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PHILIPPINE GOVT SAYS VERY SORRY TO SOUTH KOREA FOR BUSINESSMAN JEE ICK JOO'S DEATH
[RELATED: 2 more victims known; Korean, Chinoy fall prey to rogue cops]

[RELATED(2): Can’t see forest for trees; deeper probe on Jee Ick Joo needed]


JANUARY 24 -Jee Ick-joo The Philippine government has apologized to South Korea for the death of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo. The statement of apology was read by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday morning. “We apologize to the South Korean government for this irreparable loss. We commit to the full force of the law to ensure that justice is served and not delayed,” he stated. Abella also said, “to the Korean people, please accept our sincerest and deepest regrets.” The Palace extended a special message to Jee’s family. “We wish to take this occasion to express the condolences and sympathies of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino people to Mrs. Choi Kyung Jin, wideo of Jee Ick Joo, the South Korean national who met untimely death while in police custody,” Abella further stated. Jee was abducted from his home in Pampanga on October 18, 2016 and was apparently strangled to death while at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. THE FULL REPORT, RELATED, 2 more victims known; Korean, Chinoy fall prey to rogue cops... RELATED(2), Can’t see forest for trees; deeper probe on Jee Ick Joo NEEDED...

ALSO: WATCH | NBI expands probe of Korean bizman's kidnap-for-ransom murder
[RELATED: Duterte wants to hang rogue cops behind Korean's kidnap-slay]
[RELATED(2): Hindi dapat magbitiw si ‘Bato’ - Tony Katigbak]


JANUARY 25 -The family of Ji Ick-joo at NBI headquarters in Manila. (Miguel Antonio de Guzman/Philstar/InterAksyon.com)
The National Bureau of Investigation trained its sights Wednesday on a crematorium in La Loma, Quezon City where, it is believed, the body of Korean businessman Ji Ick-joo (earlier spelled "Jee") was brought after it was "processed" by a Caloocan City mortuary the same day he was abducted and killed by a police-led ring on Oct. 18, 2016. The NBI also had the unenviable task of breaking the tragic news - that the kidnap victim is confirmed dead - to Ji's Korean wife, who had earlier announced a P100,000 reward for information on his whereabouts. She had also paid P5 million to his kidnappers in end-October, on the promise of having him freed. When they did not free him and demanded more money, she went to the police to report what, it now turns out, was a modus operandi called "Tokhang for ransom" where rogue cops misuse the war on drugs for criminal activity. Ji's wife thanked the NBI for its quick action, but she declined to appear on camera. The NBI's Atty. Roel Bolivar, assistant regional director and head of the NBI task force against illegal drugs,was himself tearing up as he conveyed to media what Ji's wife had shared with NBI.
READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte wants to hang rogue cops behind Korean's kidnap-slay....RELATED(2) Hindi dapat magbitiw si ‘Bato’...

ALSO:
Truth commission eyed - Duterte meets SAF families; Wants to ask Aquino questions
[RELATED: SAF 44 review to look into Noy criminal culpability]


JANUARY 25 -Rody on SAF 44: Noy apology not enough -President Duterte talks to familes of the SAF 44 during a dialogue at Malacañang yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES
The buck stops with the highest official involved in the disastrous Mamasapano raid and that is former president Benigno Aquino III. President Duterte made this clear yesterday as he called on Aquino to answer certain questions about the counterterrorism operation that led to the deaths of 44 members of the elite police Special Action Force (SAF) two years ago. The President also raised the possibility of creating a truth commission composed of Supreme Court justices and private individuals to look into the case. Duterte aired his sentiments before relatives and loved ones of the fallen police commandos at Malacañang gathered for the commemoration of the tragedy, which took place in a cornfield in Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. At the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang, Cavite, PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa also revealed a recommendation to have Aquino charged for the raid. Aquino deferred comment, telling The STAR in a text message that he would hold a meeting today and “probably respond in two days’ time.” READ MORE...RELATED, SAF 44 review to look into Noy criminal culpability...

ALSO: Aquino being 'shielded'? Justice delayed! Charge Aquino, SAF 44 families urge Morales [RELATED: .CJ Sereno breaks long silence says, "Unresolved killings weakening rule of law"]


JANUARY 26 -JUSTICE DELAYED Terry Sumbilla (left), mother of Special Action Force (SAF) commando John Lloyd Sumbilla who was slain during the January 2015 Mamasapano operation, cries during a news conference in Quezon City. Behind her is a cross symbolizing the
FAMILIES of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) brutally killed two years ago urged Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday to hold accountable all those involved in the botched Mamasapano anti-terrorist operation, including former President Benigno Aquino 3rd. Carrying a cross containing the names of the slain troopers, the SAF 44 families went on a “March for Justice” to the Ombudsman a day after the government’s graft prosecutor charged two former police officials for graft and usurpation of official functions but left out Aquino who authorized the January 25, 2015 raid. “There’s no justice until now,” cried Telly Sumbilla, mother of Police Officer (PO) 3 John Lloyd Sumbilla who was slain and mutilated by gunmen at Mamasapano in Maguindanao. “After he was gunned down, they took out his eyes. They severed his arms. Then they just covered him with banana leaves. Tell me. What would I feel?” Sumbilla said in a news conference before the march that marked the second anniversary of the carnage. READ MORE... RELATED,
CJ Sereno breaks long silence says, "Unresolved killings weakening rule of law"...

ALSO: Scalawags exploiting Rody’s support for cops - PNP Superintendent
[RELATED: Lacson to Bato dela Rosa: Go after rogue cops as soon as possible]


JANUARY 26 -“Yes, there are. These are the rogue cops that we still have in our ranks and we are taking them away,” Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in an interview over ANC. File photo
The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday admitted that scalawags among its ranks are taking advantage of President Duterte’s assurance of protection in their mission of keeping the public safe. “Yes, there are. These are the rogue cops that we still have in our ranks and we are taking them away,” Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in an interview over ANC. Related Stories Sa pagkidnap at pagpatay sa Korean trader ‘Heads will roll!’ - Sueno Bato gagawing scapegoat ng Malacañang-D5 Initial investigation found that South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo was kidnapped and murdered by police officers inside PNP headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City in October 2016. Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, Jee’s alleged killer; Supt. Rafael Dumlao, Sta. Isabel’s team leader at the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG); and Senior Police Officer 4 Roy Villegas are under investigation for the Jee kidnap-slay case. Seven policemen in Angeles City, Pampanga were also relieved from their posts for their alleged involvement in the robbery extortion of three South Koreans on holiday in the country last December. Last July, Duterte assured police personnel that he is fully supporting them in the government’s campaign to eradicate illegal drugs and other crimes. READ MORE...RELATED,
Lacson to Bato dela Rosa: Go after rogue cops...

