AFP foils NPA extortion, seizes arms cache in Rizal

Marje Pelayo   •   May 20, 2019   •   2615

Courtesy: AFP-2DPAO

RIZAL, Philippines — Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 80IB recovered assorted fire arms and ammunition during an intelligence operation against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the province last week.

According to the information from 202nd Brigade spokesperson and 2DPAO Chief Army Capt. Patrick Jay Retumban, soldiers were able to seize three firearms, five hand grenades and a rifle grenade in Sitio Batangasan, Barangay San Andres in the municipality of Tanay on Thursday (May 16).

80IB Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Diaz reported that “the war materiels belong to the terrorists’ extortion group who were targeting the farms in the area and, for the longest time, have been threatening the people of Tanay,”

“Your soldiers are, and will always be, ready to respond to any NPA terroristic actions,” Diaz assured the public while asking for the community’s continued support, cooperation and vigilance.

Meanwhile, Acting Commander (2ID) BGen. Elias Escarcha lauded the success of the troops’ operations against the NPA terrorists branded “enemies of the state”.

“The fact that the NPA terrorists left these war materiel as they tried to leave the area in a hurry is a manifestation of the NPA’s prevailing fear upon the government’s military might and their diminished will to fight,” Escarcha said.

202IB Commander BGen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, who has jurisdiction over CALABARZON, commended the operation saying “this accomplishment is a product of our former rebel engagements” wherein those who surrendered “actively participate in the government’s campaign against the NPA terrorists”. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Jennica Cruz / 2DPAO)

IATF limits tourism activities in NCR Plus Bubble

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has set limited tourism activities in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble.

Based on the IATF resolution, transportation to and from Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan relating to tourism is prohibited. This is included in the non-essential activities set by the agency.

This gave several vacationers no choice but to cut short their trip and return home.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Spokesperson Goddes Hope Libiran, however, clarified individuals outside the NCR Plus Bubble who are returning home will be allowed to enter.

Ang pag-uwi sa kani-kanilang mga tirahan ay considered as essential travel. Kung kinakailangan, magpakita lamang ng proof of residence, ID o any document showing that you are indeed a resident ng area na iyong pupuntahan para wala pong problema (Returning to their homes is considered as essential travel. If needed, just present a proof of residence, ID, or any document that you are indeed a resident of that area you’re planning to go to so there won’t be any problem),” she said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said hotels and airline companies already agreed to ease their rebooking and refund policies for their customers.

DOT Usec. Benito Bengzon said tourism activities in MGCQ areas are still allowed.

Ang mga areas na under Modified GCQ eh pwede pa rin po ang (Areas under the Modified GCQ are still allowed to have) tourism activities for as long as the local executives agreed to reopen the destinations,” he said. – AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

BI warns OFWs vs extortionists, fixers posing as immigration officers

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday warned overseas Filipinos workers against a modus involving fixers pretending to be immigration officers to extort money from their unsuspecting victims.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the warning citing a complaint that they received from an aspiring OFW last December 2020.

“We have received a complaint sometime in December regarding a Filipino worker who wanted to depart to Dubai under a tourist visa, but was intercepted at the airport,” Morente said in a statement.

“An immigration officer who introduced himself as James approached her and offered to escort her for a fee,” he added.

According to the complainant, “James” claimed that he was assigned as an immigration officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and had the capacity to allow the victim’s departure.

The victim said she initially transferred P7,000, followed by P28,500 through bank transfer to the suspect. She again later transferred P39,500 upping her total transfer to P75,000 and attempted to depart but was intercepted again.

“The victim tried to ask for her money back from the suspect but he made excuses about it. Upon verification with our records, we had no such employee,” Morente said.

Morente said they had sought the help of government intelligence agencies, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in pursuing the case against the fixer.

“I am unable to disclose the details of the said fixer, but we received intelligence information yesterday about him. We already have his identity,” he said.

“I have instructed our Travel Control and Enforcement Unit and Intelligence Division to coordinate with the NBI and ensure that this person faces the harshest penalties of the law,” he added.

Morente urged OFWs not to entertain offers of fixers and extortionists so as not to fall prey to their schemes.

“They are sweet-talkers that will entice you to attempt to work illegally, but we have already measures in place to prevent that from happening,” he said.

“Report any fixing and extortion attempts to the police to make sure that they are arrested and they are prevented from victimizing other people again,” he added.

Soldiers aid injured NPA member in Quezon Province

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 11, 2021

A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was rescued by soldiers who were conducting clearing operations in Catanauan, Quezon Province.

Captain Jayrald Ternio, head of the public affairs office of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division said the soldiers patrolling in Barangay San Roque, Agro heard a cry for help. The soldiers were conducting clearing operations after a recent encounter against NPA rebels.

Ternio said the soldiers found a wounded 24-year-old alias Marlon who was reportedly left behind by his companions.

Ganoon pala kapag wala nang halaga. Iiwanan na lang nila. Nangako silang babalikan ako, ilang araw na, hindi naman sila bumalik (That’s how it is for them once you lose value. They will leave you. They promised to return but it has been days),” according to alias Marlon.

Ternio also acknowledged the soldier’s efforts in aiding those in need regardless of which side they are fighting for.

Kahit sa gitna ng labanan ipinakita ng ating mga kasundaluhan ang propesyonalismo at pagrespeto sa karapatang pantao (Amid the battle our soldiers showed professionalism and respect for human rights),” he said. -AAC (with reports from Jennica Cruz)

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