PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



HEADLINES NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

RODY: I WILL CLEANSE THIS GOVT WITHOUT DECLARING MARTIAL LAW[“I’m using it in a very generic term — there would be an ongoing purge sa gobyerno — cleansing process — because of so many people who are mostly policemen and government officials involved in the drug industry,”][R[RELATED: Rody apologizes to Sereno: Harsh words unintended]


AUGUST 10 -President Rodrigo R. Duterte (Photo by Camille Ante. MB File Photo.) President Rodrigo R. Duterte (Photo by Camille Ante. MB File Photo.) President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vowed to purge the government of misfits and scalawags without having to declare martial law. This followed after his revelation on Sunday of a long list of government officials, members of the judiciary, and members the law enforcement agencies allegedly involved in the illicit drug trade. “There will be a purging, actually. Without declaring martial law, I will cleanse this government. Magpu-purge talaga ang gobyerno sa mga may kaso — government itself,” the President said Monday during a midnight press briefing in Davao. However, Duterte made it clear that he is using the term in the generic sense.  “I’m using it in a very generic term — there would be an ongoing purge sa gobyerno — cleansing process — because of the so many people who are mostly policemen and government officials involved in the drug industry,” he stressed. He also emphasized that his words are not accusatorial nor is it a criminal information. “It’s just my word against the others, because I have the duty to tell the public para malaman nila ang danger sa ating bayan, pati malaman natin kung sino ang nagpalaki ng industriya.” He added, “It is not the duty of a President to threaten people, that is not my job. But I am warning you.” “I have to pour out a sentiment na galit ako because until now drugs is still being made around. Iyong involved, do not commit the mistake of surrendering, tapos paglaruan lang ninyo kami because I will know. I have enough government men in the field to monitor you,” he continued. The President further explained why he has to come out with the names of the accused personalities. “Kayong mga mayors, vice mayors, councilors, ganito kasi iyan eh, I cannot arrest you. And I’d like to inform Congress and the Supreme Court — I am not arresting anybody. Kasi ang marijuana is just like a firearm, (kailangan) mahuli talaga kita,” he said. More names will be revealed soon. READ MORE...RELATED, Rody apologizes to Sereno: Harsh words unintended...

ALSO: DRILON CENSURES PANELO ON MARTIAL LAW STATEMENT
[RELATED: Duterte orders travel ban on country's biggest tax cheats]



AUGUST 12 -PANELO, DRILON
SENATE President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon yesterday chided President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel for claiming that the magnitude of illegal drug cases may warrant the declaration of martial law.
“Even a freshman law student can easily debunk Atty. Salvador Panelo’s statement as having no legal basis. I do not know which Constitution he has learned in law school but our present Constitution has only provided two grounds for the declaration of martial law – invasion or rebellion. Drug menace is definitely not one of them,” said Drilon, a former justice secretary. Panelo said Wednesday he sees no reason for Duterte to declare martial law now, but added the President has the power to do so when public safety is in danger or when there is a constitutional crisis brought about by a branch of the government intruding into the territory of a co-equal branch of government. He reiterated this yesterday. “The drug problem has risen to a crisis of gigantic proportion that endangers the public safety hence, constitutionally, a declaration of martial law is valid since there is imminent danger to the public safety,” Panelo told reporters as he was elaborating on Duterte question’s question on whether Chief Juctice Lourdes Sereno would rather that he declare martial law. Malacañang has said the martial law statement was a rhetorical question that was stated in the context that Duterte’s anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice. “The presidential chief legal counsel would want us to believe that the Constitution allows the President ‘to declare martial law, not only in case of invasion or rebellion, but also when public safety requires it,’” Drilon said. Drilon said the 1987 Constitution allows the declaration of martial law only upon the concurrence of two requisites: one, when there is actual invasion or rebellion and two, when public safety requires it. These two requisites must be present, which Panelo conveniently disregarded, he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte orders travel ban on country's biggest tax cheats...