ALSO: PNP-AFP ‘Double Barrel’ Plan zeroing illegal gambling
[RELATED: Illegal gambling next on Philippines hit list]


JANUARY 25 -Dubbed the PNP Operation Plan Double Barrel on Illegal Gambling, both the PNP and AFP were tapped to ensure that the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be successful enough to deter operators from continuing illegal operations. File photo
From a controversial war against illegal drugs, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are now zeroing in on a war against illegal gambling – a campaign that would target operators, local government officials and police. Dubbed the PNP Operation Plan Double Barrel on Illegal Gambling, both the PNP and AFP were tapped to ensure that the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be successful enough to deter operators from continuing illegal operations. Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, PNP deputy director for operations, said the focus would be on operators, bettors and police protectors of the illegal gambling games, such as jueteng and masiao. He added that politicians would not be spared in the revitalized anti-illegal gambling plan. “We have been pushing our intelligence units together with the AFP intelligence units to identify these personalities. We are not tolerating it,” said Apolinario, adding that the operation would be patterned after the PNP’s intensified campaign against drugs, which had become a concern among human rights groups here and abroad. READ MORE...RELATED,
Illegal gambling next on Philippines hit list....


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PH government says sorry to South Korea for Jee Ick Joo’s death


JANUARY 24 -Jee Ick-joo

MANILA, JANUARY 30, 201T (MANILA STANDARD) posted January 24, 2017 at 01:48 pm by Arlene Lim - The Philippine government has apologized to South Korea for the death of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.

The statement of apology was read by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday morning.

“We apologize to the South Korean government for this irreparable loss. We commit to the full force of the law to ensure that justice is served and not delayed,” he stated.

Abella also said, “to the Korean people, please accept our sincerest and deepest regrets.”

The Palace extended a special message to Jee’s family.

“We wish to take this occasion to express the condolences and sympathies of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino people to Mrs. Choi Kyung Jin, wideo of Jee Ick Joo, the South Korean national who met untimely death while in police custody,” Abella further stated.

Jee was abducted from his home in Pampanga on October 18, 2016 and was apparently strangled to death while at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

2 more victims known; Korean, Chinoy fall prey to rogue cops posted January 24, 2017 at 12:01 am by Francisco Tuyay and Maricel V. Cruz


PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa

AT LEAST one other Korean was kidnapped by crooked policemen, Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa admitted Sunday night, following revelations that businessman Jee Ick Joo was abducted by cops and strangled inside police headquarters in Camp Crame in October 2016.

“We have uncovered another incident where a South Korean was held by many policemen,” Dela Rosa said, without offering any details, including the identity of the second victim.

A party-list lawmaker, meanwhile, said a businessman close to President Rodrigo Duterte was also a victim of police extortion.

Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque said the victim, who he refused to identify, was a Filipino-Chinese sugar trader who was taken by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Bulacan.

Roque said he personally knows the victim and interceded on his behalf with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to gain his release.


Atty. Harry Roque (UNTV News)

The victim, a businessman, was among Duterte’s closest friends and attended his inauguration.

Reports said the suspects forcibly accosted the victim in August and claimed they had a warrant for his arrest on suspicions that he was involved in illegal drugs.

Roque said the police threatened to take a photo of him with 20 kilos of shabu if his family refused to pay any ransom.

The family of the victim paid a total of P1.6 million, Roque said.

The killing of Jee prompted members of Congress, including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, to call for Dela Rosa’s resignation, a call the President has rejected.

Dela Rosa said Sunday he would be investigating the newly uncovered kidnapping incident and vowed to punish policemen involved in the kidnapping syndicate.

Alvarez, who had earlier called for Dela Rosa’s resignation, attended the police chief’s 55th birthday party Sunday night, where the two shook hands.

“I understand his side,” Dela Rosa said. “He’s very professional.”

When the President arrived, Dela Rosa said he again offered to resign, but Duterte turned him down.

“When he [Duterte] arrived, I told him that I’m being asked to resign. Should I resign? The President said no,” Dela Rosa said, with Duterte and Alvarez seated right beside him.

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

RELATED(2)  FROM THE TRIBUNE (EDITORIAL)

Can’t see forest for trees; deeper probe on Jee Ick Joo needed Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:00



A deeper probe into the killing of Korean Jee Ick Joo is needed to find out the real motive behind it, which is a necessity now being obfuscated by calls for the resignation of Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.

Bato’s resignation is also up to him and his sense of propriety but the series of events after the death of Jee may point to a deeper and more sinister reason behind the murder. In any case,Rody wants Bato to stay.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, said that de la Rosa has the capability to root out the mystery on Jee’s murder that was supposedly carried out by rogue cops and was done inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.

The killing of the Korean done inside Camp Crame was particularly incredulous and pointed to a bigger agenda in the incident which is to discredit not only Bato but ultimately Rody.

The call for the resignation of de la Rosa was a knee-jerk reaction without regard to the consequences of it.



Lacson noted that there are sectors in the PNP taking advantage of Rody’s intensified “all-out, mostly bloody war against illegal drugs.”

The call of Lacson’s colleague Sen. Leila de Lima was disturbing and suspicious when placed in the context of the campaign to oust Rody which according to even Palace officials, is well-organized and richly funded.

The ouster plot was also supposed to start this month.



De Lima immediately pinned the death of Jee on Duterte, saying it was the result of his stubborn defense of the police amid the war on drugs he launched.
Jee was slain in a botched kidnap for ransom operations of rogue cops in the guise of a legitimate anti-narcotics operations.

De Lima said in a statement that the killing of Jee was expected after President Duterte unleashed a policy of tolerance on PNP abuse in the war on drugs, “to the point of promising pardon for those found guilty of abuses.”

“Once he adopted such a policy, the parameters of which are unclear, there is no longer any distinction if the same involves EJKs (extrajudicial killings) of drug suspects or, in this case, an innocent foreign businessman target of a shakedown,” she said.

The strange conclusion of the statement was that “the international community is now forewarned of what law enforcement has become in the Philippines, where the law enforcers have become the No. 1 criminal offenders.”

“We have just sent out the message to foreigners that when they now come to the Philippines, they do so at their own risk,” she added.

De Lima did not state who the “we” are whom she referred to but many took it that she was talking of the yellow mob and the Liberal Party.

Rody who continues to rank high in the surveys poses a dilemma to his critics and the best point of attack on him would always be on his war on drugs.

Rody has full trust in Bato’s loyalty and determination for the drugs war to succeed and eliminating the PNP chief would be pulling the rug from under the campaign of Rody.

