Victims kin welcome verdict but Ampatuan Massacre still far from over – Rep. Mangudadatu

Marje Pelayo   •   December 19, 2019   •   566

Former Maguindanao Governor and current Congressman Esmael Mangudadatu (3-R) together with relatives of victims gesture to the media after the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Philippines, 19 December 2019. EPA-EFE/MARK CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has ordered conviction of the more than forty individuals involved in the mass murder of 58 individuals in 2009, the worst political massacre and the single deadliest attack against journalists in the world – the Ampatuan Massacre.

A total of 32 journalists were among the victims of the crime.

For their loved ones, Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes has ended their agonizing quest for justice by finally placing behind bars those who were responsible for the gruesome massacre.

“Talagang mahirap ang sampung taon na iyon. Ang tagal noon. Ilang years iyon na tiniis na walang conviction pa (Those 10 long years were agonizing. For so many years we suffered as there was no conviction),” noted Karen Araneta, wife of radio reporter Henry Araneta.

“Today, happy na ako talaga (Today, I am more than happy),” she said.

“Umiyak kami. Apat na taga UNTV. Alam namin na nakamit ng mga asawa namin, ng mga kasama nila ang justice na hinahanap naming (We cried. Four from UNTV. We know that our spouses and their colleagues have finally found the justice we’re looking for),” expressed Editha Tiamzon, the wife of UNTV Vehicle’s driver Daniel Tiamzon when asked about her initial reaction upon hearing the verdict.

Jergin Malabanan couldn’t hold back her emotions as finally, their efforts have now been paid off.

“Ma, ito na iyon. Ito na ang hustisya na matagal na nating hinihintay (Mom, this is it. This is the justice that we have long been waiting for),” she said in between sobs for her mother, slain journalist Gina dela Cruz.

“Ito na ang (bunga) ng mga sakripisyo, ng ilang taon na ipinaglalaban naming (This is now the fruit of our sacrifices, of the many years that we fought for),” she added.

The victims’ legal counsel Atty. Harry Roque said the bereaved families were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief and seem satisfied with the outcome of the trial.

“Nagagalak po ang mga pamilya, lima sa pitong Ampatuan ay nahusgahan na nagkasala,” Roque said.

“Natutuwa sila na ang parusa ay habambuhay na pagkakakulong without benefit of allowance of good conduct,” he added.

Four UNTV crew members were among those killed in the massacre – reporter Victor Nuñez; cameraman Mc Delbert Ariola; editor Jolito Evardo; and driver Daniel Tiamzon.

READ: Dispositive portion of Ampatuan massacre case ruling

Based on the 761-page Court decision, the families of the victims will receive a certain amount in civil indemnity and monetary damages.

Despite the conviction, the families are planning to appeal on the civil aspect of the case.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao Rep. Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu who lost his wife and siblings in the massacre, said the fight is still far from over because what the Court rendered today was only a partial decision on the case and some of the accused may still appeal the ruling to the higher courts.

“Matagal pa ito kasi may Court of Appeals, may Supreme Court (This is still far from over because there is still the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court),” he said.

“May second phase pa ang 50 at may mga at large pang 81 (This will have a second phase because there are 81 other suspects to remain at large),” he added. – MNP (with inputs from Nel Maribojoc)

NBI warns against proliferation of cybercrimes amid ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Scammers are increasingly active these days especially with everyone practically living in cyberspace due to lockdowns in different parts of the world.

In the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has warned the public of the rise in cybercrime as the national government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) limits movement outside of residence.

With almost all services migrating online, scammers are taking advantage of online platforms to pursue their schemes.

Such is the problem of Jodel Merjudio who operates an online travel agency.

Merjudio reported to UNTV’s Serbisyong Bayanihan that some scammers created an impostor account of his enterprise’s Facebook page.

It only came to his knowledge when one of his clients told him about an alleged representative of his travel agency who transacted and asked money from that client on his behalf.

Part of the scammer’s modus operandi is to block the clueless victims from its fake page once payment is received.

The victims are then led to Merjudio’s official page to follow up on transactions that the latter had no knowledge of.

“Ang nangyayari, iyong kliyente pag nag-search sila sa Facebook, dalawa ang lalabas na agency. So kami ang nako-contact nila kasi naka-block na sila doon sa scammer page,” Merjudio said.

Jodel said he initially reported the incident to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 4A Cybercrime Division.

To assist Jodel, Kuya Daniel Razon contacted Atty.Victor Lorenzo of the NBI’s Cybercrime Division who agreed with Jodel’s initial move of reporting the incident to proper authorities.

