PDEA vows cooperation after NBI files charges over QC misencounter

Robie de Guzman   •   September 7, 2021   •   182

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday vowed to cooperate in the legal process in relation to the cases filed against its agents tagged in the February misencounter with some policemen in Quezon City.

In a statement, the PDEA said it will exhaust all legal remedies available in facing the criminal charges over the shootout between its agents and some Philippine National Police (PNP) operatives along Commonwealth Avenue last February 24.

PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said he considers the process as an opportunity to answer all allegations against both law enforcement agencies.

“This also allows the legal process to ensue and ultimately determine the accountability of those involved and eventually obtain justice,” he added.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday filed criminal raps before the Department of Justice against 12 Quezon City Police personnel and four PDEA agents.

The charges include homicide, attempted homicide, robbery, direct assault, falsification of official documents, and conniving with or consenting to evasion.

On June 29, 2021, the PDEA filed separate charges against police officers who were involved in the incident.

Villanueva assured the public that the incident will not hinder government’s anti-drug campaign, adding that the PDEA and PNP maintains their strong partnership and collaboration in fighting criminality and illegal drugs.

PNP Maritime Group nagtayo ng istasyon sa Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2021

Nagsimula na ang deployment ng mga tauhan ng Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group sa Pag-asa Island na sakop ng West Philippine Sea.

Ayon kay PNP Maritime Unit-National Capital Region (NCR) chief Police Colonel Oliver Tanseco, walong tauhan na pinamumunuan ng isang opisyal na may ranggong Police Major ang unang batch na ipinadala sa lugar.

Aniya, tungkulin ng grupo na bantayan ang buong munisipalidad ng Kalayaan at pangalagaan ang seguridad ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda laban sa mga dayuhang sasakyang pangisda.

“Ang primary responsibility po natin, unang-una, magbigay-suporta at tulungan yung ating pamahalaan sa pagpapatupad ng batas natin doon sa Pag-asa Island,” ani Tanseco.

“Siyempre doon sa ating exclusive economic zone, ang ating sovereign right, at doon sa mga area na pasok sa territorial sea, ang ating sovereignty,” dagdag pa niya.

Lakip rin ng kanilang tungkulin ang pangangalaga sa kapakanan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda na makararanas ng panggugulo mula sa mga dayuhang sasakyang pandagat.

“Sa Pag-asa Island po ang ating mga police are trained police investigators po para kung kinakailangan po ay magkakaroon tayo ng pag- arrest po ng mga barko na pumapasok, nagi-intrude, nagpo-poaching sa ating waters. Ang ating pulis po ang magko-conduct ng investigation and for filing of cases in court,” ani Tanseco.

Bukod sa mga maritime police sa Pag-asa Island, mayroon ding walong tauhan ang mga ito na nakasakay sa BRP Dagupan City na tumutulong naman sa Philippine Navy sa pagpapatrolya sa West Philippine Sea.

Ang Pagasa Island ang pangalawa sa pinakamalaking natural island sa West Philippine Sea at matatagpuan 480 kilometers kanluran ng Puerto Princesa sa Palawan.

Increased police visibility ordered in NCR public areas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday said he has ordered all unit commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) to increase police visibility in public areas following the downgrading of the COVID-19 Alert Level in the region.

In a statement, Eleazar said the directive was in response to the Department of Health’s (DOH) appeal for the continued implementation of the public health protocols after a number of people flocked to malls, churches, and other areas during the first weekend of placing NCR under Alert Level 3.

It was also in compliance with the order of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on the matter, he added.

“Nauunawaan namin ang pagkabahala ng ating mga kasamahan sa Department of Health at sa medical community patungkol sa mga report na ipinakita kung saan nagdagsaan ang mga tao sa mga pasyalan, malls at iba pang mga lugar noong nakaraang weekend,” Eleazar said.

DOH officials and some health experts earlier expressed concerns over what they describe was an apparent complacency on the part of the public when they go out of their homes to take advantage of the easing of restrictions in the metropolis.

In some parks and churches, it was apparent that some people failed to observe the protocols for their safety despite repeated appeals from the marshals.

“Kasama sa aking kautusan ang coordination sa ating mga LGUs sa Metro Manila upang maayos na maipatupad ang minimum public health safety protocols at ibang pang mga restriction na ipapatupad sa NCR,” Eleazar said.

While he welcomed the easing of restrictions in the capital region, the PNP chief said the public should remain vigilant and compliant to the health and safety protocols set by the government against COVID-19.

“Natutuwa kami sa PNP na kahit paano ay bumabalik na sa normal ang sitwasyon sa ating bansa subalit hindi dapat maging dahilan ito para tayo ay maging kampante at balewalain ang health safety protocols dahil kung hindi, ang panandaliang kaligayahan na ating nararamdaman ngayon ay mauuwi na naman sa matagal na lockdown,” he added.

The NCR will be under Alert Level 3 until October 31.

The national government has also expanded the implementation of the COVID-19 Alert Level System to some areas in the country beginning Oct. 20.

PNP welcomes indictment of Julian Ongpin over drug complaint

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday welcomed the indictment of Julian Ongpin for possession of dangerous drugs.

Ongpin, son of businessman Roberto Ongpin, is a person of interest in the death of artist Bree Jonson.

The PNP said Ongpin is facing a criminal complaint after some 12 grams of cocaine were found in their room in La Union resort where Jonson was found motionless last September.

Ongpin was initially arrested for alleged violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 but ordered released based on the order of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of La Union.

“We welcome this significant development in the criminal complaint filed against Ongpin. This shows that the justice system in the Philippines is working and that the rule of law applies to all. Lahat ay pantay-pantay sa ilalim ng batas kahit pa ang akusado ay mula sa maimpluwensyang pamilya,” PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said the criminal complaint against Ongpin, which is non-bailable, would be filed again before the Regional Trial Court in San Fernando, La Union.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the death of Johnson of the National Bureau of Investigation is still on-going.

Eleazar reiterated that the organization will extend any form of assistance in the investigation of Jonson’s death.

“Kagaya ng NBI at ng naiwang pamilya ni Jonson, hangad din naming malaman ang katotohanan sa insidente kaya’t handa kaming tumulong sa imbestigasyon sa kasong ito,” he said.

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