Pinning Jee’s murder, which was leaked to a yellow paper and labeled “tokhang for ransom” after the PNP persuasion drive against suspected drugs offenders, to the war on drugs was calculated to have an effect on public sentiment on the anti-narcotics drive and consequently on Rody’s public acceptance.

The goal of course is to erode the survey numbers of Rody and make him vulnerable to a takeover of power.

The grim murder of Jee may just be a tool employed to achieve the yellow mob’s aim.

We’ve all seen that before.


INTERAKSYON.COM

WATCH | NBI expands probe of Korean bizman's kidnap-murder By: JV Arcena, News | InterAksyon.com January 19, 2017 12:02 AM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5


The family of Ji Ick-joo at NBI headquarters in Manila. (Miguel Antonio de Guzman/Philstar/InterAksyon.com)

MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation trained its sights Wednesday on a crematorium in La Loma, Quezon City where, it is believed, the body of Korean businessman Ji Ick-joo (earlier spelled "Jee") was brought after it was "processed" by a Caloocan City mortuary the same day he was abducted and killed by a police-led ring on Oct. 18, 2016.

The NBI also had the unenviable task of breaking the tragic news - that the kidnap victim is confirmed dead - to Ji's Korean wife, who had earlier announced a P100,000 reward for information on his whereabouts. She had also paid P5 million to his kidnappers in end-October, on the promise of having him freed.

When they did not free him and demanded more money, she went to the police to report what, it now turns out, was a modus operandi called "Tokhang for ransom" where rogue cops misuse the war on drugs for criminal activity.

Ji's wife thanked the NBI for its quick action, but she declined to appear on camera.

The NBI's Atty. Roel Bolivar, assistant regional director and head of the NBI task force against illegal drugs,was himself tearing up as he conveyed to media what Ji's wife had shared with NBI.

READ MORE...

The couple had plans, Ji's wife told Bolivar, to permanently stay in the Philippines, to put up a business and establish a foundation for poor people.

Bolivar turned emotional recalling the wife's appeal for answers: how could they do this to her husband, who was a good man and harmed no one?

"She said her husband was a legitimate businessman and not involved in any illegal activity. I could not answer her. All I could do was affirm the NBI's commitment to investigate this thoroughly and file a strongt case against all those who did this to him," Bolivar said.

CLICK HERE FOR NEWS5 VIDEO REPORT BY JV ARCENA.

On Wednesday, the NBI visited the crematorium where Ji's body was cremated.

Bolivar declined to provide more details, to avoid telegraphing their plans in order to preserve evidence, prevent premature disclosure that might allow some culprits to flee, and risk burning witnesses.

The NBI confirmed that a retired police officer who is now a barangay chairman owned the mortuary where Ji's body was first brought by men on two black vehicles on the night of Oct. 18, 2016 - the same day he was seized from Angeles City by eight people led by Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, on a purported anti-drugs mission.

There is information the La Loma crematorium is owned by the same policeman who owns the mortuary, a certain Gerardo "Ding" Santiago.

Barangay employees said he and his wife went abroad for a vacation last January 11 but were expected to return in February.

Employees of the mortuary told NBI probers men on two black vehicles brought the Korean's body on Oct. 18, and they noticed his hands bore signs of having been tied. There were strangulation marks.

STA. ISABEL NOW IN NBI CUSTODY

SPO3 Sta. Isabel is now in NBI custody, and an immigration lookout bulletin order was issued for him on Wednesday.

According to the PNP, Sta. Isabel had tricked the two other lower-ranked cops with him that day that they were on a legitimate mission. PNP said a group sabotaging its anti-drug mission might be funding Sta. Isabel, noting that it's rare for an accused policeman to be represented by two sets of lawyers.

Also on Wednesday, the South Korean foreign ministry issued a strong demand for answers and quick justice after being informed of Ji's tragic fate by Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay.

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

RELATED FROM INTERAKSYON.COM

Duterte wants to hang rogue cops behind Korean's kidnap-slay By: Reuters January 27, 2017 12:40 AM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5


President Duterte gestures angrily in Jan. 24 file photo as he faces relatives of the SAF 44, who were killed in Mamasapano in a botched anti-terror mission two years ago. REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to South Korea on Thursday after policemen killed one of its citizens, then said he wanted to hang rogue police and send their heads to Seoul.

He called again for the death penalty to be reinstated so that he could hang 20 criminals a day.

Duterte promised the toughest punishment for those behind the kidnapping and killing of businessman Jee Ick-joo inside the national police headquarters in October.

"I will see to it that they are sentenced to the maximum," he said of the policemen. "You give that power to me back again, I will execute them... I'll hang them in one day, 20 of them - 20 a day."

He added: "You sons of bitches, you policemen. You will suffer. I can maybe send your heads to South Korea."

The death of the South Korean comes as the Philippine police face growing criticism from rights groups and some lawmakers, who say cover-ups and abuses of police power are rampant.

CRITICS BLAMING DUTERTE

Duterte's critics, however, say he is to blame for creating a culture of impunity by promising to protect police on the front lines of his war on drugs.

The police accused of kidnapping and killing Jee were anti-narcotics officers.

Capital punishment has been a priority for Duterte, whose allies introduced a death penalty bill in Congress on June 30 last year, the same day as his inauguration.

The draft, which is still being debated, says existing laws are no deterrent and had "emasculated" the criminal justice system. The death penalty was repealed in 2006 following pressure from church groups.

A Senate investigation into Jee's killing began on Thursday with police chief Ronald dela Rosa, a close ally of Duterte, saying he was "overcome by shame".

"All indications point to an elaborate web of criminal activity by some police personnel operating under the cover of legitimate police operations," he told the hearing.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR (PILIPINO STAR NGAYON)

Hindi dapat magbitiw si ‘Bato’ 6 SHARES 0 0 1 Tony Katigbak - KUNSABAGAY (Pilipino Star Ngayon) - January 22, 2017 - 12:00am


TONY KATIGBAK

HUWAG naman nating husgahan agad si PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

Para sa akin maganda naman ang ipinakita niya bilang pinakamataas na pinuno ng PNP. Ayon kay “Bato” tayong mamamayan at mga turista sa bansa ay ligtas na sa paglalakad sa lansangan lalo na sa gabi.

Kahit si President Digong ay ipinagmamalaki niya na maganda ang performance ng ating mga alagad ng batas. ‘Yung iba ay nagbubuwis ng buhay para lang masugpo ang kriminalidad sa bansa.

Malaki ang tiwala ni Digong kay “Bato”, matagal na silang magkakilala sa Davao City. Alam niya na tapat ito sa tungkulin kaya iniluklok sa puwesto. Hindi ko kilala si “Bato” pero may nakapagsabi sa akin na mapagpakumbaba at may magandang kalooban ang taong ito.

