SOJ Guevarra designates Buenafe as BuCor interim head

Robie de Guzman   •   September 6, 2019   •   1769

Deputy Director General Melvin Ramon G. Buenafe

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday designated a Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) official to act as the agency’s Officer-in-Charge following the dismissal of Nicanor Faeldon over the controversial release of convicts due to good behavior.

In Department Order No. 468, Guevarra named Assistant Secretary and Deputy Director General for Security and Operations Melvin Ramon Buenafe as BuCor’s interim head.  

Aside from administering the day-to-day affairs of the agency, he also authorized Buenafe to “effect permissible movements of BuCor personnel, to adopt strict measures to ensure integrity and proper safekeeping of official records, particularly records of good conduct time allowances (GCTA) and other similar time credits.”

The DOJ chief also empowered Buenafe to take appropriate steps for the formal revocation of release orders “improvidently” issued, and for the re-commitment of prisoners “erroneously” released from prison.

Guevarra said the order is pursuant to the directives issued by President Rodrigo Duterte during his press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Buenafe will assume the post amid allegations of “GCTA for sale” at the New Bilibid Prisons involving some BuCor employees.

Likewise, a committee was created to keep close administrative supervision over the Bureau pending appointment of a new BuCor chief by President Rodrigo Duterte.

This panel will be headed by DOJ Undersecretary Deo Marco, with Assistant Secretaries Neal Bainto and George Ortha II.

The DOJ chief said the order is effective immediately and shall remain in force until further notice.

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.

DOJ completes guidelines on the arrest of health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed the guidelines in arresting violators of health and safety protocols.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the department is ready to present the guidelines to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). He added that they will be coordinating with the DILG in a few days.

“The guidelines will not add anything to the substantive aspect. Only as to the procedure on arrest and detention until the filing of charges, if warranted,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has previously ordered the DOJ to draft guidelines to avoid any complications concerning the arrest.

This will also prevent overcrowding in detention centers.  Health and safety protocols will still be followed to avert the spread of the virus in detention centers.

“Fully aware of the complications that may arise from effecting arrests of persons not wearing face masks were required (such as the problem of congested jails or detention centers),” he added. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

DOJ confirms Facebook took down page behind malicious tagging

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime (DOJ- OOC) has confirmed that social media giant Facebook has already taken down the page that was linked to the malicious tagging spreading online.

In the past few days, netizens are getting notifications about getting tagged to what seems to be an adult video. Upon clicking the link, it will then ask the user to install an update to watch the video in full which will prompt to automatically tag random Facebook users to the same post.

In a statement on Wednesday (April 21), the DOJ-OOC said it has raised the issue to Facebook APAC Legal Law Enforcement Outreach and received a report that the page has been removed. The administrators of the said page have also been sanctioned.

“As of this morning, 11AM of 21, April 2021, the DOJ-OOC received confirmation from Facebook APAC Legal Law Enforcement Outreach that the page associated to the malicious tagging has been removed and its administrators were sanctioned,” according to the statement.

The DOJ-OOC also encouraged the public to immediately report similar incident for immediate action. AAC

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