ALSO PNP chief: Crime rate down 49%
[RELATED: War on drugs - Upscale nightclubs, bars next]


AUGUST 14 -“This only goes to show that most of these crimes that are happening in our communities are drug-related. That’s why when we focused our resources and attention on the drug problem, crimes also dropped,” Dela Rosa said in a speech before hundreds of police officers at the police regional headquarters at Camp Alagar. Youtube screengrab/RTVMalacañang
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Amid an intensified anti-illegal drug campaign, the number of crimes recorded as of last month across the country dropped by about 49 percent compared to last year, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said here Friday. “This only goes to show that most of these crimes that are happening in our communities are drug-related. That’s why when we focused our resources and attention on the drug problem, crimes also dropped,” Dela Rosa said in a speech before hundreds of police officers at the police regional headquarters at Camp Alagar.
In Northern Mindanao, for instance, the monthly crime volume dipped by as much as 44 percent in July compared to the same month in the last two years. In a report, PNP-10 said the crimes registered in the region in July 2014 totaled 3,983. In July 2015, the figure went down to 3,171 and to 1,974 this year. “Our assessment points to the link and direct effect of the diminished presence of illegal drugs in the streets as a result of the intensified anti-illegal [drug] campaign,” PNP-10 spokesperson Supt. Surki Sereñas said. Most of the prevalent crimes, Sereñas said, were usually drug-related such as theft, robbery, domestic violence, rape and all forms of abuse. READ MORE... .RELATED, War on drugs: Upscale nightclubs, bars next...

ALSO: Senate panel on extra-judicial killings invites PNP chief
[RELATED: Shabu tiangge found in Cebu jails]


AUGUST 12 -Sen. Leila de Lima said the committee on justice and human rights, which she heads, would be presenting several witnesses to testify at the hearing. Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal
 A Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings and summary executions of drug suspects is set on Aug. 22-23, with national police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and officials of the Commission on Human Rights among the resource persons. Sen. Leila de Lima said the committee on justice and human rights, which she heads, would be presenting several witnesses to testify at the hearing. She did not say what exactly the witnesses would be testifying about. The decision to push through with the inquiry was reached after a meeting yesterday among members of the committees on justice and human rights and on public order and dangerous drugs. Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the public order and dangerous drugs committee, abstained from the voting on the conduct of the hearing but manifested his intention to attend the proceedings to focus on the issue of vigilante killings. Lacson earlier said he was against holding an inquiry into the alleged extrajudicial killings involving members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as it was premature to link the law enforcers. “I have misgivings because it’s like indicting the police organization. But let’s find out, let’s see how things develop during the hearing,” he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Shabu tiangge found in Cebu jails...

ALSO: Drug supplier to stars killed; Robin Padilla’s cousin nabbed in Laguna[RELATED: Agri Sec Piñol - 2 PNP generals tagged in smuggling of sugar, agri products]


AUGUST 11 -Drug bust. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS)
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna — A man believed to be the top supplier of drugs to showbiz stars and an unidentified cohort were killed while three others, among them a cousin of actor Robin Padilla, were arrested Thursday in San Pedro City, in Laguna province, in police operations.
Supt. Harold Depositar, San Pedro police chief, said policemen, who were serving an arrest warrant against Alvin “Vergel” Commerciante, were met with gunfire when they approached the latter’s house in Adelina Subdivision in Barangay San Vicente at 10 a.m. Depositar said policemen returned fire, resulting in a brief shoot-out that killed an unidentified man and Commerciante, live-in partner of Criselda Padilla. Depositar said Commerciante and his partner Padilla, who was identified by the police as the actor’s cousin, were supplying illegal drugs, such as shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and ecstasy, to showbiz stars. They allegedy belonged to group that catered to showbiz personalities. READ MORE...RELATED, Piñol: 2 PNP generals tagged in smuggling of sugar, agri products...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Rody: I will cleanse this gov’t without declaring martial law


President Rodrigo R. Duterte (Photo by Camille Ante. MB File Photo.) President Rodrigo R. Duterte (Photo by Camille Ante. MB File Photo.)

MANILA, AUGUST 15, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Elena L. Aben August 10, 2016 - President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vowed to purge the government of misfits and scalawags without having to declare martial law.

This followed after his revelation on Sunday of a long list of government officials, members of the judiciary, and members the law enforcement agencies allegedly involved in the illicit drug trade.

“There will be a purging, actually. Without declaring martial law, I will cleanse this government. Magpu-purge talaga ang gobyerno sa mga may kaso — government itself,” the President said Monday during a midnight press briefing in Davao.

However, Duterte made it clear that he is using the term in the generic sense.

 “I’m using it in a very generic term — there would be an ongoing purge sa gobyerno — cleansing process — because of the so many people who are mostly policemen and government officials involved in the drug industry,” he stressed.