Dito sa Kongreso, maraming puro dakdak kulang naman sa gawa. Itong si Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, pinagbibitiw niya si “Bato” sa puwesto. At bakit naman? Kayong mga kongresista, ang sarap ng buhay n’yo. Nakaupo sa aircondition offices at namumuhay nang marangya habang ang mga pulis natin ay ginagawa ang kanilang mga tungkulin.

‘Yun nga lang pinatay ng mga pulis ang isang Korean businessman sa loob mismo ng Camp Crame. Hindi naman kasalanan ni “Bato” ‘yun. Bakit kayong mga nasa mataas na puwesto, alam n’yo bang lahat ang ginagawa ng mga tauhan n’yo?

Sinusuportahan ko si “Bato”. Kahit na ano ang sabihin ng ilang matataas na tao diyan at kahit binabatikos siya ngayon sa social media, buo pa rin ang tiwala ko sa kanya.

Siya ay magandang halimbawa na opisyal ng gobyerno na dapat tularan.


PHILSTAR

Truth commission eyed; Duterte meets SAF families 52 SHARES 1 0 0 Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2017 - 12:00am


Rody on SAF 44: Noy apology not enough -President Duterte talks to familes of the SAF 44 during a dialogue at Malacañang yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, Philippines – The buck stops with the highest official involved in the disastrous Mamasapano raid and that is former president Benigno Aquino III.

President Duterte made this clear yesterday as he called on Aquino to answer certain questions about the counterterrorism operation that led to the deaths of 44 members of the elite police Special Action Force (SAF) two years ago.

The President also raised the possibility of creating a truth commission composed of Supreme Court justices and private individuals to look into the case.

Duterte aired his sentiments before relatives and loved ones of the fallen police commandos at Malacañang gathered for the commemoration of the tragedy, which took place in a cornfield in Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

At the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang, Cavite, PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa also revealed a recommendation to have Aquino charged for the raid.

Aquino deferred comment, telling The STAR in a text message that he would hold a meeting today and “probably respond in two days’ time.”

READ MORE

At the start of his speech, Duterte said he wanted his predecessor to answer questions about the Mamasapano operation – something investigating bodies did not ask for when Aquino was still in power.

DUTERTE WANTS MEETING WITH PNoy, PURISIMA

“Itong Mamasapano, I would like to lay the predicate. I will address myself to former president Aquino. I do not have any quarrel with you. I do not want to disturb your life now that you are retired and so with general (Allan) Purisima and the others,” he said.

Purisima, then under suspension, reportedly was in direct command of the operation.

Duterte said he was wondering where the $5-million reward for the capture of terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, ended up. Marwan was killed in the operation.

Duterte noted many questions remain unanswered two years after the incident.

“Why send SAF when SAF is organized and geared into the service to meet the challenges of urban terrorism? Urban is urban. It should only be in the city,” he said.

He also wondered why soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were not deployed for the operation.

“And they are practically surrounding the Mamasapano area. Why were the Army not deployed? And why was it under wraps? And why did you keep it secret that this was actually an operation of the CIA?”

The CIA or the US Central Intelligence Agency, he said, intervened in the operation.

“Sabihin mo sa Pilipino, sabihin mo sa akin kung paano ka nagkasala? At anong ginawa ninyo bakit (Tell the Filipino, tell me why you failed, and what you did that) you fed the soldiers to the lion’s den, to be eaten by death?” Duterte said.

His police chief also said all officials involved in the Mamasapano operation – including Aquino – should be held liable and charged for the death of the 44 SAF commandos.

He said it was the recommendation of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) that the highest official involved in the operation to arrest terrorist Marwan be slapped with criminal charges.


AQUINO, PURISIMA, NAPANES JULY 2016 COMPOSITE PHOTOS MANILA BULLETIN FILE

When asked if former president Aquino should be included, the PNP chief said it was part of the recommendation of the BOI. Also recommended to be charged was Purisima.

Dela Rosa said he hopes to see the families of the slain commandos getting justice under the term of President Duterte.

“I am waiting for the instruction of the President,” he said, adding Duterte is expected to issue separate instructions to the Department of Justice, possibly regarding the filing of charges.

“Yung pulis tapos na, kung may lalabas na warrant yung pulis tutulong (The police work is done, but if there’s a warrant to be issued we will help),” he added.

Dela Rosa participated in the rites commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the Mamasapano massacre at the PNP Academy compound in Silang, Cavite.

The PNP chief and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno laid a wreath at the monument to the fallen SAF commandos.

“How we wish na mabigyan ng tuldok yung kaso ng (we can conclude the case of the) SAF 44. Dapat matapos na yan at mabigyan ng hustisya (That should be concluded and justice served),” said Dela Rosa, who was part of the BOI.

Dela Rosa said the President wanted to know more about the case, but “not for any political reasons.”

AQUINO ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY

While Aquino accepted responsibility when he was president, Duterte thinks it was not enough to get him off the hook.

“Let it be brought to the open. It was an American adventure with the cooperation of some and apparently with your blessing,” said Duterte.

“You were sweating when you went on national TV, and you were so stressed and you said, ‘it is all my fault’, but it is not enough,” Duterte said.

Before his speech, relatives of the SAF 44 namely, Guillermo Tria, father of slain Senior Insp. Max Jim Tria; John Anniban, father of Senior Insp. Cyrus Anniban; Melanie Duque, wife of PO3 Andres Duque Jr; and Rohirmina Asjali, mother of PO3 Jed-in Abubakar Asjali, took turns asking for justice for the fallen policemen.

Erica Pabalinas, widow of Insp. Ryan Pabalinas, also issued the same appeal when she introduced the families.

They also asked for the approval of higher pension, followed up on the release of remaining benefits, housing, scholarships for children and jobs for the widows. They also said they wanted their slain relatives to receive the highest recognition for bravery, which is the Medal of Valor.


Rojan Luther Senen, with ‘SAF44’ shaved into the back of his head and wearing a shirt bearing the image of his fallen father, holds on to his mother during President Duterte’s dialogue with the families of the SAF 44 commandos at Malacañang yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

Reinvestigate

Duterte also ordered the PNP to review the results of its earlier probe, as well as findings of the Senate which also conducted an inquiry that found political liability on Aquino.

“So I am asking Dela Rosa and you guys, Lito, study the matter very carefully and look that up. You know, if it’s sauce for the gander, it’s also sauce for the goose. Walang pinipili,” he said, giving orders to PNP chief de la Rosa and retired police general Catalino Cuy, now an undersecretary at the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“Patay kung patay. So look into it, I’m directing you now and give me the result within, probably at the end of the month,” he said in a speech before widows and relatives of the slain SAF 44 who were gathered in Malacanang in a dialogue with the President on the eve of the failed operations.

