Senate orders arrest of one of 13 ninja cops involved in Agaw Bato controversy

Maris Federez   •   October 9, 2019   •   957

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Wednesday (October 9) ordered the arrest of SPO1 Ronald Bayas Santos after he was cited for contempt for failing to attend the hearing set by the committee on the alleged Agaw-Bato controversy.

In the information that UNTV has exclusively received, Santos was one of those who had major participation in the said anomalous operation in Mexico, Pampanga in 2013.

The affidavit of arrest that Santos prepared on November 29, 2013, stated that a confidential agent went to their office, the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, at two in the afternoon in relation to the illegal drug activity in Woodbridge Subd., Brgy. Divisoria in Mexico, Pampanga.

At 3:00 pm, they headed out to the target area onboard a Nissan Urban and Hyundai Santa Fe, and arrived there are 4:30 in the afternoon.

This was also contained in the report of the group’s Team Leader, Maj. Rodney Baloyo to then PCol. Oscar Albayalde.

In the said operation, the authorities were able to confiscate 36 kilos of shabu and some cash amounting to P300,000, aside from the P100,000 marked money.

It was the same report that then Col. Albayalde has signed and forwarded to the Regional office.

Santos was also, according to the report, the one who received the 100 pieces of P1,000 marked money with initials “RS” which were used in the operation.

Santos was also the one who arrested the Chinese nationals, Ding Wekun alias Ding and Roel Cabag alias Owiena in the buy-bust operation.

He was also the one who did the inventory of the confiscated illegal drugs which were signed by the witnesses and police operatives but were refused to be signed by the suspects.

According to the research done by UNTV Senior Reporter Lea Ylagan and her team, Santos was supposed to be transferred from Police Regional Office (PRO) 3 to PRO-9 or the Zamboanga Peninsula on July 18, 2016.

He, however, went on AWOL and no longer reported to PRO-9 until he was removed from the service on November 13, 2017, for grave neglect of duty. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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)

Senate panel to probe influx of foreign cash to PH on Thursday

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, led by Senator Richard Gordon, is set to investigate on Thursday, March 5, the reported influx of billions of pesos-worth of foreign cash brought into the country by alleged organized syndicates.

Gordon, in a Senate session on Wednesday, revealed that from September 2019 to February 2020, $447 million or equivalent to P22.7 billion were brought into the country based on the report of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The sums of cash were allegedly carried by 47 individuals, mostly Chinese nationals, arriving in the Philippines from Hong Kong and Singapore.

Gordon said the large sums of cash were declared as investment and gambling funds.

The BOC earlier said that couriers of the money are able to escape detection because they are escorted by police, military or airport officials, based on their monitoring.

“Everyday, may pumapasok. Every other day, ‘yung taong nagpasok, meron na naman siya, three days later. So, talagang masusi ang trabaho,” Gordon said.

Under Philippine laws, any person is required to declare any amount exceeding $10,000 or its equivalent to other foreign currency being brought into or out of the country.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier ordered the BOC to coordinate with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to investigate the matter.

The senator said Thursday’s hearing seeks to probe whether the influx of foreign cash into the country is linked to the operation of offshore gaming firms in the country which mostly employ Chinese nationals.

He added that Blue Ribbon panel also wants to know if these sums of money are being used in any illegal trade or activities.

Gordon said an invitation to attend the hearing has already been sent to officials from the AMLC, DOF, Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Immigration. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

No PNP Chief yet? Duterte threatens to take over

Marje Pelayo   •   November 29, 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and former National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (R) during the 117th Philippine National Police (PNP) police service anniversary in Quezon city, Philippines, 08 August 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has not decided yet as to who will assume the position vacated by former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, retired General Oscar Albayalde.

The President said he is carefully assessing the credentials of potential candidates to head the country’s main law enforcement arm.

Without an honest, corruption-free man to assume the job, the Chief Executive hinted on taking over the PNP.

“Ang akin, (for me) if they have even a single case of corruption, wala na, (it’s a no), you’re out,” the President warned.

“I would rather not appoint anybody for that matter. Ako na ang hahawak noon (I will take over). I will be the one directing the guidance and direction,” he added.

The President previously said he wants to be conscientious in choosing the next chief of the national police following controversies that tainted the credibility of Albayalde in relation to his alleged involvement with the so-called ninja cops or drug recycling issue that compelled him to resign.

President Duterte acknowledged, meanwhile, that there are a lot of things within the PNP that needs improvement and overhaul.

“But verily itong pulis maraming problema, pati generals nila kasali sa droga (Verily I say these policemen are the problems themselves, even their generals are involved in drugs),” the Chief Executive noted.

“Iyan ang ayaw ko diyan, pati generals. Hindi lumabas iyan hanggang hindi ako naging president (That’s what I hate, that even the generals [are involved]. Not until I became president that this was exposed),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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