He also emphasized that his words are not accusatorial nor is it a criminal information.

“It’s just my word against the others, because I have the duty to tell the public para malaman nila ang danger sa ating bayan, pati malaman natin kung sino ang nagpalaki ng industriya.”

He added, “It is not the duty of a President to threaten people, that is not my job. But I am warning you.”

“I have to pour out a sentiment na galit ako because until now drugs is still being made around. Iyong involved, do not commit the mistake of surrendering, tapos paglaruan lang ninyo kami because I will know. I have enough government men in the field to monitor you,” he continued.

The President further explained why he has to come out with the names of the accused personalities.

“Kayong mga mayors, vice mayors, councilors, ganito kasi iyan eh, I cannot arrest you. And I’d like to inform Congress and the Supreme Court — I am not arresting anybody. Kasi ang marijuana is just like a firearm, (kailangan) mahuli talaga kita,” he said.

More names will be revealed soon.

READ MORE...

Asked if there will be a second part of his list of suspect drug personalities, Duterte replied that there will be more although it is still undergoing validation.

“Kasi pagdating sa akin galing sa intelligence community, collated iyan.. So titingnan muna sa computer… tapos pag dating sa akin, re-evaluation again,” he explained.

And according to the President, next the list would contain more names of prosecutors, barangay officials, policemen.

The President likewise said that what was actually told the media prompted him to direct police and the military to come up with a validated list of all personalities engaged in the illegal drugs trade.

Pressed further if there are members of the media in the list, Duterte answered: “Wala pang media.”

-----------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Rody apologizes to Sereno: Harsh words unintended By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 12, 2016 - 12:00am 2 338 googleplus0 0

President Duterte apologized last night to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for his “harsh words” that he said were unintended. MANILA, Philippines - Despite his tough stance on illegal drugs, President Duterte apologized last night to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for his “harsh words” that he said were unintended.

In a late night press conference in Davao City, Duterte said his tough talk was his way of addressing the drug menace.

“I would apologize to the Chief Justice for the harsh words, which were never intended,” Duterte said. “Because of the magnitude of the problem, it was my way of solving the problem within the ambit of my powers as president.”

He said it is his job to inform people of their surroundings so they can avoid harm and danger.

Duterte confirmed that he is not yet done revealing the names of public officials who are believed to be involved in the illegal drug trade.

“I have another round of exposé,” he said, adding it was not meant to defame those named. “Who wants to defame people? Is it the duty of the President to ruin people’s reputation? That’s stupid.”

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Despite the apology, Duterte continued to have tough words for critics of his human rights record, and said he was aware that he was the “favorite whipping boy” of human rights advocates.

“One day I will destroy her,” he vowed, without saying who he was referring to.


MALAYA

DRILON CENSURES PANELO ON MARTIAL LAW STATEMENT August 12, 2016 BY JP LOPEZ AND JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR


PANELO, DRILON

SENATE President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon yesterday chided President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel for claiming that the magnitude of illegal drug cases may warrant the declaration of martial law.

“Even a freshman law student can easily debunk Atty. Salvador Panelo’s statement as having no legal basis. I do not know which Constitution he has learned in law school but our present Constitution has only provided two grounds for the declaration of martial law – invasion or rebellion. Drug menace is definitely not one of them,” said Drilon, a former justice secretary.

Panelo said Wednesday he sees no reason for Duterte to declare martial law now, but added the President has the power to do so when public safety is in danger or when there is a constitutional crisis brought about by a branch of the government intruding into the territory of a co-equal branch of government. He reiterated this yesterday.

“The drug problem has risen to a crisis of gigantic proportion that endangers the public safety hence, constitutionally, a declaration of martial law is valid since there is imminent danger to the public safety,” Panelo told reporters as he was elaborating on Duterte question’s question on whether Chief Juctice Lourdes Sereno would rather that he declare martial law. Malacañang has said the martial law statement was a rhetorical question that was stated in the context that Duterte’s anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice.

“The presidential chief legal counsel would want us to believe that the Constitution allows the President ‘to declare martial law, not only in case of invasion or rebellion, but also when public safety requires it,’” Drilon said.

Drilon said the 1987 Constitution allows the declaration of martial law only upon the concurrence of two requisites: one, when there is actual invasion or rebellion and two, when public safety requires it. These two requisites must be present, which Panelo conveniently disregarded, he said.