The families also called on President Duterte to declare Jan. 25 of every year as a national memorial day for the slain troopers.

“Tutal nandiyan na ‘yung records hindi naman kailangan mag-imbestiga-imbestiga. Look at the records of the Senate and everything. And if you think as a soldier that the 44 deserve the Valor, then recommend it and I would give it to them. All of the soldiers, the 44,” he said.

“It carries with it certain privileges befitting the death of their loved ones serving the country. And I will create a commission of seven kagaya ng (like the) Agrava Commission noong panahon ni (during the time of) Marcos,” he said.

CREATION OF A TRUTH COMMISSION

Duterte also ordered the creation of a truth commission to be composed of three Supreme Court justices and private individuals, to look into the circumstances that led to the botched Mamasapano raid in 2015.

Duterte said he wants the commission to have the same intensity and authority of the Agrava Commission, the board formed by former strongman Feridnand Marcos to look into the assassination of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Aug. 21, 1983.

When Ninoy’s widow Corazon was sworn in as president in 1986, she created the Fernando commission to investigate the assassination of her husband.

Duterte also questioned the role of former presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles, who recommended the military stand-down to avoid a war with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Addressing Deles, Duterte said: “And ma’am, si Deles, I do not want to, you know, belabor. Ikaw ‘yung peace negotiator. And para sa akin, ikaw ‘yung nagpigil kay P-Noy na huwag because war will break out, because then you have violated the agreement that you should not enter MILF territory.”

‘Who killed them?’

It’s the truth that Helen Mejia still longs for, two years after the death of her son – Police Officer 2 Ephraim Mejia – in a remote cornfield in Mamasapano.

“Who killed them? Who should be held answerable for their death? Managot ang dapat managot (Someone should be held accountable),” she told The STAR in an interview in Pangasinan yesterday.

She said up to now she still cries whenever she remembers her son, or sees men in uniform. Ephraim, she said, would have turned 35 this year.

His widow Miya was in Manila yesterday for the dialogue with President Duterte. She and their four-year-old daughter live in Pangasinan.

“They are okay but it would have been better if Ephraim were still alive,” Helen said.

“Life was never the same again. He was our breadwinner then,” Helen said of her son. She recalled Ephraim would come home every three months and would ask her what pasalubong (gift) she wanted him to bring her. – Eva Visperas

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

SAF 44 review to look into Noy criminal culpability 16 SHARES 0 0 0 Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2017 - 12:00am


A female police commando carries flowers as members of the PNP-Special Action Force honor the ‘Gallant 44’ during a ceremony at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City yesterday. EDD GUMBAN 

MANILA, Philippines – Whether the order was to stand down or US troops were allowed to intervene in a local police operation, President Duterte’s planned Truth Commission will review evidence that may hold former president Benigno Aquino III criminally accountable for the deaths of 44 police commandos in Maguindanao two years ago.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo explained that there is such a thing as criminal responsibility, other than command responsibility.


LACIERDA

At the same time, Panelo rebutted the statement of former Aquino spokesman Edwin Lacierda who described as “not true” Duterte’s pronouncement that then presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles had advised Aquino to stand down at the height of the crisis.

The 44 members of the police Special Action Force (SAF) were killed in an encounter with Muslim rebels during the operation to capture Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, on Jan. 25, 2015 in Mamasapano.

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Marwan was killed in the operation but the SAF commandos later encountered Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels, resulting in the deaths of 44 police officers and 18 rebels.

Lacierda posted on his Twitter account that President Duterte is creating an alternative commission that will provide “alternative facts.”


NO SUCH THING AS  'ALTERNATIVE FACTS' - PANELO

But Panelo said there is no such animal as alternative facts.

“There are only facts as events unfolded, so we will have to determine exactly the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, that’s why he (Duterte) created the commission,” he said.

Panelo explained that the creation of an independent commission “is precisely to determine the culpability of those involved.”

“There has been a Senate finding that the ultimate person responsible for that is former president Noy, P-Noy. It appears to us that there was no movement in that direction. So it’s about time that we put closure to this,” he said.

Panelo was referring to the decision of the Senate committee led by Sen. Grace Poe which found that the buck stops with Aquino, and recommended the filing of charges against concerned officials.

“There had been many speculations on who committed the wrongs, and how the wrong was committed. It’s about time that we determine the why and the wherefores of that tragedy,” Panelo added.

THERE'S SUCH A THING AS 'CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY'

“Under the law, there is such thing as criminal responsibility. There is also the so-called reckless imprudence so we have to determine that. Exactly who are responsible and what is the extent of their responsibility, whether administrative or criminal… or civil liability,” Panelo said.

“The victims are crying for justice, and the President is responding to the cry,” he added.

In his dialogue with families of the slain SAF 44, Duterte vowed to bring justice for the commandos involved in the operation.

He also vowed to speed up the release of remaining benefits as the administration helps in the pursuit of justice for the victims.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday that the reinvestigation on the death of the 44 SAF troopers in Mamasapano would finally determine if former president Aquino could be held liable for the massacre.

Aguirre said questions on the culpability of the former president is among the many unanswered questions that could now be answered through the creation of an independent commission to be led by a retired justice.

“Through this commission, we might find answers to the questions that were not answered in previous inquiries and maybe we can finally find the closure on these issues,” he said in an interview.

Among the issues to be tackled by the commission, according to Aguirre, are: did president Aquino give an order to stand down and not to reinforce the pinned down SAF troopers? Why was it that our artillery’s phosphorous rounds were fired only after most if not all of our SAF troopers have died?

“Last but most important of all, why were the mobile phones of all those involved in the planning and the directing of Oplan Exodus from President Aquino down to the officers not submitted for forensic examination? As far as I know, only General Napeñas immediately submitted his mobile unit to the CIDG for forensic examination,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) chief added, referring to SAF chief Getulio Napeñas who led the operation.

Aguirre questioned why Aquino was still not included in the investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman even after his term ended and he lost immunity from suit.

“I really wonder why he was cleared right away when there was no thorough investigation yet. Now that he no longer has immunity, this should be investigated thoroughly,” he stressed.

Aguirre said he plans not to join the commission and inhibit from the probe because he served as lawyer of Napeñas, who was charged by the ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan along with former PNP chief Alan Purisima earlier this week. - With Edu Punay, Jose Rodel Clapano, Elizabeth Marcelo


MANILA TIMES

Justice delayed! Charge Aquino, SAF 44 families tell Ombudsman BY JING VILLAMENTE ON JANUARY 26, 2017 HEADLINES


JUSTICE DELAYED Terry Sumbilla (left), mother of Special Action Force (SAF) commando John Lloyd Sumbilla who was slain during the January 2015 Mamasapano operation, cries during a news conference in Quezon City. Behind her is a cross symbolizing the

FAMILIES of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) brutally killed two years ago urged Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday to hold accountable all those involved in the botched Mamasapano anti-terrorist operation, including former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

Carrying a cross containing the names of the slain troopers, the SAF 44 families went on a “March for Justice” to the Ombudsman a day after the government’s graft prosecutor charged two former police officials for graft and usurpation of official functions but left out Aquino who authorized the January 25, 2015 raid.

