PNP to deploy 15,000 cops to secure Duterte’s final SONA on July 26

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021   •   383

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy around 15,000 police officers to secure President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said the National Capital Region Police Office has finalized the security preparations and deployment plans for the SONA.

“Handang-handa na ang inyong Philippine National Police sa SONA ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa darating na Lunes,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nakalatag na ang mga security plan at nakaantabay na rin ang sufficient number ng ating kapulisan para sa deployment at iba pang contingency measures,” he added.

Eleazar said the PNP has not monitored any threat to the SONA but assured that all personnel are ready to respond to any eventuality.

Police officers will also use body-worn cameras to help monitor the movements of suspicious persons who may be planning to disrupt the SONA, he added.

Eleazar asked for the public’s cooperation and urged groups planning to stage mass actions to conduct their activities online amid the threat of the more infectious Delta COVID-19 variant.

“Sa ilan nating mga kababayan na patuloy pa ring nagpa-plano para sa isang rally, nagpapa-alala ang inyong PNP na lubha pang delikado ang ganitong klaseng pagtitipon lalo na at may kumpirmasyon na ng local transmission ng Delta variant ng COVID-19,” he said.

“Mas ligtas na makinig at manood na lang tayo ng SONA sa ating mga tahanan,” he added.

Eleazar orders deeper probe into killing of lawyer in South Cotabato

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday ordered a deeper investigation into the killing of a lawyer in South Cotabato.

In a statement, Eleazar wants police investigators to determine the motive and identify in the soonest possible time the perpetrators of the crime.

A report from the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office stated that Atty. Juan Gammad Macababbad, 68, was shot dead by three unidentified gunmen in front of his house in Surallah on Wednesday afternoon.

He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

“The Philippine National Police joins the legal community and the Filipino people in condemning the killing of a lawyer in South Cotabato,” Eleazar said.

“Kasabay ng pagkondena dito ay ang aking kautusan sa RD, PRO12 na tutukan ang kasong ito upang mapanagot ang mga taong nasa likod nito at maibigay ang nararapat na hustisya kay Atty. Macababbad at sa kanyang pamilya,” he added.

Eleazar said he also ordered the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to check on the status of other cases of lawyer killings in the last five years and to expedite the investigation of those that are still unresolved.

 

Philippines won’t cooperate with ICC probe, Palace maintains

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday maintained that the Philippine government will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines and its decision to authorize an investigation into the killings under the government’s war on drugs is interference into the country’s domestic affairs.

He also stressed that the country has already withdrawn from the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC.

In March 2019, the Philippines effectively withdrew from the Rome Statute after Duterte cancelled the country’s membership of the ICC’s founding treaty.

Under the ICC’s withdrawal mechanism, the court retains jurisdiction over crimes committed during the membership period of a state.

The ICC on Wednesday said that its Pre-Trial Chamber 1 has granted then Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to formally conduct a full investigation into the Philippines’ drug war.

Bensouda previously argued that there is a reasonable basis to believe that murder has been committed in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of the state policy.

But Panelo said the ICC can only conduct an investigation if the state’s judicial system is no longer functional, which is not the case in the Philippines.

It must also be proven that the state is unwilling to prosecute suspects in order for the ICC to launch a probe.

Panelo said ICC probers will not be allowed to enter the Philippines. He also believes that the investigation was politically motivated.

Public urged to cooperate as NCR shifts to quarantine alert levels system

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has called for public cooperation as the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system in the National Capital Region (NCR) begins Thursday.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the public can help ensure the success of the test by strictly adhering to protocols and being mindful of their own protection from the dreaded COVID-19.

“Sa pag-umpisa ng Alert Level 4 at granular lockdown sa Metro Manila ngayong araw, muling nakikiusap ang inyong PNP sa ating mga kababayan na makiisa at isapuso ang mga alintuntuning ipinapatupad para sa kaligtasan ng lahat,” he said.

Authorities on Thursday began the pilot implementation of the new alert levels system in Metro Manila that seek to curb COVID-19 cases and allow some industries to resume operations.

Metro Manila has been placed under alert level 4 due to high case counts and healthcare utilization rate.

Under the second highest alert level, certain restrictions will be imposed on establishments and activities that are classified as 3 Cs – closed spaces, crowded areas, and activities that promote close contact.

The policy allows certain indoor activities under specific seating capacity for fully vaccinated individuals. Granular lockdowns will also be implemented in particular barangays, buildings and other areas with high infection rate.

In the duration of the said system, curfew hours will be shortened to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Eleazar said police personnel will also continue to implement quarantine and public health protocols.

“Naniniwala ang inyong PNP na ang patuloy na pagsuway ng ilan nating kababayan ay isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng kaso. Kaya hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan na isa-puso ang mga alintuntuning ito kasama ang pagrespeto sa mas maraming bilang ng mga Pilipino na sumusunod sa mga patarakan at ang pagbibigay ng malasakit sa ating mga healthcare workers na bugbog na sa patuloy na pagdami ng mga kaso ng COVID,” he said.

Data from the PNP showed that a total of 224,626 violators were accosted in Metro Manila alone for violation of the minimum public health safety from August 21 to September 15 when the National Capital Region is under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

A total of 87,729 were accosted for curfew violation and another 15,296 for violation of the ban on unnecessary travel for non-Authorized Persons Outside Residence.

In the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, a total of 1,153,833 violators were accosted for violating of public health protocols, curfew and prohibition on unnecessary travels from August 21 to September 15, the PNP said.

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