NBI recommends filing of raps vs Jolo cops involved in killing of soldiers

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020   •   812

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday recommended to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the filing of complaints against police officers involved in the killing of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in late June.

In its report to the DOJ, the NBI recommended the filing of four counts of murder and planting of evidence against the following cops:

  • PSMS Abdelzhimar Padjiri
  • Police Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri
  • P/Staff Sergeant Iskandar Susulan
  • PSSg Erniskar Sappal
  • PCorporal Sulki Andaki
  • Patrolman Mohammad Nur Pasani
  • PSSg Almudzrin Hadjaruddin
  • Patrolman Alkajal Mandangan
  • Patrolman Rajiv Putalan

The NBI also recommended the filing of neglect of duty charges against three police officials:

  • Sulu Provincial Police director P/Colonel Michael Bayawan Jr.
  • Jolo Municipal Police Station chief P/Major Water Annayo
  • Sulu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit chief P/Captain Ariel Corcino

The shooting incident happened on June 29. Four soldiers were said to be tailing alleged suicide bombers when they were supposedly accosted by nine cops.

Despite identifying themselves as members of the military, they were instructed by the policemen to proceed to the police station for the verification of their identities.

Police spot report stated that the shooting incident transpired when the soldiers allegedly tried to escape and pointed their weapons at the police officers, which allegedly prompted the cops to open fire.

The NBI was tasked to investigate the incident as both agreed by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The DOJ said the complaints will be elevated to the court once it has found a probable cause. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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)

Respondents to file counter charges against Dacera family

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Companions of flight attendant Christine Dacera at a Makati Hotel where she was found unconscious on January 1 will file counter charges against her family, their legal counsel said Monday.

Lawyer Mike Santiago, who represents five of the 11 respondents in the case, said his clients are contemplating filing perjury, and malicious incrimination or prosecution charges against the camp of Dacera for allegedly making unfounded claims against them. They will also seek moral damages.

Santiago said they will also take legal action against some personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for alleged injustices committed against his clients.

“We’re no longer taking this on the defensive side na lang. We will face also these accusers head on na lagi lang kaming depensa ng depensa eh,” he said.

“Ang kalaban namin is yung family and right now it seems tahimik na sila but bakit pati yung NBI ang daming nakikisawsaw sa isyu na ‘to? Ang daming kailangang tuonan ng pansin ng bansa hindi lang itong case na ‘to,” Alain Chen, one of the respondents in the case, said.

The NBI last Friday filed perjury, obstruction of justice, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against Dacera’s companions, hours before her death on January 1.

The NBI also recommended filing an obstruction of justice against their legal counsel, Neptali Maroto, and falsification of an official document by a public officer charges against Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento, who first conducted the autopsy on Dacera’s remains.

But the respondents questioned the complaints, calling it an overkill and the NBI investigation unfair.

“Sino ba ang kalaban talaga ng mga respondent? Una PNP pati si chief PNP up to the chief when he said case closed. Kala ko ba case closed na? Next, sino ba ang Dacera family ba? Ang PNP ba? NBI? All of the above?” Santiago said.

The lawyer said they are not inclined to enter into an amicable settlement.

Santiago also questioned the reckless imprudence resulting in homicide complaint filed against his clients as this only applies to erring drivers and doctors.

On the violation of the dangerous drugs act, the lawyer said his clients tested negative for illegal drug use.

Dacera was found unconscious in a bathtub at a Makati Hotel room on January 1 after a night of merry-making with friends. Her companions said they tried to revive her and rushed her to a hospital where she was later declared dead.

Her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused.

The PNP said in its medico-legal report that Dacera died of natural causes, ruling out homicide as the cause of death. The report stated that she died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was triggered by an increase in blood pressure. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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