“There’s no justice until now,” cried Telly Sumbilla, mother of Police Officer (PO) 3 John Lloyd Sumbilla who was slain and mutilated by gunmen at Mamasapano in Maguindanao.

“After he was gunned down, they took out his eyes. They severed his arms. Then they just covered him with banana leaves. Tell me. What would I feel?” Sumbilla said in a news conference before the march that marked the second anniversary of the carnage.

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Nicky Nacino, father of 32-year-old PO2 Nicky Nacino Jr. who left behind a wife and child, told The Times: “We need justice. It seems like nothing will happen to this case, just like the other cases. All promises.”

Aquino being ‘shielded’

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio questioned why the Ombudsman did not include Aquino in the charges filed Tuesday at the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court against former PNP chief Alan Purisima and former SAF director Getulio Napeñas.

Carpio-Morales, he said, could be impeached if she continues to drag her feet on the case.

“As the nation marked the second commemoration of the gruesome killings today, the Ombudsman hurriedly announced they have filed cases only of usurpation and graft against the PNP leadership then at the Sandiganbayan, without naming Aquino,” Topacio said.

“It seems Aquino is being shielded. Is she (Ombudsman Morales) afraid of the person who appointed her?” Topacio asked.

Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), said the SAF men were not only put into the “lion’s den” but in the “quick sands of death.”

Jimenez echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements before the SAF families on Tuesday in Malacañang, during which the Chief Executive lashed out at Aquino, his predecessor, for failing to help the police commandos during the ill-fated operation.

The operation, known as Oplan Exodus, resulted in the killing of international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir. But over 60 people, including 44 members of the SAF, were killed in a gun battle with Muslim rebels who were protecting the terrorist.

In July last year, the VACC, represented by Topacio, filed a case of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against those behind the operation, including Aquino.

“We have found out that the Ombudsman only asked the respondents to reply last December and we were not informed nor a notice was sent to us. We only learned that we were supposed to comment on the reply through Mrs. Sumbilla who received a notice via courier,” Topacio said.

He noted that even the PNP’s Board of Inquiry held Aquino responsible for bypassing the police force’s chain of command.

He also accused the then Justice secretary, now Sen. Leila de Lima, of covering up Aquino’s role, citing a report by the National Bureau of Investigation “filled with erasures.”

“Literally a cover up,” Topacio said as he showed the report.

Morales shrugs off threat

Morales, appointed Ombudsman by Aquino in 2012, on Wednesday shrugged of Topacio’s threat of impeachment.

“Never mind VACC. Let them charge me. Let them prove that I am covering up [for somebody]. If they fail to prove it, beware,” Morales told reporters at the sidelines of a women’s summit in Pasay City.

“I understand the VACC filed a case against him (Aquino) [before my office]. And just because somebody filed against him we will file it right away [before the Sandiganbayan]? No. You have to conduct a preliminary investigation. That’s where the due process comes in,” Morales, a former Supreme Court associate justice, pointed out.

Morales however bared that she was investigating the former chief of records of the Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor for the delayed filing of cases against Purisima and Napeñas, which she said should have been lodged with the Sandiganbayan in June 2016.

“If not for the press, we would not have discovered it was not filed at all. There are so many cases against Purisima. Purisima here, Purisima there. I go over several cases and presume that the case was filed. So, when it was discovered it was not filed, as I tell you, I gave her a show-cause order to explain within 24 hours why she should not be faulted,” Morales said.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Sereno: Unresolved killings weakening rule of law 17 SHARES 5 1 0 Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2017 - 12:00am


Breaking her silence on the issue after seven months of the Duterte administration, the Supreme Court chief lamented how their efforts to improve the perception of justice in the country through judicial reform initiatives suffered a setback due to the killings over the past months. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – The perception of the rule of law in the country has diminished due to unresolved killings of drug suspects, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno said yesterday.

Breaking her silence on the issue after seven months of the Duterte administration, the Supreme Court chief lamented how their efforts to improve the perception of justice in the country through judicial reform initiatives suffered a setback due to the killings over the past months.

“Despite all of these positive things and even greater potential gains, we have to face the reality of the daily accounts of unsolved killings, many of them committed brazenly with public warnings against drug pushing or addiction. It is not surprising, therefore, that the perception of the rule of law in our country has swung from marked improvement to a downgrade,” she said in her speech during the 68th inaugural meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) held at a hotel in Makati City.

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Sereno cited the drop in the country’s ranking in the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index from 51st place in 2015 to 70th place last year as an “indicator of the serious erosion of trust in the criminal justice system, in the civil justice system and in regulatory agencies.”

She lamented that the ranking of the Philippines in the index already improved from 60th place in 2014 due to judicial reform programs of the SC, including the crackdown on corrupt and erring members of the judiciary that led to dismissal from service of a Sandiganbayan justice and 16 trial court judges in the past four years.

The drop in perception of the rule of law in the country calls on all three branches of government and independent constitutional bodies “to reflect on how they have been discharging their roles in a way that has brought about this state of affairs,” Sereno explained.

Sereno further suggested to the pillars of the criminal justice system – the judiciary, Department of Justice and its attached agencies and the Philippine National Police – to work together and come up with genuine change.

“It is only when institutions faithfully comply with what the law requires can we experience long-term stability as a country even beyond changes in administration. At the same time all institutions involved in the administration of justice are duty bound to proactively report to the people the improvements they are trying to carry out in their areas,” she stressed.

Sereno also vowed that the efforts to reform the judiciary would be relentless.

“If you believe that the judiciary leadership is sincere, what I will ask of you in return is to continue to believe in the rule of law,” she appealed.

From July 1, 2016 to Jan. 25, there have been over 7,000 deaths linked to the “war on drugs” – both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings, including deaths under investigation.


PHILSTAR

PNP: Scalawags exploiting Rody’s support for cops SHARES 1 0 0 Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2017 - 12:00am


“Yes, there are. These are the rogue cops that we still have in our ranks and we are taking them away,” Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in an interview over ANC. File photo 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday admitted that scalawags among its ranks are taking advantage of President Duterte’s assurance of protection in their mission of keeping the public safe.

“Yes, there are. These are the rogue cops that we still have in our ranks and we are taking them away,” Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in an interview over ANC.

