Tisoy death toll now at 13

Maris Federez   •   December 4, 2019   •   567

A handout photo made available by Greenpeace-Philippines shows villagers working among damaged houses in the aftermath of Typhoon Kammuri in Legazpi city, Albay Province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/BASILIO SEPE

MANILA, Philippines – The death toll on the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy (International Name: Kammuri) has now reached 13.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 5 data, five were confirmed dead in the Bicol region, with one person recorded injured.

The Mimaropa Public Information Office, on the other hand, reported four fatalities in Oriental Mindoro and one in the province of Marinduque.

Calabarzon recorded two deaths in Quezon Province, while Leyte reported one fatality in Ormoc City.

So far, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has not issued an official death toll on Tisoy’s aftermath.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said they are still verifying the reported fatalities.

The families of deceased victims will be given P20,000 financial aid, while those who were injured by the typhoon will be handed out P10,000.

The agency is still conducting damage assessment in infrastructure and agriculture.

“Yung assessment po sa Bicol at sa Samar provinces na dinaanan ng bagyo, ongoing. At nakikita po natin na ‘yung mga reports na nagkaroon ng mga pagbaha doon sa area, ito po’y unti-unting pinapadala sa atin ng mga kasamahan natin from the ground,” Timbal said.

The latest data from the NDRRMC said more than 100,000 families or over 400,000 individuals in Regions 3, 5, 8, NCR and Mimaropa were evacuated from their homes.

The NDRRMC has assured that relief goods are available and ready to be distributed in case affected provinces, even those under a state of calamity, will signify their need for additional supplies. (with inputs from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

9 cops probed for Jolo shooting under restrictive custody in Camp Crame

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

Nine policemen tagged in the shooting of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu on June 29 are now under restrictive custody at Camp Crame, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The PNP identified the policemen as Police Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri; Police Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri; Police Staff Sergeant Iskandar  Susulan;  Police Staff Sergeant Ernisar Sappal; Police Corporal Sulki Andaki; Patrolman Moh. Nur  Pasani; Police Staff Sergeant Almudzrin  Hadjaruddin; Patrolman Alkajal  Mandangan and Patrolman Rajiv Putalan.

The policemen were transferred to Camp Crame after the second test result for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) of one of the cops turned out negative. His first COVID-19 rapid test last Friday (July 3) was positive.

According to the PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, the nine non-commissioned police officers will be available for inquiry at Camp Crame while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducts further investigation on the shooting incident.

“Anytime na lumabas ang resulta ng imbestigasyon ng NBI ay kailangan na sumailaim sila sa proseso. So kung ito man ay nangangahulugan ng pagsasampa ng kaso ay nariyan agad sila para sumailalim sa proseso, (Anytime the NBI investigation result is released, they need to undergo the process. So if it means filing of cases, they will be present to go through the process),” he said.

Meanwhile, PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa urges the nine cops to cooperate with the NBI on the investigation.

“We should participate and we should cooperate fully with the NBI kasi kung ang ginawa niyo naman tama then wala kayong worry pero siyempre kapag mali then mananagot talaga kayo, (if you have done the right thing, then there is nothing to worry about but of course, if you are wrong then you will be held accountable),” he said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Two cops arrested for extorting money from tricycle drivers in Bulacan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

The Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) on Monday (July 6) arrested two policemen for extorting money from tricycle drivers in Bulacan.

PNP-IMEG Spokesperson PCapt. Mae Ann Cunanan said the agency has been receiving numerous reports since 2019 against two policemen and two civilians extorting from motorists.

Based on reports, the cops would demand payment from motorists in exchange for redeeming their licenses instead of only issuing a citation ticket.

“Kapag hinuhuli nila iyong mga traffic violators, mga tricycle drivers ay hindi nila ini-issue ang ticket. Instead, kinukuha nila iyong pera kapalit nito iyong pagtanggal na sa kanilang violation, (When they apprehend traffic violators and tricycle drivers, they will not issue a ticket. They would take money instead in exchange for removing the violation),” she said.

Cunanan identified the two policemen as PSMgt. Vic Godwin and Pat. Jay Mark Tuazon who are assigned in Malolos City Police Community Precinct 5. The two civilians who served as their middlemen were identified as Wendell Mendoza and Kenneth Villena.

The suspects will be charged with robbery extortion while the two policemen will have additional administrative cases and grave misconduct. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Pangilinan seeks Senate probe on fatal shooting of 4 soldiers in Jolo

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan is calling for an inquiry into the killing of four soldiers by local policemen in Jolo, Sulu.

“Nakakabahala ang balitang ito. Ngayon pa lang na hindi pa batas ang anti-terror bill, may nangyayari nang ganito. Ano na lang ang laban ng ordinaryong tao?” Pangilinan said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday afternoon, June 29, four members of the Philippine Army were fatally shot by police officers some meters away from the Jolo police station.

The Army said the four soldiers were on an official mission and were tracking suspected suicide bombers  when they were accosted by the local police.

The soldiers, who had been wearing plain clothes, were said to have introduced themselves to the policemen. The cops allegedly told them to go with them to a nearby police station for identity verification.

Initial police report said that as their team and Army officers approached the police station, the soldiers’ vehicle allegedly sped off, prompting a car chase.

Police said they only defended themselves when the soldiers opened fire.

The Army disputed this claim, saying the soldiers did not try to escape and never fired a single shot towards police officers based on eye-witness accounts of two civilians and of a motorcycle-riding soldier who was part of the operation trailing the soldiers’ vehicle.

Pangilinan said the police and military have different versions of what happened, and an “independent and impartial” Senate probe will “help bring out the truth.”

“This incident is disturbing because it appears that the police are quick in pulling the trigger without careful judgment. If they can do this to their fellow uniformed men, how much more to the ordinary civilians who are unarmed and defenseless?” the senator said.

Nevertheless, Pangilinan called on military and police ground commanders to “rein in their men to preserve peace and avert escalation of tension between the armed personnel.”

“We should be going after the common enemy — terrorists, drug lords, armed groups, and in this time of the pandemic, COVID — not against each other,” Pangilinan said.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial probe into the incident.

The nine policemen involved in the incident, as well as the chief of Jolo police station have also been ordered relieved from their posts pending investigation.

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