READ MORE...

He said the phrase “when public safety requires it” under the present Constitution is not a ground upon itself, but a condition that qualifies the two grounds provided under the Constitution.

“I think Panelo is re-writing the Constitution,” Drilon said.

NO WORRIES


ABELLA

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella allayed fears of an impending martial law, reiterating Duterte has already said he would institute reforms without placing the country under military rule.

“We’d like to make reference to people’s concerns about martial law. There is no need to worry about martial law. As President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said, I want to make specific changes without having to do marital law,” he said.

Panelo reiterated the President could impose martial law if he sees that there is imminent danger or the safety of the public and the state is threatened. He said at least 90 percent of barangays are affected by illegal drugs.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson advised the public not to take Duterte’s statement on martial law seriously.

“By now dapat alam na natin magbasa between the lines ‘pag nagsalita ang Presidente. Di pa tayo nasanay. Di ba sometimes he would say something na hindi naman ganoon ang literal interpretation? That martial law statement, I believe, was said impulsively. But I don’t think he’ll declare martial law,” she said.

Senate minority leader Ralph Recto said the nation should learn by now to “auto-delete” the “colorful parts” of Duterte’s pronouncements and must not always take “his antics as policies.”

For those who are outraged, “the best coping mechanism is not to let his curses get in the way of studying the causes he is fighting for,” Recto said.

But just the same, Recto is advising Duterte and other public officials to “finesse” the way they communicate.

Sen. Grace Poe said while she is already used to Duterte’s style, martial law is something that should not be trivialized.

Sen. Leila de Lima said Duterte is already the President of the country and whatever comes out of his mouth could be taken as a policy statement in his official capacity.

Duterte’s allies at the House of Representatives do not believe he will declare martial law without a clear justification.

“He is not an arbitrary president. He knows the law. He will not declare martial law if it is not necessary,” said Rep. Karlo Nograles, chair of the House committee on appropriations.

Nograles said the President, being a lawyer and a former prosecutor, “knows what the legal parameters and requirements are for declaring martial law.”

Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu of Batangas said Duterte did not threaten to place the country under martial rule and was simply asking Sereno if she wants it that way.


ABU

Abu said Duterte just wanted to emphasize how important the campaign against illegal drugs is to him.

“The President posed a question not a threat or declaration when he made a statement in response to Sereno’s reply on judges implicated by Duterte as having into illegal drugs,” he said.

Abu said it would be in the best interest of the country if the President and the Chief Justice would be able to work together harmoniously.

“The unity of our leaders, especially them will play a vital role to the success of government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign,” said Abu.

Surigao de Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, who is reportedly going to chair the House committee on dangerous drugs, said he believes the issue was just a simple matter of “miscommunication.”

“It should not come as a fight between the two branches of government. It is also best if the Chief Justice will support the crusade of the resident. I believe, it was a case of miscommunication,” he said. – With Wendell Vigilia

-----------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte orders travel ban on tax cheats by Genalyn Kabiling August 10, 2016 Share5 Tweet1 Share1 Email1 Share128


President Rodrigo Duterte

The country’s biggest tax evaders face a possible travel ban as part of the intensified revenue campaign of the Duterte administration.

The President announced yesterday that the government will file cases against rich businessmen who avoid tax payments and prevent them from leaving the country.

“The commissioner of Internal Revenue will give me a list. If you are a violator, you cannot travel anymore,” the President said in a media interview in Davao City early yesterday morning.

“Diyan sa Immigration, sasabihin ko parahin mo kasi may violation ’yan (I will instruct the Bureau of Immigration to halt tax violators). I will order the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) to file cases. Once it is pending in court, your freedom of movement is curtailed,” he added.

“Yung ibang criminal bakit di nakakalabas, kasama na kayo (As common criminals are disallowed to travel abroad, the same goes for tax evaders). It’s always a crime if you do not pay taxes properly, correctly.”

Last Monday, the President appealed to rich businessmen to pay the right taxes or face adverse consequences from the government. A list of the country’s biggest tax evaders is being prepared by the BIR and would be released soon, he added.

In Davao City, the President assured that as soon as they pay the correct taxes, these rich businessmen would be “free of harassments.” He said the BIR will no longer go to their place and scrutinize their financial records.