Related Stories Sa pagkidnap at pagpatay sa Korean trader ‘Heads will roll!’ - Sueno Bato gagawing scapegoat ng Malacañang-D5 Initial investigation found that South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo was kidnapped and murdered by police officers inside PNP headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City in October 2016.

Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, Jee’s alleged killer; Supt. Rafael Dumlao, Sta. Isabel’s team leader at the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG); and Senior Police Officer 4 Roy Villegas are under investigation for the Jee kidnap-slay case.

Seven policemen in Angeles City, Pampanga were also relieved from their posts for their alleged involvement in the robbery extortion of three South Koreans on holiday in the country last December.

Last July, Duterte assured police personnel that he is fully supporting them in the government’s campaign to eradicate illegal drugs and other crimes.

READ MORE...

“Do your duty, and if in the process you kill 1,000 persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you. And if they try to impeach me, I will hurry the process and we will go out of the service together,” Duterte said in his speech during the assumption of command ceremony of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa last July.

Carlos lamented some corrupt police officers took advantage of Duterte’s promise to support the PNP.

“Just to clarify, the instruction of the President on day one is do your job right and you will have my backing,” Carlos said. “He did not say you start doing some shenanigans and all these criminal acts and I will support you.”

Napolcom: Disarm rogue cops

The National Police Commission (Napolcom) called on the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to disarm policemen involved in illegal activities to assure the public that the PNP is taking action against erring policemen.

Napolcom vice chairman Rogelio Casurao said the PNP should take immediate action against rogue policemen to serve as deterrent and warning to other police officers.

“To the IAS, if a policeman is charged, confiscate his police badge, gun and restrict him to quarters so that the public will see that there is action along that line,” he said in Filipino.

Casurao also observed that many policemen involved in illegal activities are rookies, which he said prompted the Napolcom to initiate a review of the recruitment process.

“Why is the frame of mind of our cops bad from the start? We have to find out some faulty step along the way in the entire recruitment process. We are trying to craft the PNP modernization law to address the recruitment process and system in the PNP,” he said.

He also said that raising the salary of policemen would not prevent them from being involved in illegal activities.

“The argument that it is because of their low salaries is hard to accept. Because even if we give them big salaries, if their core values are questionable from the start, no amount of salary increase can make them better policemen,” he added.

‘Rule of law collapsed in Phl’

Phelim Kine, HRW Asia director, said yesterday the rule of law in the Philippines has collapsed following the deaths of thousands of people since Duterte began his drug war last July.

Citing records from the PNP, Kine said over 7,000 suspected drug users and pushers were killed in police operations and by unidentified assassins since July. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Lacson to Bato dela Rosa: Go after rogue cops Published January 20, 2017 11:43am Updated January 20, 2017 2:18pm By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday urged Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to go after rogue cops as soon as possible.

Lacson described the reported killing of South Korean Jee Ick Joo right inside Camp Crame as “the most unwelcome wake-up call” for Dela Rosa.

“Having said that, the PNP leadership should lose no time in addressing the issue by henceforth going hammer and tongs against all rogue cops who only care about their personal gains to the detriment of the entire police organization,” he said in a press statement.

He said Dela Rosa should prioritize in the internal cleansing those who are taking advantage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s intensified “all-out, mostly bloody war against illegal drugs.”

The senator recalled that when he was PNP chief 17 years ago, he really hit hard on inept, corrupt and undisciplined policemen regardless of rank.

“My primary concern was to do justice to the sacrifices of the overwhelmingly many honest and hardworking police officers,” he said.

Lacson said Dela Rosa knows that and he is certain the present PNP chief knows how to do it. “He (Dela Rosa) was one of those at the forefront of our no-nonsense internal cleansing of the police.”

The senator has earlier called on Dela Rosa to cleanse the PNP ranks.

‘Dirty cops’

GATCHALIAN

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian echoed Lacson’s sentiments, saying Jee’s kiling “inside the very seat of command of the PNP highlights the urgent need for the PNP to cleanse its ranks of dirty cops.”

“I am calling on PNP chief Director General Bato Dela Rosa to use all the resources at his disposal to mount a police purification campaign which will identify and remove corrupt police officers quickly, and without mercy,” Gatchalian said.

He said the success or failure of the administration's anti-crime campaign will depend on Dela Rosa's ability to redeem the public's trust in the police force by setting his house in order.

“These dirty cops must be brought to justice,” he said. “I am one with the President in the fight against crime, but we must also face a brutal fact: we will lose this fight if the people lose faith in our police force. We simply cannot let this happen.”

ESCUDERO

For his part, Sen. Francis Escudero said the killing of Jee “shows the absence of respect and sheer arrogance of some police officers not only with their PNP Chief but with their uniform and organization.”

He said this is a result of the PNP’s soft stance against erring police officers like Supt. Marvin Marcos and others who are accused of killing Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

“This is what happens when you handle with kid gloves abusive PNP officers and coddle and protect them (like Col. Marcos). Gen De la Rosa said it himself once before... "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." They should deal with Col Marcos and this PNP official harshly in order to show and prove that abusive cops shall not and will not be tolerated by this government,” he said.

PIMENTEL

On the other hand, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said the South Korean national’s death was saddening and infuriating.

“Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit. (They should) enforce the law! The law is in place. Murder is non-bailable,” he said.

DE LIMA AS USUAL REFERENCE TO DU30

Sen. Leila de Lima, for her part, said the killing of Jee was expected after President Duterte unleashed a policy of tolerance on PNP abuse in the war on drugs, to the point of promising pardon for those found guilty of abuses.

“Once he adopted such a policy, the parameters of which are unclear, there is no longer any distinction if the same involves EJKs of drug suspects or, in this case, an innocent foreign businessman target of a shakedown,” she said.

“This is the logical and necessary outcome of giving unlimited power and virtual immunity to policemen. This administration is the least to complain about crimes committed by policemen, after being the one to encourage lawlessness among their ranks in the prosecution of the war on drugs and in tolerating the summary execution of drug suspects,” she added.

De Lima said the international community is now forewarned of what law enforcement has become in the Philippines, where the law enforcers have become the number one criminal offenders.

“We have just sent out the message to foreigners that when they now come to the Philippines, they do so at their own risk,” she said.

Killed inside Camp Crame

Dela Rosa, in a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday, said Jee was killed inside Camp Crame and as per testimony of one of the witnesses, it was SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel who strangled the victim to death.

Dela Rosa's statement was backed by the testimony of SPO4 Roy Villegas, one of the seven individuals set to be charged in court by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the abduction and killing of Jee.

According to the DOJ resolution, Jee was brought to Camp Crame after he was abducted from his home.

Villegas said he noticed Sta. Isabel talking with a certain Sir Dumlao and overheard their conversation. He added that Sta. Isabel brought a packaging tape and surgical gloves and instructed them to cover Jee's head.

