Senate invites Ex-DOJ chief Aguirre on BuCor probe

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2019   •   602

Former Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has invited former Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to the next hearing on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) probe.

In the continuation of the Senate hearing on Thursday (September 19), the Senate committee will ask the former justice secretary about the implementation of the GCTA law.

The Senate will also invite Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong who was a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

According to Senator Panfilo Lacson, they would still need more statements from witnesses in order to formally recommend officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) for criminal liability.

“We need solid evidence to even consider recommending filing criminal charges against them,” he said.

There are currently three BuCor officials that are detained at the Senate after senators cited them in contempt for allegedly lying to the committee.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Michael Yang ‘no-show’ in Senate probe due to high blood pressure

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang was a ‘no-show’ during the continuation of the Senate probe on ‘overpriced’ medical supplies procured by the Department of Health (DOH).

Yang’s legal counsel Raymond Fortun on Monday (September 13) said that the doctor had advised Yang to take a rest after his blood pressure went up. Fortun also said he is prepared to submit a medical certificate as proof of Yang’s condition.

“His blood pressure had suddenly shot up. And for that reason, he was advised by his doctor to just stay home. Apparently, because of the proceedings, his health has been affected,” he said.

However, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said the Senate Committee will not give Yang a free pass.

“He can appear, he is not under pressure there, he is in Davao where he is comfortable, he can bring his doctor if he will and we want to see him. You know that always occurs when somebody’s under investigation they come in a wheelchair, show they picture that they cannot appear,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director, Lincoln Ong, is still under house arrest since he is still recovering from COVID-19.

The Senate probe was opened after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported the DOH’s transfer of P42 billion funds to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the procurement of face masks and face shields at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

PNP welcomes new height requirement for uniformed personnel

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday welcomed the signing of a new law that lowers the minimum height requirement for aspiring members of the police organization and other uniformed services.

“We welcome this new height requirement for aspiring police officers and other uniformed personnel. Suportado po natin ang wisdom ng ating Pangulo dito,” PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11549 or the PNP, BFP, BJMP, and BuCor Height Equality Act on May 26.

The new law amends sections of three different laws, which set the general and standard qualifications for the members of the PNP, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

The law now sets the minimum height requirement of 1.57 meters or 5 feet 2 inches for male applicants, and 1.52 meters or 5 feet for females.

Eleazar emphasized that height and physical appearance should not be an obstacle for individuals who want to join the uniformed services.

“Kamiy natutuwa dahil sa totoo lang itong kagalingan ng pulis ay hindi nakikita sa kanyang height, sa kanyang kisig, gandang lalaki o gandang babae, nakikita yan sa kanyang dedikasyon, sa kanyang kwalipikasyon na inilabas ng NAPOLCOM at syempre base na rin sa ating gagawing paghuhubog sa kanila,” he said.

The PNP chief disclosed that he had already given instruction to police applicants whose height is under the current requirement but meets with the new minimum height requirement under Republic Act 11549.

“Merong mga nag-apply na kinapos sa existing height requirement pero pasok sa bagong minimum height requirement kaya nagbigay na ako ng instruction na yung mga nakapag-apply na ay i-accommodate at bigyan na rin ng QR Codes,” he said.

“Tutal ay online naman ang ating application, yung mga gustong mag-apply pa na yung height ay pasok sa bagong minimum height requirement na 5’2” sa mga lalaki at 5.0 feet sa mga babae, welcome po kayo at ipo-proseso naming ang inyong application,” he added.

Eleazar said they will seek guidance from the National Police Commission regarding the application of those whose height meets the minimum height requirement of the RA 11549.

RA 11549 will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

The implementing rules and regulations of the law shall be promulgated within 90 days since its effectivity.

BuCor warns public vs scammers posing as bureau officials

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Friday warned the public against unscrupulous individuals who are posing as bureau senior officials to extort money from their victims.

The BuCor issued the warning after receiving information about persons who have communicated with its partners or suppliers seeking solicitation for future events.

“We would like to inform the public that BuCor has not authorized any individual to conduct such activity especially using the name of the BuCor officials,” the bureau said in a statement.

“Moreover, there are no personnel allowed to solicit favors and goods on behalf of BuCor,” it added.

The agency advised the public to immediately report such transactions to BuCor contact numbers 8478-3597, 0918 600 1081 (Smart), and 0917 819 2803 (Globe). The public may also send a message via this email address.

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