PNP on full alert for the long holiday

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 17, 2019   •   1312

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is on full alert for any incidents and emergencies this long holiday.

This includes the local units, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), the Highway Patrol Group, the Explosives and Ordinance Division, the Maritime Group, and the PNP Aviation Security Group.

PNP spokesperson Bernard Banac said police officers are randomly boarding buses to secure the safety of the passengers.

“Ang kailangan natin dito ay ma-prevent natin at mabigyan ng seguridad ang ating mga kababayan na nakasakay sa mga public transportation. Hindi na natin kailangang hintayin na may mangyaring krimen ang mahalaga ay ma-prevent na natin, (We need to prevent [crimes] provide security to our citizens in public transportation. We don’t have to wait for any crime to happen. We need to prevent it),” he said.

The PNP has called on the public to not hesitate in reporting any suspicious individuals or items around the area.

Meanwhile, the PNP has also prepared two 4×4 trucks and a coaster that can be used to augment vehicles in transport terminals in case there aren’t enough buses to accommodate passengers on their way to the provinces.

According to Banac, they can only provide assistance to passengers in Metro Manila.

He said they will be in close coordination with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to determine if there are stranded passengers in need of assistance.

“Hindi na ito makakalayo pa sa mga lalawigan kukulangin din ang ating mga sasakyan pang emergency lang dito sa Metro Manila (We can no longer go further in the provinces because we don’t even have enough vehicles here in Metro Manila),” Banac said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP eyes to complete procurement of body cams before the year-end

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing to complete the procurement of body-worn cameras to be used during anti-illegal drug operations.

PNP Officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa on Monday said a post-qualification process is being conducted to six bidders to meet all the requirements.

The body cameras are expected to be delivered in the second or third quarter of 2020.

Initially promised to be rolled out in 2018, Gamboa said the procurement of the P334 million worth of body cameras was delayed for over a year due to an alleged extortion case involving three police officers.

“The funds were released 2018. Nagkaroon ng bidding, may eight proponents but in the middle of the post-qualification, I found out that three of my men in the technical working group were asking money from the proponents,” Gamboa told reporters in a briefing.

He said the anomaly was exposed after one of the losing bidders in the project complained to him as the then chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee.

Gamboa identified the three policemen as Major Emerson Sales, Major Rholly Caraggayan, who are now both AWOL (absent without leave), and Major Angel Beros, who is still in active service.

“Nung na-disqualify, nag-complain sa’kin ‘yung proponent, and then, from then on, I caused the investigation,” he said.

Gamboa said the involved police officers will face criminal and administrative raps and will be dismissed from service.

“Honestly, it’s a setback on the part of the Bids and Awards Committee because I was believing myself na malinis kami,” he said.

“But of course, very isolated naman ‘yung case na ‘yun,” he added.

Vice President Leni Robredo, the newly-installed co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, earlier reiterated the need for law enforcers to wear body cameras during operations to protect the agents and the operation’s integrity.

Despite the delay, Gamboa said the re-bidding process has already resumed for the project.

The acting top police official stressed the procurement process must be done before the year ends as the 2019 budget is going to expire by December 31. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

No basis to file administrative raps vs Albayalde over ‘ninja cops’ issue – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said it has found no substantial evidence to file an administrative complaint against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde.

This is in relation to the alleged anomalies in a 2013 drug raid conducted by 13 Pampanga police officers, tagged as “ninja cops” for allegedly pilfering and recycling part of the illegal drugs they confiscated during the operation.

Albayalde was the provincial police head when the controversial operation occurred.

“Albayalde is liable for command responsibility; that is why he was relieved as Pampanga Provincial Director in 2014,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

“However, since he already relinquished his post as chief of PNP, he can no longer be relieved of his position at this time,” he added.

Albayalde relinquished his post and went on a non-duty status on Oct. 14 following allegations of his involvement in the anomalous raid.

He is set to retire from police service on Friday, Nov. 8.

The PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group included Albayalde as among the respondents in its amended referral complaint about the “ninja cops” issue.

Año said the cases against Albayalde will be up to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman.

As to the 13 “ninja cops,” the DILG chief said new administrative charges will be filed in light of the new evidence gathered against them.

“The filing of new administrative charges against these Ninja cops is in light of new evidence gathered by the Joint DILG-Napolcom Review Committee as well as those that came out during the Senate Investigation,” Año said.

“The President has given his guidance to the DILG to pursue the administrative cases against the 13 Ninja cops which we have already started,” he added.

The DILG said the charges being pursued against these cops include serious irregularity in the performance of duty, dishonesty and grave misconduct.

These cops are also facing criminal charges before the DOJ.

“The charges to be filed against them will not be for the same offenses for which they were charged in the past. Moreover, the complaining witness this time will be the Napolcom which is vested with competent jurisdiction on the matter, hence, res judicata will not apply,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said that the Joint Review Committee subpoenaed 21 persons composed of personalities who testified at the Senate.

The committee also reviewed documentary evidence consisting of the transcript of stenographic notes from the Senate hearings, as well as pertinent documents related to the 2013 Lakeshore incident.

Año also said that the National Police Commission has convened a Summary Hearing board to hear the charges against the alleged ninja cops.

He added that the summary dismissal proceedings against the respondents can be completed within 45 calendar days “without violating their right to due process.”

“Pending the resolution of their cases, the respondents will be placed under restrictive custody at Camp Crame,” he said.

PNP: Another Pampanga ‘ninja cop’ dismissed from service

Robie de Guzman   •   November 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it has dismissed another policeman linked to a controversial anti-narcotics raid in Pampanga in 2013.

PNP officer-in-charge (OIC) Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said he ordered the dismissal of Lieutenant Joven de Guzman over a May 2019 anti-drug operation in Antipolo City, Rizal, which also involved six other police officers.

“I have ordered the dismissal from police service of Police Lieutenant Joven de Guzman of Antipolo City Police Station who led a team of seven PNP personnel that figured in a highly irregular activity in Antipolo City early this year and were recommended for dismissal by the Internal Affairs Service as a consequence of their actions,” Gamboa said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

The PNP OIC said De Guzman was dismissed after he ordered a review of his case.

De Guzman was initially penalized with only a 59-day suspension because the less grave neglect of duty filed against him was not enough for him to be punished with dismissal from service.  

As part of due process, Gamboa said De Guzman can still appeal the dismissal order.

“Without his participation, the case went ahead. And it’s not even required by law that he will answer. So, ‘pag hindi siya sumagot, ibig sabihin, wala siyang bagong ebidensya na iprisinta,” he said.

The other six police officers involved in the Antipolo raid have already been removed from police service.

Three of these officers, as well as De Guzman were among the 13 police officers tagged as ‘ninja cops’ for allegedly recycling illegal drugs seized from an operation in Mexico town in Pampanga. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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