Respondents to file counter charges against Dacera family

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2021   •   1655

MANILA, Philippines – Companions of flight attendant Christine Dacera at a Makati Hotel where she was found unconscious on January 1 will file counter charges against her family, their legal counsel said Monday.

Lawyer Mike Santiago, who represents five of the 11 respondents in the case, said his clients are contemplating filing perjury, and malicious incrimination or prosecution charges against the camp of Dacera for allegedly making unfounded claims against them. They will also seek moral damages.

Santiago said they will also take legal action against some personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for alleged injustices committed against his clients.

“We’re no longer taking this on the defensive side na lang. We will face also these accusers head on na lagi lang kaming depensa ng depensa eh,” he said.

“Ang kalaban namin is yung family and right now it seems tahimik na sila but bakit pati yung NBI ang daming nakikisawsaw sa isyu na ‘to? Ang daming kailangang tuonan ng pansin ng bansa hindi lang itong case na ‘to,” Alain Chen, one of the respondents in the case, said.

The NBI last Friday filed perjury, obstruction of justice, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, and violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act against Dacera’s companions, hours before her death on January 1.

The NBI also recommended filing an obstruction of justice against their legal counsel, Neptali Maroto, and falsification of an official document by a public officer charges against Southern Police District medico-legal officer Michael Nick Sarmiento, who first conducted the autopsy on Dacera’s remains.

But the respondents questioned the complaints, calling it an overkill and the NBI investigation unfair.

“Sino ba ang kalaban talaga ng mga respondent? Una PNP pati si chief PNP up to the chief when he said case closed. Kala ko ba case closed na? Next, sino ba ang Dacera family ba? Ang PNP ba? NBI? All of the above?” Santiago said.

The lawyer said they are not inclined to enter into an amicable settlement.

Santiago also questioned the reckless imprudence resulting in homicide complaint filed against his clients as this only applies to erring drivers and doctors.

On the violation of the dangerous drugs act, the lawyer said his clients tested negative for illegal drug use.

Dacera was found unconscious in a bathtub at a Makati Hotel room on January 1 after a night of merry-making with friends. Her companions said they tried to revive her and rushed her to a hospital where she was later declared dead.

Her family believes she was drugged and sexually abused.

The PNP said in its medico-legal report that Dacera died of natural causes, ruling out homicide as the cause of death. The report stated that she died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm that was triggered by an increase in blood pressure. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Sinas tells police personnel to fully support incoming PNP chief Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold Sinas on Thursday called on the 200,000-strong police force to fully support Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar who was named as the next top cop.

“I urge you to give my classmate, Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the same 100 percent support you gave during the past six months under my watch,” Sinas said in a statement.

“Every Chief PNP appointed to the post carries with him the full trust and confidence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, therefore, he deserves the unqualified support of all the officers and personnel under his command,” he added.

Sinas is set to retire on May 8 when he reaches the mandatory age of 56. He will formally relinquish the top PNP post to Eleazar in a change of command ceremony in Camp Crame on Friday, May 7.

Sinas stressed the importance of the continuity of command to “sustain the momentum to carry out institutional programs and policies.”

“It has been probably the longest six months tour of duty we have served together to accomplish our mission for the Filipino people,” he said.

“And I honestly believe we have been able to deliver more than what we promised to the President and the Filipino people, because everyone stood by me, from the ranking officers in the headquarters to the last beat patroller in the streets,” he added.

Both Sinas and Eleazar belong to the PMA “Hinirang” Class of 1987.

Eleazar graduated Cum Laude as Top 4 in the order of merit of PMA Class 1987.

He then went on to hold key positions while serving as field-grade officer. He served as chief of police of San Pedro, Laguna; provincial officer of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Batangas and Laguna; and chief investigator of the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response (PACER).

He was also designated as the CIDG regional chief in Central Luzon and Central Visayas, where he “waged a relentless campaign against organized crime groups and other threat groups in these regions.”

He also held various administrative positions in the Directorate for Logistics and Directorate for Comptrollership and later led the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group and the PNP’s campaign against online sexual exploitation of children, and internet-based fraud and criminal activity.