“I will not allow that. Walang harassment ’yan. Magbayad ka ng taxes sa tama then you are free of any worry at least for all time during the year you have fully complied with the law,” he said.

“I will never, never allow anybody also to disturb you,” he added.

READ MORE...

But to headstrong tax cheats, the President warned anew he would send the police and military to question them about their failure to pay taxes. He said the media could cover the event for the sake of transparency.

Lift probe ban

Many revenue regional directors and district officers are suggesting that the ban on the investigation of income tax returns (ITRs) and books of accounts of the rich be lifted in order to boost the President’s “name-and-shame” campaign against big-time tax cheats.

BIR field officials, who declined to be named in this report, said facts and figures must be established first to secure the conviction of suspected tax evaders in court.

In the meantime, they said the almost 500 run-after-tax-evaders (RATE) cases filed by former BIR chief Kim S. Jacinto-Henares before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and in the courts can be a rich source of information in profiling dishonest taxpayers.

BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay suspended last month all field audit and other operations shortly after he assumed the revenue post, pending the massive personnel changes and inventory of all letters and authority and letter notices sent to taxpayers.

Revenue officials said the various tax dodging rackets employed by tax cheats and their tax consultants can be unearthed through intensified audit with the use of third party information, benchmarking method of investigation and tax mapping.

Benchmarking involves the lumping together of the same type of business, say real estates, for audit purposes, and then comparing their earnings and tax payments.

Those who remit taxes below the benchmark threshold are placed under stepped-up audit on suspicion of under declaration of income enabling them to pay little or no taxes at all. (With a report from Jun Ramirez)


PHILSTAR

PNP chief: Crime rate down 49% By Gerry Gorit (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 14, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


“This only goes to show that most of these crimes that are happening in our communities are drug-related. That’s why when we focused our resources and attention on the drug problem, crimes also dropped,” Dela Rosa said in a speech before hundreds of police officers at the police regional headquarters at Camp Alagar. Youtube screengrab/RTVMalacañang

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Amid an intensified anti-illegal drug campaign, the number of crimes recorded as of last month across the country dropped by about 49 percent compared to last year, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said here Friday.

“This only goes to show that most of these crimes that are happening in our communities are drug-related. That’s why when we focused our resources and attention on the drug problem, crimes also dropped,” Dela Rosa said in a speech before hundreds of police officers at the police regional headquarters at Camp Alagar.

In Northern Mindanao, for instance, the monthly crime volume dipped by as much as 44 percent in July compared to the same month in the last two years.

In a report, PNP-10 said the crimes registered in the region in July 2014 totaled 3,983. In July 2015, the figure went down to 3,171 and to 1,974 this year.

“Our assessment points to the link and direct effect of the diminished presence of illegal drugs in the streets as a result of the intensified anti-illegal [drug] campaign,” PNP-10 spokesperson Supt. Surki Sereñas said.

Most of the prevalent crimes, Sereñas said, were usually drug-related such as theft, robbery, domestic violence, rape and all forms of abuse.

READ MORE...

“This campaign is just starting,” Dela Rosa told the police officers and personnel.

Despite criticism from various sectors, there would be no letup in the PNP’s tough approach to fighting illegal drugs, he stressed.

“Let us continue with our campaign as long as what we are doing is in compliance with the law and respect for human rights,” he said.

Prior to his arrival at Camp Alagar, Dela Rosa attended the burial of PO3 Jerson Autiga, who was killed in a police operation to arrest suspected pusher Benito “Jojo” Bisnar in Barangay Colonia, Valencia City Wednesday night.

-------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

War on drugs: Upscale nightclubs, bars next By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 12, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made it clear he is not about to wage war with owners and operators of leisure establishments frequented by the rich, saying he only intends to get their cooperation. PNP-PIO

MANILA, Philippines - From underprivileged communities, police are taking their intensified campaign against illegal drugs to upscale bars and nightclubs.

But Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made it clear he is not about to wage war with owners and operators of leisure establishments frequented by the rich, saying he only intends to get their cooperation.

“First of all, I would like to initiate dialogue with them for a peaceful approach,” he said.

The glitzy clubs and bars, he said, are mostly located in Makati and in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

“It’s in those high-end bars where people take party drugs,” he said.

Dela Rosa said the dialogue would help the PNP get information, consensus and commitment from establishment owners to cooperate with the government in its campaign against illegal drugs.

