2 rebels wanted for kidnapping, murder nabbed in Quezon – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   December 28, 2020   •   1097

MANILA, Philippines – Two alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were captured in an operation in Quezon Province, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

PNP chief General Debold Sinas identified the two as Ruel Custodio alias Baste, and Ruben Istokado alias Oyo/Miles.

The individuals, who were arrested on Saturday afternoon, are ranking leaders of the CPP-NPA. Both were wanted for kidnapping and murder charges, Sinas added.

“Police records identified Custodio as finance officer of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee responsible for the collection of ‘revolutionary taxes’ in the province of Quezon. He is respondent in two separate criminal cases filed in 2019 for kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms, with warrants issued for his arrest,” the police said in a statement.

“Istokado, on the other hand, is a political instructor responsible for propaganda work for Komiteng Probinsya 1 of the Bicol Regional Party Committee. He is respondent in two separate criminal cases for double murder and multiple murder filed in September 2014,” it added.

Citing reports from CALABARZON PNP Regional Director Police Brigadier General Felipe Natividad, Sinas said the duo were captured in a service of warrant operation launched by operatives of Regional Intelligence Division, Quezon Police Provincial Office, and Regional Mobile Force Battalion with AFP teams from 201st Brigade, 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion and 4th Intelligence and Security Unit at 3:30 p.m. in Brgy Zone 3 Poblacion, Atimonan, Quezon.

Arresting officers allegedly confiscated two grenades, three handguns and assorted ammunition from Custodio and Istokado.

Both suspects are now undergoing booking procedure and investigation in Lucena City before they are presented to the Court, the PNP said.

Sinas said the latest arrest is part of the PNP’s continuing active police operations against CPP-NPA personalities wanted by the law for criminal activities.

Ombudsman junks CIDG petition vs Abayalde anew

Maris Federez   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has rejected anew the motion filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) seeking the reversal of the decision to acquit former PNP chief Police General Oscar Abayalde of graft charges filed against him.

In its resolution, the Ombudsman said the CIDG’s motion still lack sufficient evidence that will pin down Abayalde to the case.

The resolution added that the CIDG did not submit new arguments that will prove the involvement of the retired general in the case.

The CIDG filed graft charges against Abayalde for his alleged involvement in the anomalous drug operation of police authorities in Pampanga in 2013. —/mbmf

NTC, makikipag-ugnayan sa PNP at NBI para matunton ang nasa likod ng text scams

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Makikipag-ugnayan ang National Telecommunications (NTC) sa pulisya at sa National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) para imbestigahan ang mga nasa likod ng text scams.

Ito ay kasunod na rin ng mga reklamo ng ilang mobile subscribers ukol sa natatanggap nilang mga text messages mula sa mga ‘di kilalang phone numbers na nag-aalok ng trabaho, o kaya ay pautang.

Ayon sa NTC, maraming paraan para makuha ang phone number ng isang indibiduwal na pinapadalhan ng spam texts.

Kabilang na dito ang listahan ng mga number na nagpapaload sa mga tindahan at sa contact tracing system ng mga establisimyento.

Pero giit ni NTC deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, ipinagbabawal ang pagbibigay ng impormasyong ito sa ibang tao at paggamit rito para sa text scams.

“We can coordinate perhaps with NBI at police para surveillance, ano, ma-determine sino yung mga yan—grupo ba sila or individual, et cetera, et cetera,” ani Cabarios.

Payo ng NTC sa publiko, huwag magbigay ng personal na impormasyon kung makakatanggap ng mga ganitong mensahe.

Maaari namang i-block ng NTC ang phone number ng mga gumagawa ng ganitong aktibidad kung hihilingin ng mga magrereklamo.

Kung makakatanggap ng text scams, maaari itong ireport sa NTC Central Office Consumer Welfare and Protection Division sa mga numerong (+63) (02) 8920-4464; (+63) (02) 8926-7722; at (+63) (02) 8921-3251.

