NBI nabs DOJ employee for extortion

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 18, 2020   •   422

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested an employee of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for extortion.

In a text message, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed that a Louie Musni Miranda was arrested for posing as an emissary of former Philippine National Police chief Camilo Cascolan and for allegedly extorting P1 million from a customs broker.

Miranda is reported to be a contractual employee assigned in the witness protection program. His contract is set to end on December 31.

NBI Deputy director and spokesperson Atty. Ferdinand Lavin said Miranda was previously connected with the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) last 2016 as a job-order employee.

“He was dropping the name of a retired police official that he will be assuming the chief customs position and made representation thereon with some brokers demanding one million from each broker and the representation that by next year, if they will not pay this early, it will be raised to ten million,” he said.

Charges of robbery and extortion were filed against Miranda at the Office of the Prosecutor in Quezon City.

Cascolan, meanwhile, denied his involvement with Miranda and reiterated that he has never met the accused.

“I’m not acquainted with him whatsoever. He should be investigated to know who is behind it. I have not been offered said position,” he said in a statement.

The NBI calls on other victims of Miranda to come forward and report their case. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOJ completes guidelines on the arrest of health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed the guidelines in arresting violators of health and safety protocols.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the department is ready to present the guidelines to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). He added that they will be coordinating with the DILG in a few days.

“The guidelines will not add anything to the substantive aspect. Only as to the procedure on arrest and detention until the filing of charges, if warranted,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has previously ordered the DOJ to draft guidelines to avoid any complications concerning the arrest.

This will also prevent overcrowding in detention centers.  Health and safety protocols will still be followed to avert the spread of the virus in detention centers.

“Fully aware of the complications that may arise from effecting arrests of persons not wearing face masks were required (such as the problem of congested jails or detention centers),” he added. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOJ, DILG crafting guidelines for Duterte order to detain people improperly wearing face masks

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are crafting guidelines for the latest order of President Rodrigo Duterte to detain those who are improperly wearing face masks in public, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said the guidelines will include details on the booking and detention processes, as well as the investigation and the filing of charges against those who will be apprehended.

The DOJ chief, however, stressed that Duterte’s order takes effect immediately even if the guidelines are still being formulated.

“The President’s directive takes effect immediately even without the guidelines. Existing laws and ordinances define the prohibited acts and impose the corresponding penalties therefore, and the relevant rules of court govern the procedure,” Guevarra said.

He also advised the public to wear face masks properly and to follow the law to avoid being detained.

“The best way to avoid being arrested while the guidelines are being formulated is to wear a face mask and obey the law,” he said.

On Wednesday, Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police to impose a stricter mask mandate to stem the spread of COVID-19 that mostly affected urban centers.

De Lima now in stable condition, discharged from hospital

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila M. de Lima is now in stable condition and has been discharged from the hospital, according to her personal physicians.

In a statement, Dr. Dante Morales and Dr. Errol Rhett Santelices said the result of De Lima’s tests showed no evidence of stroke.

“The medical team who attended her case said De Lima experienced episodes of migraine headaches triggered by the hot environment, poor ventilation, and noise. This was associated with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and reactive hypertension,” the statement reads.

Her personal physicians have recommended increasing ventilation in her detention quarters which is poorly ventilated and absorbs the summer heat.

It was also recommended that the senator undergo more tests should the symptoms recur.

The medical team also stressed that De Lima’s blood pressure and sugar level be regularly monitored. She was also advised to avoid stress.

De Lima was confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital for three days, from April 24-27, to undergo a medical examination.

De Lima thanked everyone who showed support, sent messages, and offered prayers for her recovery. AAC

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