Palace backs lifestyle check bid among PH police amid ‘ninja cops’ issue

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019   •   391

Newly promoted policemen clap during a mass promotion ceremony at the police headquarters in Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 March 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday backed a proposal to conduct a lifestyle check on the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) amid allegations that some cops are involved in the scheme of recycling or reselling illegal drugs seized from operations.

“That’s a very good idea. There should be lifestyle check internally among the PNP members and for that matter, heads of department should conduct on their own,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a media interview.

Panelo added that the lifestyle check should be conducted by the PNP Internal Affairs Service.

Senator Richard Gordon earlier pushed for a lifestyle check on PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde as well as the 13 police personnel allegedly involved in a controversial anti-drug operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

Albayalde’s name was dragged in the issue as he was the head of the Pampanga provincial police when the questioned police operation took place.

He was also accused of intervening in the case of the 13 cops who were only demoted instead of being dismissed as ordered in 2014.

The PNP chief has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The Senate Blue Ribbon and Justice Committees, chaired by Gordon, is investigating the alleged drug recycling scheme of some ‘ninja cops’ and the questionable application of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) rule for inmates.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said to give him clear proof that Albayalde was involved in the narcotics trade, stressing the importance of following the due process in the ‘ninja cops’ issue.

He also said that he still trusts Albayalde and that he should be given the time to answer the claims against him. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to visit areas affected by ‘Auring’—Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit areas affected by the onslaught of tropical depression Auring, Malacañang announced on Tuesday (February 23).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in an online briefing said the President wants to see firsthand the damage wrought by Auring and the situation of displaced residents. Duterte will visit the affected areas in the Caraga region accompanied by several members of the Cabinet.

Nograles reported that financial aid has already been given to the residents. He further assured that additional relief assistance will also be provided.

As of February 22, the number of families affected by Auring has reached 28,009. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Gov’t details priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang has released the government’s list of priority groups for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

The Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) adopted the priority population groups which include medical front liners on the top of the list, followed by senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above
A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ
A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
B1: Teachers, Social Workers
B2: Other Government Workers
B3: Other essential workers
B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people
B5: Overseas Filipino Workers
B6: Other Remaining Workforce
C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups

For the first tranche of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for healthcare workers will also be distributed to a) COVID-19 dedicated hospitals, b) COVID-19 referral hospitals, c) Department of Health-owned hospitals, d) Local government unit hospitals, e) Hospitals for uniformed services/personnel, and f) Private hospitals. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace reiterates country not lagging in vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday (February 1) said the country is not lagging in the vaccination program for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said only a few individuals have been vaccinated in other Asian countries including Singapore, India, and Indonesia.

Hindi po tayo nangongolelat, kung magsisimula po tayong magbakuna ng Pebrero, halos kasabay po natin ang halos lahat ng karatig-bansa natin. Huwag po tayong magpapaloko sa mga kritikong iyan, wala matinong magawa (We are not lagging behind. If we are to begin vaccination in February, our schedule is almost aligned with our neighboring countries. Let us not be fooled by critics), he said.

Roque also responded to Vice President Leni Robredo’s call to stop the propaganda and focus on COVID-19 response and recovery.

Based on Australian Think Tank Lowly Institute, the country ranks 79th out of the 98 countries when it comes to COVID-19 response.

World Health Organization po ang nagsabi kung nasaan na tayo sa aitng COVID-19 response at ito po ang katotohanan. Bakit namin paniniwalaan ang ibang pag-aaral samantalang lahat tayo ay nagtitiwala sa World Health Organization (The World Health Organization reports where we are on the COVID-19 response and that is the truth. Why would we believe other studies when all of us trusts the World Health Organization), Roque said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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