A lawyers’ group has called for a swift government action to address the welfare of commuters and job security of drivers enrolled in the Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) program following the resignation of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick which sent a shock wave of concerns in the growing transport network vehicle service industry.
At a press briefing, lawyer Ariel Inton, founder of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection, told the Quezon City Press Club  the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should immediately summon Uber representatives in the Philippines to inquire into the state of health of the TNVS firm as a result of the apparent management squabble within its parent company.
Kalanick, founder of Uber, yesterday stepped down as chief executive of the US-based company following strong pressure from five major investors of the company.
Last week, Inton aired strong suspicions that Kalanick’s leave of absence ostensibly to mourn for his recently deceased mother was a mere smokescreen of a brewing trouble among the firm’s owners.
Inton, a former LTFRB board member, said the agency should observe caution and exercise due diligence in examining Uber’s petition for extension of its TNVS license.
According to Inton, trouble at the Uber mother company could trigger adverse impacts on the welfare of commuters and the job security of Uber partners in the country, reportedly numbering around 15,000.
“Mahalagang alam natin ang mga pagyayari sa mother companies dahil meron at meron itong epekto sa serbisyo nila sa ating mga Pinoy passengers,” Inton told reporters.
He warned that management woes in the mother company might spark serious problems on local Uber operations.
Inton said LTFRB should start digging deep into Kalanick’s motivation for declaring leave of absence, stressing that if speculations are proven correct, the brewing management tiff at Uber should raise serious concerns for both commuters and drivers in the Philippines.
The former LTFRB official explained that exercising due diligence in determining the financial condition and state of health of TNVS companies as the state agency prepares to review requests for extension of Uber’s accreditation.
Inton also dared Uber to respond to the growing speculations that management controversies have forced Kalanick to take the leave of absence.
Earlier, Kalanick had cited the death of his mother, Bonnie Kalanick, as reason for his decision to go on leave. Mrs. Kalanick died in a boating accident last month.
However, the young Kalanick’s decision had triggered speculations that all was not well at the top Uber management.
A background check on Kalanick showed that he helped put up peer-to-peer file sharing companies Scour and Red Swoosh but abandoned the two in the wake of management controversies.

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