Last May, five people collapsed and died during an outdoor concert-party in Pasay City, apparently after taking designer drugs.

Based on intelligence information, other illegal drugs reportedly available in the market are fly-high, green apple, green amore, superman, Dr. death and pink death, all classified as amphetamines.

Police said the illegal drugs have the components of Ecstasy, shabu and Cialis or sex enhancement drugs like Viagra.

Dela Rosa expressed belief owners and management of the upscale bars could help in the intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

“If I’ll be able to get their support and cooperation then mas maganda para hindi na hahantong sa kahiyaan, magkakasuhan, magkaparoblema (the better, so there will be no humiliation, filing of cases and other problems),” he said.

The PNP chief said he would welcome any form of cooperation from bar owners and management so that he could help President Duterte fulfill his campaign promise of stamping out the drug problem in six months.

“If they cooperate then why not? If they don’t cooperate, then we will be forced to do our job our own way – our own way, not their way,” he said.

READ MORE...

As of Aug. 9, a total of 513 drug personalities or an average of almost 13 persons a day have been killed.

About 116 PNP personnel are facing summary dismissal proceedings after they tested positive for illegal drugs as part of the internal cleansing of the police organization.

PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said 513 people were killed in 18 regions in the country from July 1 to Aug. 9, based on a report from the PNP National Operation Center (NOC).

Carlos said there were 7,325 drug pushers and users arrested while 543,416 others surrendered to police authorities. Of the surrenderees, 33,527 were pushers and 509,889 users.

He noted that there were 4,715 operations conducted and 265,610 houses visited as part of Project Tokhang.

DOUBLE BARREL STRATEGY

Dela Rosa is implementing what he called a double-barrel strategy, meaning the PNP is attacking drug lords and street-level drug dealing simultaneously.

The double-barrel strategy is apparently Dela Rosa’s response to criticism that only small time pushers are arrested or neutralized.

Cops fail drug test But as the PNP is stepping up its anti-drug campaign, 116 of its personnel are facing summary dismissal proceedings after testing positive for illegal drugs.

Chief Senior Supt. Fausto Mansanilla Jr. of the Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (DIDM) said the 116 were among the 75,964 members of the PNP who have undergone drug test since July 1.

Mansanilla said the erring personnel are facing further investigation by the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) and have been reassigned to the Police Holding and Accounting Unit (PHAU).

The DIDM official said 35 other PNP personnel are facing investigation after they were named by President Duterte as among government officials involved in illegal drug operations. The policemen reported to IAS on Dela Rosa’s instructions.

He said surrenderees have also taken drug test, but they are still waiting for results of the test.

Mansanilla clarified the policemen who tested positive would be given due process prior to further sanction like termination.

In a press briefing, he said the overall crime volume decreased by 50,134 or 14.68 percent from 341,543 during the first six months of 2015 to 291,409 in the same period in 2016.

“Similarly, the average monthly index crime decreased by 5.44 percent, such decrease of crime volume and in the monthly index crime rate is directly attributed to the increase in crime solution and crime clearance efficiency,” he added.

Meanwhile, four suspected “Ninja cops” were charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) before a Pampanga court after they failed to account for two suitcases containing 50 kilograms of shabu in a 2013 buy-bust operation.

In a 22-page resolution, the DOJ filed charges against Police Chief Insp. Bienvenido Reydado, head of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (PNP-CIDU) in Pampanga; Police Senior Insp. Romel dela Vega; Senior Police Officer 1 Rommel Raquipiso; and Police Chief Insp. Arnulfo Ibañez and eight other unidentified individuals.

They were charged for violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. They are also facing a case for misappropriation, misapplication and failure to account for confiscated and seized dangerous drugs.

CIDU Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro, was the complainant in the case.

Ferro said upon verification from the PNP Crime Laboratory, Reydado’s group failed to turn over the confiscated drugs.

The illegal drugs were seized in a buy-bust operation on Aug. 28, 2013.

Reydado’s group could also not point out the location of the Hyundai Starex and Toyota Camry seized in the 2013 operation.

Two witnesses who were part of Reydado’s team were reportedly ordered by the police official not to document the operation or process the arrest of Chinese nationals Yang Fang Ping and a certain Tony Sy Chan. The two foreigners were reportedly released.

Authorities armed with a search warrant were able to seize several unlicensed firearms, vehicles and drugs worth P2.6 million at Reydado’s safehouse.

