Duterte designates NBI as sole body to probe PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021   •   1274

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the National Bureau of Investigation to be the sole agency to investigate the alleged misencounter between cops and operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Malacañang said Friday.

“Nagdesisyon po ang ating president na tanging NBI lang po ang mag-iimbestiga duon sa putukan na nangyari sa panig ng mga kapulisan at PDEA diyan po sa Quezon City,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The shooting incident involving policemen and PDEA operatives occurred on Wednesday afternoon near a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Four individuals – two cops, a PDEA agent and an informant – were killed in the gun battle.

The PNP and PDEA earlier said that a joint Board of Inquiry has been created to look into the incident.

But due to Duterte’s order, the joint probe will have to be discontinued.

“’Yung mga binuong joint panel para imbestigahan yan, na binuo po ng PNP at PDEA ay di na po magtutuloy sa kanilang imbestigahan,” Roque said.

Both PNP and PDEA assured to work with the NBI in compliance with Duterte’s directive. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

COMELEC formally deputizes PNP, AFP for conduct of 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has formally deputized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the conduct of “free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible” May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

Under Resolution No. 10755 promulgated on Wednesday, January 19, the COMELEC listed the following duties and functions to be performed by AFP and PNP personnel as its deputized agents:

  • Provide security to polling places, polling centers/voting centers, canvassing centers, and such other places or buildings, including election paraphernalia, equipment, forms, and supplies, that will be used in connection with the elections;
  • Provide security to the personnel of the Commission, its deputies, and other persons performing election-related functions;
  • Deploy, at the least time possible, troops for election duty in coordination with the concerned Regional Election Director, Provincial Election Supervisor, and Election Officer;
  • Make available, at the least time possible, land, air, and watercraft assets, communication systems, and other equipment, in connection with the conduct of the elections;
  • Look into the existence of any armed group organized to commit, or which is committing or attempting to commit, acts of terrorism, or threats to intimidate or coerce any person to vote for or against a candidate, and to suppress or prevent said acts of terrorism or threats;
  • Assist the Commission in implementing more effectively election laws and/ or rules and regulations, particularly the laws governing prohibition against military, policemen and provincial guards acting as bodyguards or security guards for the candidates, the use of armored vehicles and air or watercraft, and the prohibition on bearing, carrying or transporting firearms and other deadly weapons in public places;
  • Provide security escorts to candidates, subject to the conditions and restrictions on the Resolution imposing the ban on the carrying of firearms and other deadly weapons and the ban on the use of security personnel or bodyguards; provided that, the AFP can provide security escorts only in the absence of personnel of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies;
  • Conduct a periodic assessment of the peace and order conditions in critical areas and recommend measures which may be adopted by the Commission in the interest of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections;
  • Comply with and/ or implement directives or resolutions of the Commission, which shall take precedence over and above the orders and directives issued by any other office or agency of the Government, except the Supreme Court and those issued in habeas corpus cases;
  • Render periodic reports on action taken in accordance with this Resolution

The poll body reminded that despite being deputized, soldiers shall continue with the conduct of all Internal Security Operations or its own functions and responsibilities and that no changes in the assignments of police personnel can be effected except upon prior written permission of the commission.

The resolution shall take effect after its publication in two daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, the COMELEC said.

 

 

Duterte names new chiefs for AFP Western, Northern Luzon commands

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has designated new chiefs for the Northern Luzon and Western Commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a statement, the Palace said Duterte has approved the appointment of Rear Admiral Alberto Carlos, the current commander of the Philippine Navy, as the new chief of the AFP Western Command.

He will replace Rear Admiral Roberto Enriquez starting January 24.

Duterte also appointed Major General Ernesto Torres Jr., the current commander of the Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division, as the new chief of the AFP Northern Luzon Command.

He will replace Lieutenant General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. effective January 7.

“We wish both officers all the best in their new tours of duty, and we are confident that they will continue to perform their mandate to serve our people and to secure our nation with professionalism, integrity, and dedicated service,” the Palace said.

In a separate statement, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana welcomed the appointment of the new officers to the two commands of the AFP “tasked with protecting the country’s northern and western frontiers.”

Lorenzana also confirmed the assumption of Major General Nestor Herico as the new commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps effective February 21. He will replace retiring Major General Ariel Caculitan.

“As these gentlemen assume their new roles in the organization, I am confident that they will rise to the occasion and effectively lead our troops in securing our nation and our people,” the DND chief said.

DOJ wants Kerwin Espinosa transferred to ‘more secure’ detention facility

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is eyeing to transfer self-confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa to a more secure detention facility following his alleged attempt to escape the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) facility.

“We believe that Kerwin Espinosa should be transferred to a more secure detention facility in view of the numerous cases that he is currently facing,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters on Tuesday.

On Monday, the NBI said it thwarted the plan of three detainees led by Espinosa to bolt from its facility through a hole of the exhaust fan at the ceiling.

Guevarra, however, said that Espinosa’s transfer to another facility would need commitment orders from the courts where his cases are being tried.

“Ordinarily, unbailed individuals awaiting completion of their trial are detained in facilities of the BJMP,” he said.

“The courts will determine the appropriate BJMP facility, but we’ll recommend the most secure one. the same arrangement will be recommended for the other detainees who attempted to escape,” he added.

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