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PNP confirms presence of Maute Group In Metro Manila; assures public safety

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

MANILA— Authorities are now searching for other members of the Maute Group to prevent further attempts to sow terror in metro manila.

This, following the arrest of one of its members, Nasip Ibrahim who is now under the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Securities at ports has also been tightened especially on roll- on/ roll-off (RORO) vessels that usually dock at ports, and are being used by terrorists to transfer their firearms and explosives.

“It is possible that they have a cell here in Metro Manila. Like what the district director said, they have a leader here, and his name is Eusoff Macoto; allegedly hiding in Tanza Cavite… Security at ports will now be tightened,” said NCRPO chief
PDir. Oscar Albayalde.

Quezon City Police District (QCPD) operatives arrested Ibrahim last night at his house at Salaam Compound Barangay Culiat, Quezon City.

Ibrahim is among suspects in the foiled US Embassy bombing attempt last November. The four other suspects have already been arrested last year.

Members of the Maute Group have used Ibrahim’s house to store firearms, and improvised explosive device which they use to spread terror.

Recovered from the suspect’s house were firearms and ammunitions, seven packets of suspected shabu, and a mortar.

Based on PNP’s investigation, the said group was also behind the terror threat during the Translacion and Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in Metro Manila.

“They have contacts here. They have a hideout here. They have connections here, and members that protect them especially those coming from Mindanao,” said Albayalde.

“Because their safe havens here are also their co-members and those who have returned to Islam.”

The PNP Chief PDG Ronald dela Rosa calls on the public not to panic since the PNP will deploy additional cops to crowded areas to ensure everyone’s safety.

“If the public will be afraid to go to public places that means they have achieved their victories. In order to defeat the terrorist we have to live our lives naturally. But we will remain on alert,” he said. — Grace Casin | UNTV News and Rescue

WATCH: Maute Group’s threat to General Bato Dela Rosa, allegedly due to PNP’s war on drugs

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Metro Manila shake drill set on July 27 – MMDA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

FILE: PNP National Headquarters participated in the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on April 21, 2016. Response and Rescue operations were also done during the activity. (Photo: PNP FB Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to hold an earthquake drill, dubbed as Metro Manila Shake Drill, on July 27.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said this year’s shake drill will start as early as four in the morning, to be signaled by the sounding of an alarm.

“For this year, it will be done on a weekend and at almost the break of dawn when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep,” he said.

“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” he added.

Garcia said they intentionally scheduled the drill very early in the morning so the public can participate.

Shake drills in the past years were done during daytime and even on rush hours, with last year leveling up to an unannounced, rush hour daytime drill.

“We want to test the response capabilities and preparedness of LGUs and the private sector as earthquake may occur anytime,” Garcia said.

The MMDA official added that during the shake drill, they will mobilize agency employees, Metro local government units and other groups to demonstrate their contingency plans in case strong earthquake hits the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, also the head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), will visit city halls and designated emergency operation centers in the metro on the day of the drill.

Different emergency scenarios will also be staged at city hall offices, establishments, communities, businesses, and households.

“We expect more active and full participation of the private sector as government’s partner in disaster and emergency preparedness and response for Metro Manila,” said Garcia.

During the drill, the agency will also practice the deployment of personnel to designated emergency operation centers located at the four quadrants in Metro Manila.

The MMDA said the northern quadrant will use the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course as evacuation camp while the western quadrant will use the Intramuros Golf Course.

The eastern quadrant will use the LRT-2 Santolan Depot while the southern quadrant will use the Villamor Golf Course.

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House closely working with intel units for Duterte’s 4th SONA security

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Joint Session of the 17th Congress at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives Complex in Constitution Hills, Quezon City on July 23, 2018.
(Image courtesy of PCOO/KARL NORMAN ALONZO)

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Thursday said it is closely working with government intelligence agencies for the security of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

House Sergeant-at-Arms Retired Major General Romeo Prestoza said they are directly coordinating with relevant intelligence units to evaluate any risks to the House or President Duterte during the SONA.

He said the increased security follows the recent bombings that rocked Sulu in Mindanao.

“Well part of it kasi, sa experience ko kasi I’ve been an intelligence officer for 27 years, those things talagang kinoconsider namin. Hindi namin pinapabayaan, tinitingnan namin,” Prestoza said in a press briefing about the SONA 2019 preparations.

“That’s why we initiate ‘yung direct na contact with the NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency), ISAFP (Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines) and other intelligence units to see kung meron talagang connection or possibility na umabot dito,” he added.

However, Prestoza assured they have yet to see substantial security threats to the upcoming SONA, which Duterte will deliver at the Batasang Pambansa.

“When it comes to security threats, wala pa namang substantial, meaning talagang wala pang nakarating na actual na threat,” he said.

He also emphasized that the House security is prepared and well-equipped to handle security issues.

“We have extensive training and seminars to include simulation exercises and tabletop exercises para in case na meron nga, we would be prepared. Even ‘yung protocols, when it comes to emergencies ginagawa din namin,” Prestoza said.

When it comes to directing signal jammers on SONA day, Prestoza said the Presidential Security Group (PSG) shall be responsible for it based on their assessment of the proceedings.

“Kung kailangan nila or they feel they need to initiate na the jamming procedure, sila makakapag-dictate noon. I cannot dictate it,” he said.

In the same press briefing, House Acting Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling said that preparation activities for SONA remain on track and are the same as in previous years.

“Basically, the preparation has been the same through the years except siguro for very minor details, mga maliliit na arrangements lang. It doesn’t really deviate from what has been happening from the past years,” Maling said.

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DOTr’s Tugade meets with Tolentino on emergency powers bid vs PH traffic woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.

Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.

The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.

“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.

(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)

Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.

The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.

“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.

(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)

The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.

He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.

Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.

The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.

Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.

“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye?  Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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