The seized vehicles include a blue Mitsubishi Montero, one Yamaha motorcycle and one Yamaha Mio Sporty. Ferro said the vehicles were not listed in Reydado’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The DOJ resolution was signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano. With Evelyn Macairan


PHILSTAR

Senate panel invites PNP chief By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 12, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Sen. Leila de Lima said the committee on justice and human rights, which she heads, would be presenting several witnesses to testify at the hearing. Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal

MANILA, Philippines - A Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings and summary executions of drug suspects is set on Aug. 22-23, with national police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and officials of the Commission on Human Rights among the resource persons.

Sen. Leila de Lima said the committee on justice and human rights, which she heads, would be presenting several witnesses to testify at the hearing. She did not say what exactly the witnesses would be testifying about.

The decision to push through with the inquiry was reached after a meeting yesterday among members of the committees on justice and human rights and on public order and dangerous drugs.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the public order and dangerous drugs committee, abstained from the voting on the conduct of the hearing but manifested his intention to attend the proceedings to focus on the issue of vigilante killings.

Lacson earlier said he was against holding an inquiry into the alleged extrajudicial killings involving members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as it was premature to link the law enforcers.

“I have misgivings because it’s like indicting the police organization. But let’s find out, let’s see how things develop during the hearing,” he said.

READ MORE...

De Lima said that it is important to find out the truth about the killings, which have increased dramatically since the new administration took over last June 30.

“We have to know the truth. We have to find out why this is happening. How many have been killed in the course of this intensified drive against drugs? We will find out if these were all legitimate police operations,” she said.

The lady senator said the hearings would be conducted in “a very professional manner and with respect to the rights of all the resource persons, whether from government or outside of the government.”

“We will recognize their rights and we also expect full cooperation and courtesy and good behavior from all of our resource persons,” De Lima said.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, President Duterte’s runningmate in the May 9 elections, reiterated yesterday his opposition to the holding of a Senate inquiry into the issue.

“Why is it that when you called for the hearing you were already saying that the police did something wrong when you don’t even have evidence to support this? Senator De Lima said that she has witnesses. I asked if the witnesses were ignored by the police,” Cayetano said after the meeting.

“In her resolution there was already a conclusion when the police had not even been asked about the matter yet,” he added.

Cayetano, who was not able to vote during the meeting yesterday because he was not a member of either of the two committees, suggested that the PNP be asked to conduct a briefing for the senators first on the situation.

---------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Shabu tiangge found in Cebu jails By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 14, 2016 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


Officials said two teams led by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) together with the police and jail guards raided the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center and the Cebu Provincial Rehabilitation Center in Barangay Kalunasan in Cebu City. Joy Torrejos/Freeman News Service

MANILA, Philippines - Authorities seized almost P5 million in cash and a large stash of illegal drugs inside two provincial jails in Cebu City yesterday.

Officials said two teams led by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) together with the police and jail guards raided the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center and the Cebu Provincial Rehabilitation Center in Barangay Kalunasan in Cebu City.

The raiding teams discovered drug dens allegedly maintained by the inmates, Central Visayas police director Chief Supt. Noli Talino said.

“Based on our information, the inmates feel more safe in using drugs right inside the jails rather than outside. We discovered the drug dens where the users can buy shabu much like a tiangge (flea market),” Talino said.

During the inspection of the jails, all inmates were ordered to strip naked to ensure they are not hiding any contraband.

Talino said the raids were conducted on the request of Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide Jr., who also gave additional information regarding the drug dens at the jails.

“The inspection stemmed from the information received from a former inmate who surrendered (and said) that the facilities have shabu tiangge operations,” Talino said.

The raiding team seized some P4.5 million in cash, a total of 88 grams of shabu individually wrapped in plastic sachets, cellphones, weighing scales and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Talino said the jail officials would be investigated regarding the illegal drug operations in the two penal facilities.

Meanwhile, government prosecutors in La Union are set to appeal the case of a former police colonel convicted for illegal drugs.

In July 2008, the regional trial court of Bauang sentenced former police superintendent Dionicio Borromeo to life imprisonment for allegedly protecting a shabu laboratory in the province.