Maaari ding magpadala ng mensahe sa e-mail address ng NTC na consumer@ntc.gov.ph. (Mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DILG, provinces urge Senate to restore NTF-ELCAC’s P28B budget for barangay dev’t program

Robie de Guzman   •   November 16, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the League of Provinces of the Philippines have appealed to the Senate to restore the P28.1 billion Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) proposed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for NPA-cleared barangays in the 2022 budget.

In a statement issued on Monday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the program is “a game-changer in our battle to end Communist Terrorism in the country.”

“Unti-unti nang nararamdaman ng mga naninirahan sa mga barangay na sakop ng SBDP ngayong taon ang tunay na kahulugan ng pagbabago at pagkalinga ng gobyerno na hindi nila naramdaman sa nakaraan dahil sa mga Komunistang Terorista,” Año said.

The DILG chief noted that “there is now momentum in the fight against Communist terrorism and slashing the P28.1 Billion will send a wrong signal to the Local Government Units who have been expecting these development projects next year.”

“We must remember that the battle against the CTGs is not just a battle of arms, it’s also a battle for the hearts and minds of our people,” he said.

The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) echoed Año’s appeal.

During its 8th General Assembly, the LPP said it passed Resolution No. 2021-009 supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-insurgency program and urging the Senate to approve in full the proposed Support to the Barangay Development Program in the 2022 General Appropriations Bill.

“The full and continued implementation of the BDP needs to be pursued in order to bring about and sustain progress and development in these identified conflict-affected barangays that urgently need government support and assistance,” said LPP President and Marinduque Governor Presbiterio Velasco, Jr.

“The proposed projects under the SBDP which were identified by the community residents themselves, represent their collective aspiration towards genuine peace and development,” Año said.

The DILG Secretary stressed that cutting the proposed NTF-ELCAC budget next year will deprive these remote barangays of development and will make them vulnerable once more to the CTGs at a time when we have already gained significant strides in our whole-of-nation approach to defeat communist terrorism.

“Mahigit 50 taon nang naghihirap at napag-iwanan ang ating mga kababayan na nakatira sa mga bulubundukin at malalayong lugar na dati ay pinamumugaran ng mga communist terrorist groups (CTGs),” he said.

“Nakikiusap po tayo sa ating mga Senador na huwag ipagkait ang pagkakataong maramdaman nila ang pagmamalasakit ng gobyerno at malasap ang tunay pagbabago,” he added.

Año said that the P16.44-billion development projects under the SBDP this year are in full swing in the 822 insurgency-cleared barangays with several projects already completed and others in different phases of implementation.

Of the 2,318 SBDP projects funded this year, 19 are already completed, 557 are undergoing implementation, 783 are under procurement, and 959 are under pre-procurement.

Among the completed SBDP projects are livelihood projects in Barangay Mount Diwata, Monkayo, Davao de Oro; lot purchase for housing in Barangays Don Mariano Marcos, Tagbua, and Calapagan, Lupon, Davao Oriental; distribution of seed capital to poor farmers in Barangay Caduha-an, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental; livelihood project in Sangab, Maco, Davao de Oro; installation of 50 units LED solar street lights with solar panel in Barangay Darapuay, Bansalan, Davao del Sur; and purchase of rice harvesters in Carataya, Mahunodhunod, Putian and San Antonio in Cuartero, Capiz.

“Based on the current status of SBDP projects, we are expecting that majority of them will be completed by the first quarter of 2022 with some spill-over projects to be completed by the second quarter,” Año said.

He explained that some of the projects are still under procurement on the LGU level because it takes about 1-2 months for the preparation of pre-procurement documents like Detailed Engineering Design (DED) from the implementing local government units (LGUs), Certificate of Pre-condition (CP) or Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), and Notice of Authority to Debit Account Issued (NADAI) from the Bureau of Treasury (BTr).

The DILG Chief maintained that completing these documentary requirements were even more challenging with the stringent COVID-19 restrictions as another 4 to 5 months are needed to complete the procurement process in compliance with the Republic Act (RA) 9184.

He added that actual implementation of the SBDP projects on the ground takes about 1 to 4 months to complete depending on the nature of the project with non-infra projects usually completed faster than infra projects like roads and buildings.

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