In 2016, he took the helm of the Quezon City Police District where he launched anti-crime and anti-illegal drug operations that led to the arrest of notorious street criminals and neutralization of drug targets including rogue cops involved in crime.

He also served as PNP Regional Director for CALABARZON and Metro Manila and headed the Joint Task Force COVID Shield as the law enforcement and public safety arm of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Prior to his appointment as PNP chief, he also served as deputy chief for Administration and PNP’s second in command.

 

Face mask violators, iimbestigahan muna bago papatawan ng parusa – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na mas hihigpitan nila ang pagpapatupad ng minimum health protocols alinsunod sa utos ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na hulihin ang mga hindi sumusunod sa patakaran ng pagsusuot ng face mask sa gitna ng pandemya.

Noong Miyerkules ng gabi, sinabi ng pangulo na ang pag-aresto sa mga lumalabag sa health protocols ang nakikita niyang paraan upang sumunod ang publiko sa mga polisiya upang maiwasan ang lalo pang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Ronaldo Olay, magiging maingat sila sa panghuhuli ng face mask violator bunsod na rin ng mga nagdaang insidente kung saan may nasawing protocol violator.

Aniya, ang mga aarestuhing indibiduwal ay kailangang dalhin sa istasyon ng pulisya at i-record ang naging paglabag nito upang malaman ang parusang ipapataw batay sa ordinansa ng nakasasakop na lokal na pamahalaan.

“May mga graduated punishment yan, unang pagkakasita puwedeng warning. Pangalawa ay fine merong panikit ang LGU, titiketan ka at magbabayad ka ng multa at pwede din yung pangatlo yung community service. Halimbawa maglinis ka, magwalis o magtapon ng basura,” ang wika ni Olay.

Iimbestigahan rin ang mga violator upang malaman kung may iba pa silang kinakaharap na kaso.

“Kung yung taong nasita ay may pending warrant ay ide-detain siya. Kung may violation naman na kailangang i-inquest ay i-inquest siya kagaya ng disobedience to person in authority o direct assault,” ani Olay.

Dati nang ipinag-utos ni outgoing PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas sa mga pulis na bigyan lamang ng babala at huwag nang arestuhin ang mga lumalabag sa health protocols kasunod ng pagkamatay ng isang indibidwal matapos umanong parusahan sa pamamagitan ng exercise dahil sa paglabag sa curfew. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Eleazar is next chief of Philippine National Police — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar has been designated as the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Eleazar’s appointment as the next top cop.

He will replace Police General Debold Sinas who will retire on May 8.

“Gen. Eleazar’s track record of professionalism, dedication, and integrity speaks for itself,” Roque said.

“We are therefore confident that he will continue the reform initiatives of his predecessors and lead the police organization to greater heights,” he added.

In a separate statement, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año welcomed the appointment of Eleazar, whom he said is “very qualified for the job.”

Año, who chairs the National Police Commission, earlier said he only recommended one name to replace Sinas.

“Through a NAPOLCOM resolution, Eleazar was recommended to be the next Chief PNP based on seniority, merit, service reputation, and competence to lead the Police Force,” he said.

“I expect PLt Gen Eleazar to lead the PNP Organization to greater heights amidst the pandemic during these challenging times,” he added.

Eleazar thanked Duterte for choosing him as the next leader of the PNP.

“To be appointed as the Chief PNP is a rare opportunity, but come with the challenges of good leadership and meeting the high expectations of the Filipino people. I accept these challenges,” he said.

“I express my sincerest gratitude to our Commander-In-Chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for choosing me to be among the instruments of his genuine intention of a having a well-disciplined and professional police force that could always be banked on in enforcing the law and in serving and protecting the Filipino people,” he added.

He also expressed gratitude to Año for “always believing in my capability to lead the more than 220,000-strong” police force.

“At higit sa lahat ay nagpapasalamat ako sa Poong Maykapal sa pambihirang pagkakataon na ibinigay niya sa akin upang pagsilbihan ang aking kapwa Pilipino,” he added.

Eleazar will serve as PNP chief for about six months before he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Nov. 13.

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