An appeal was made before the Court of Appeals where the sentence was lowered to 12 to 20 years imprisonment. – With Jun Elias


INQUIRER

Drug supplier to stars,’ cohort killed; Robin Padilla’s cousin, 2 nabbed in Laguna
By: Maricar Cinco @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Southern Luzon 08:27 PM August 11th, 2016


Drug bust. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS)

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna — A man believed to be the top supplier of drugs to showbiz stars and an unidentified cohort were killed while three others, among them a cousin of actor Robin Padilla, were arrested Thursday in San Pedro City, in Laguna province, in police operations.

Supt. Harold Depositar, San Pedro police chief, said policemen, who were serving an arrest warrant against Alvin “Vergel” Commerciante, were met with gunfire when they approached the latter’s house in Adelina Subdivision in Barangay San Vicente at 10 a.m.

Depositar said policemen returned fire, resulting in a brief shoot-out that killed an unidentified man and Commerciante, live-in partner of Criselda Padilla.

Depositar said Commerciante and his partner Padilla, who was identified by the police as the actor’s cousin, were supplying illegal drugs, such as shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and ecstasy, to showbiz stars. They allegedy belonged to group that catered to showbiz personalities.

READ MORE...

Criselda and two other men were arrested after the firefight, according to a report from the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) police.

The warrant against Commerciante’s arrest was issued by Judge Agripino Morga of the Regional Trial Court in San Pablo City, Laguna. The operation was led by the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) based in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Depositar said Commerciante was also known as a “hitman” of a drug lord detained in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. He did not identify the drug lord but said their information showed that Commerciante had targeted pushers who failed to remit drug money to financiers.

“The [couple] had been renting the house [in San Pedro] for two years. They were not what you call street pushers. Even village [officials] did not know about their activities,” Depositar said.

He said the police recovered a still undertermined amount of shabu, weighing scales and several passports from the suspects’ house.

In a separate telephone interview, Senior Supt. Randy Peralta, AIDG supervisor for Southern Luzon, said the police, as ofThursday afternoon, were still documenting the evidence recovered from Commerciante’s house, as well as establishing the identities of the other suspects. SFM

---------------------------

ALSO FROM PHILSTAR

Piñol: 2 PNP generals tagged in smuggling of sugar, agri products By Louise Maureen Simeon (philstar.com) | Updated August 12, 2016 - 3:37pm 1 1386 googleplus0 1

The smugglers and their accomplices may face charges of economic sabotage. File photo MANILA, Philippines -- Three boats loaded with smuggled white sugar were intercepted in Zamboanga City and are now in the custody of the Bureau of Customs, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

Based on initial reports from Customs, one of the vessels, M/B Sitti Aini was loaded with 584 bags of refined sugar.

The two other vessels are still under inspection and authorities have yet to come up with an estimated value of the seized sugar.

Piñol said police generals -- chief superintendent up to director general are star ranks in the Philippine National Police -- are allegedly involved in the smuggling of sugar and other agricultural commodities.

"My sources identified a certain Superintendent Ariel Huesca and SPO4 Estino, reportedly members of the intelligence group of the PNP in Zamboanga City as the point men of two police generals who are involved in the smuggling of agricultural commodities through the Zamboanga City's small ports," he said.

"They also implicated the Zamboanga City Customs Collector [Benhur] Arabani in the smuggling activities," Piñol added.

Reports said members of the Bantay Dagat in Barangay Taluksangay, Zamboanga City intercepted the three vessels suspected to be loaded with smuggled sugar.

"Zamboanga City is notorious for being the drop-off point of smuggled agricultural goods, especially rice and sugar," Piñol said.

Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon will inspect and complete the report on the smuggling attempt over the weekend.

Piñol also asked PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa to make sure that the vessels are held and that the smugglers are arrested and charged with violating the law on smuggling, which has now been elevated to the level of economic sabotage.

Under Republic Act 10845, smugglers of agricultural products are subject to charges of economic sabotage if the value of their shipments is equivalent to at least P10 million for rice and at least P1 million for other agricultural products, such as sugar, corn, pork, poultry, garlic, onion and others.

Smugglers and their accomplices face life imprisonment and a fine of twice the fair value of the smuggled agricultural product and the aggregate amount of the taxes, duties and other charges avoided.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier vowed to stop the smuggling of rice, sugar and other agricultural commodities and this is the first reported incident of a smuggling attempt under his leadership.

During the last administration, the value of smuggled sugar totalled to P25 billion.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2016 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE