AMLC approves freeze order on CPP-NPA related accounts—DOJ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 28, 2020   •   425

MANILA, Philippines — The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has approved the freezing of bank deposits and other assets of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA), according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a text message to reporters on Sunday (December 27), DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the AMLC approved the freeze after the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) formally designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

AMLC Executive Director Mel Racela, meanwhile, clarified that there are no bank accounts directly named under the CPP-NPA.

“There are no accounts under the name of CPP/NPA, but the FO (freeze order) covers the related accounts (RA) of said organization. RA means all accounts opened and maintained for the benefit of said organization, the identification of which the banks and other covered persons will play a very important role,” Racela said.

He also added that the freeze order aims to “deprive designated terror organizations of resources to prevent possible terror attacks.” AAC

DOJ reiterates law enforcers should not interfere with community pantries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reiterated that law enforcement agents should not interfere with anyone doing good deeds which include setting up community pantries.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said a law enforcer should also not question individuals involved in community pantries unless they are violating laws.

“Suffice it to say that a person voluntarily doing an act of kindness and compassion toward his neighbor should be left alone,” he said.

“It is not proper for law enforcement agents to interrogate him unless there is reason to believe that he is violating any law, ordinance, rule, or regulation for the good or welfare of the community,” he added.

However, Guevarra refused to comment if police authorities violated the privacy act in gathering information about the organizers of community pantries. He also clarified that organizers are not required to fill out forms.

“Organizers of community pantries have no legal duty or are under any compulsion to fill out any forms, as these are not considered business, much less illegal activities,” he said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DILG backs proposed community service as penalty for quarantine violators

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday expressed support for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposal to impose community service instead of jail time as a penalty for those who violate quarantine protocols against COVID-19.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya issued the statement during the Laging Handa public briefing when asked about Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s suggestion.

Malaya, however, clarified that quarantine violators are not immediately arrested under the existing policy. He said violators are usually given a warning for the first offense and are asked to pay a fine for the second offense.

The DILG official also said that the local government units are the ones that set their own penalties for quarantine violations through local ordinances.

“Let me first say that our policy is not to go straight to arrests. In fact, most of the time, the first offense only yields a warning, and the second offense is usually a fine” Malaya said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“These penalties are within the scope of ordinances passed by cities and municipalities and signed by mayors. So, these are not controlled by the National Task Force of Inter-Agency Task Force,” he added. “Having said that, we support this initiative, and if our councilors are willing to amend their ordinances, that’s well and good. It might be better to have [violators] do community service instead.”

Guevara, in a Palace press briefing on Monday, said he has recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force not to arrest or detain those who continue to violate quarantine protocols, and instead impose community service as a punishment.

The DOJ chief said the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act penalizes “non-cooperation” of persons identified as having a notifiable disease and those who are supposed to report it.

He, however, said that the law was not specific when it came to actual violations.

“Yung statutes like Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases, meron doong provision on non-cooperation, but you know medyo hindi siya shoot na shoot eh, hindi sya talagang very exact to the actual violation,” he said.

“I also recommend that in the enforcement, the stricter enforcement of the ordinances, that LGUs consider the possibility of imposing na lamang the penalty of community service for those who will continue to violate our ordinances rather than imprison or rather than putting them in jail or fining them, eh kasi talaga ngang mahirap na ang buhay sa ECQ,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

2 suspected NPA rebels killed in Negros Oriental police ops

Robie de Guzman   •   March 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Two suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in an armed encounter with police troops in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.

PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas said the clash ensued on Monday between the members of the PNP Special Action Force Commando Course Class 105-2019 on a test mission and an undetermined number of NPA rebels.

Sinas said the encounter occurred while police troops were conducting combat operations in the areas of Barangay Nagbinlod, Alangilan, and Nagbalaye, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.

“The gun battle resulted in the death of two NPA terrorists while no casualties were reported on the government side,” the PNP chief said in a statement.

Police troops recovered the following items from the encounter site:

  • One chamber loaded M16 Rifle with serial number 9623781
  • One Caliber .22 Revolver Magnum loaded with six pieces live ammunition
  • Three pieces M16 short steel magazines loaded with 40 pieces live ammunitions
  • 13 pieces 12 gauge shotgun ammunition
  • One magazine of caliber .45 pistol loaded with one piece live ammunition
  • One magazine of KG-9 Sub-machine gun loaded with 16 pieces of live ammunition
  • 16 pieces of live ammunition of caliber 9mm. Pistol
  • One magazine pouch of caliber .45 pistol
  • Six pieces cellphone (1 android phone and 5 keypad phone, one of the keypad phone was wired suspected to be used as triggering device)
  • 17 Sim cards
  • One handheld radio (Baofeng)
  • Eight pairs of boots
  • Assorted ammunition
  • Other CPP-NPA documents of intelligence value

“The Philippine National Police is determined to end the communist insurgency, including all fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army,” Sinas said.

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