The official promised to help Jodel in identifying the perpetrators behind the impostor account and to eventually resolve the case.

“Kunin nila ang mga contact details [ng kliyente] at kung makipag-ugnayan sila sa amin ay iyon kasi ang hihingiin namin (Get the contact details [of the client] so when you come to us, those are the details that we would be asking],” Lorenzo said.

Kokontakin namin sila para malaman kung ano ba ang mode of payment? Paano ang money ay transmitted? Bank to bank? Kasi ang best lead natin kung sino ang nag-create ng fake account ng travel agency (We will ask them what the mode of payment was; how the money was transmitted; and was it bank to bank? Our best lead would be the creator of the travel agency’s fake account),” he added.

Atty. Lorenzo said incidents of online travel agency scams have already dwindled for some time but since the country is under lockdown, scammers have again started to become active online. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

DA, hinikayat ang mga magsasakang hindi makabenta ng produkto na dumulog sa UNTV

Marje Pelayo   •   April 9, 2020

While farmers from other municipality of Benguet are unfortunate in selling their crops, Mrs. Nida Carantes of Taloy Sur will try her luck on this 15th day of enhanced quarantine (3/30/2020) to sell her sweet peas inside Baguio if the authorities will favor her niece to enter. (Clinton Aniversario/PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Agriculture (DA) na tutulungan nito ang mga magsasaka sa pagbebenta ng kanilang mga produkto ngayong umiiral ang enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) bunsod ng nararanasang krisis pangkalusugan.

Ito ang tugon ng DA sa panayam ng programang Get It Straight with Daniel Razon nang dumulog sa himpilan ng UNTV ang hog raiser na si Gaudencio Camaclang dahil nahihirapan siyang ialok ang kanyang mga alagang baboy.

Ayon kay DA Spokesperson Noel Reyes, maaring makipag-ugnayan ang mga magsasaka at maging mangingisda sa UNTV upang maiparating sa Kagawaran kung anong uri ng produkto ang kanilang iniaalok at kung saang lugar upang makuha o mailapit sa mga mamimili.

“Iyong mga may kailangang ma-harvest na at walang merkado, tamang tama po iyan dahil maibebenta po natin iyan sa ‘Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita’ (stores) dito sa Metro Manila at sa mga urban centers, sa mga villagers,” pagtiyak ng opisyal.

“Ipagbigay-alam lang sa inyong programa kung ano iyong (produkto) saang address, at gaano karami. We’ll link them directly sa mga buyers,” dagdag nito.

Ang mga magsasaka sa Region 4A o sa mga bayan ng Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, at Quezon (CALABARZON) ay maaring makipag-ugnayan kay DA Regional Director Arnel De Mesa sa numerong 09175082455 at 09087574547 upang mapuntahan ang kanilang produkto.

Samantala, sinabi ni Reyes na kinikilala ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-IED) ang kahalagahan ng food security lalo na sa kasalukuyang hinaharap na health emergency dahil sa banta ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“They approved na dapat kasama sa national security ang food security dahil alam ninyo naman na sa pagdi-distribute pa lang ng pera ay medyo may kaguluhan na. Lalo na kung gutom na ang tao,” saad nito.

Tiniyak ng DA na walang dapat ikabahala ang publiko dahil sapat ang pagkain sa bansa sa kabila ng umiiral na ECQ.

Subalit nakiusap ito sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na huwag harangin ang paghahatid ng mga produktong pagkain upang ang mga ito ay agad na makarating sa mga mamamayan.

“We reiterate na marami po tayong pagkain. Ang naantala lang po ay iyong distribution,” pahayag ng opisyal.

“Kaya nakikiusap kami sa mga LGU sa barangay na kung pagkain ang laman ng dyip o truck ay huwag nang harangin. Let (there be) free flow of goods,” pagtatapos nito.

Sa mga may nais iparating sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno, maaring makipagugnayan sa UNTV Serbisyong Bayanihan sa mga sumusunod na numero:

UNTV donates face shields to NCRPO

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — UNTV on Friday (March 27) donated 100 face shields to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

The 100 face shields will be used by the NCRPO personnel manning the quarantine-controlled checkpoints in Metro Manila.

NCRPO Director PMGen. Debold Sinas admitted that the Metro Manila Police lack personal protective equipment (PPEs).

The NCRPO previously used improvised face shields made of acetate as protection for the policemen working as frontliners against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He also said that the donation of UNTV and other private sectors is a huge help in their operations during the enhanced community quarantine.

“Pasalamat kami sa UNTV dahil nag-donate sila ng face shields (We are grateful to UNTV for donating face shields),” he said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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