"When he (Villegas) asked the respondent (Sta. Isabel) for what reason, the latter instructed them to obey his order and not that of Dumlao. He finally recalls seeing respondent Sta. Isabel strangling and killing the victim," the DOJ said.

Villegas claimed that after Jee was killed, he called up Gerardo Gregorio "Ding" Santiago, the owner of Gream Funeral Services in Brgy. Bagbaguin, Caloocan City. Santiago agreed to receive Jee's body in exchange for P30,000 and a golf set, which was recovered by the police during a search operation on Wednesday.

Jee was abducted together with his househelp from his home in Angeles City, Pampanga by armed men last October 18.

A source said Jee was killed inside a black Ford Explorer that was parked inside the Police Community Relations Group compound.

“Binalot ng tape ang mukha saka sinakal, sakay ng kanyang Explorer na itim,” the source said, adding that the incident happened around 10 p.m.

A police official, who refused to be named, said the closed-circuit television footage in the area is no longer available because these were already been overwritten by the system.

In a text message to GMA News Online, Supt. Dennis Wagas, legal officer of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group, said “based on existing evidence and DOJ resolution, yes (Jee was killed inside Camp Crame)." —KG/RSJ, GMA News


PHILSTAR

PNP-AFP ‘Double Barrel’ Plan targets illegal gambling 36 SHARES 5 0 0 (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2017 - 12:00am


Dubbed the PNP Operation Plan Double Barrel on Illegal Gambling, both the PNP and AFP were tapped to ensure that the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be successful enough to deter operators from continuing illegal operations. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – From a controversial war against illegal drugs, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are now zeroing in on a war against illegal gambling – a campaign that would target operators, local government officials and police.

Dubbed the PNP Operation Plan Double Barrel on Illegal Gambling, both the PNP and AFP were tapped to ensure that the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be successful enough to deter operators from continuing illegal operations.

Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, PNP deputy director for operations, said the focus would be on operators, bettors and police protectors of the illegal gambling games, such as jueteng and masiao.

He added that politicians would not be spared in the revitalized anti-illegal gambling plan.

“We have been pushing our intelligence units together with the AFP intelligence units to identify these personalities. We are not tolerating it,” said Apolinario, adding that the operation would be patterned after the PNP’s intensified campaign against drugs, which had become a concern among human rights groups here and abroad.

READ MORE...

The PCSO revealed yesterday that it has expanded STL operations from 18 franchise holders to more than 50 nationwide.

Unlike when President Duterte openly called on the police to shoot drug personalities who would resist police during operations, Apolinario said they have no marching orders to kill illegal gambling operators.

“Stop all and arrest all illegal gambling operators. The bettors will be arrested and hailed to court,” Apolinario said in a briefing at Malacañang yesterday.

He warned the public that the PNP would be strict in implementing Republic Act 9284, which increased the penalties for illegal numbers games.

In the same press briefing, PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan said the PCSO is stepping up its STL operations as part of the government’s efforts to stamp out corruption within the agency.

“It is no secret to anyone that illegal gambling has been the scourge of this country for the longest time, spawning corruption in different agencies and levels of government,” Balutan, a former military officer turned coup plotter during the previous administration, said.

“Today, we declare that the small town lottery is the only legal and authorized numbers game nationwide. To all illegal gambling operators, we offer you both an invitation and a warning: Go legal. We expect some form of resistance. We expect that the PCSO will be under fire and undermined by those who benefit most from illegal gambling. We are ready,” Balutan added.

Funds generated from the expanded STL would benefit the government’s health program, initiatives and medical services, especially those geared towards helping the poor and the marginalized.

The PCSO hopes to generate about P27.8 billion from STL this year. In 2015 and 2016, the 18 operators generated P4.7 billion.

PCSO chairman Jorge Corpuz, a retired police general, said the operators of jueteng in Luzon, masiao in the Visayas and ‘last two’ in Mindanao could form themselves into a corporation and apply with the PCSO to make their operations legal.

The existing gaming corporations, according to PCSO records, are currently operating in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Tarlac, Batangas, Laguna, Mindoro, Quezon, Sorsogon, Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Bohol. They also operate in Olongapo, Angeles and San Fernando cities in Pampanga.

LACSON BACKS PCSO AMENDMENT

Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson backed yesterday the calls to amend the PCSO charter and make it more responsive to the latest developments of the gaming industry.

He said various forms of state-sponsored games and legal forms of gambling have emerged since the PCSO charter was written in 1954 and amended in 1979.

“What the PCSO does now has no basis in the old (charter). The charter is very old, and it talks only of sweepstakes. Now, we have the STL. We really have to amend the charter, introduce a new (one) to adapt to the times,” Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on games and amusement, told reporters after a hearing on illegal gambling.

The STL, he added, is not mentioned in the PCSO charter. He also said that although the government issued revised implementing rules and regulations and an executive order for STL, these issuances are not enough.

Lacson said the legal basis for STL should be revised to legalize it and allow the congressional districts to receive a share from the proceeds. The amendments could also help prevent the STL from being hijacked by illegal gambling operators.

He pointed out that although the PCSO issued franchises to operate STL, many of those who have obtained licenses are also suspected to be conducting illegal gambling. – Christina Mendez, Perseus Echeminada, Paolo Romero

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RELATED FROM THE WORLD GAMING MAGAZINE

Illegal gambling next on Philippines hit list 19 Sep 2016by Ben Blaschke225 Views


Ben Blaschke
Written by Ben Blaschke

Having already shaken up the nation’s gaming industry during his first few months in the job, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte now has illegal gambling in his sights.

Announcing the government’s latest plans during a speech over the weekend, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa claimed the ongoing war on illegal drugs would continue for another six months at which point authorities would focus their resources on illegal gambling instead.

“With the President’s call for change in the country, there will yet be no end to wars we are waging – because after we are done with the war against illegal drugs, in six months, we will shift our sights to eradicating illegal gambling in the country,” Dela Rosa said.

“While this is already a part of police operations, we will be giving more life and energy to these operations, the same way we did with our campaign against illegal drugs.”

The government’s ruthless and controversial war on drugs has attracted headlines around the world, with official PNP figures showing that 1,506 people had been killed during police operations in the two months since President Duterte took office. Another 720,000 people have been arrested, around 40 percent of the 1.8 million drug sellers and users they have set as a target.

However, Dela Rosa insisted the war on illegal gambling would not be as brutal as the current campaign.

“They are not drug-crazed who do not understand. Gambling lords will not fire at you,” he said.

President Duterte has already made his mark on the country’s legal gambling industry, revoking the licenses of around 200 online gaming sites and ordering gaming regulator Pagcor to sell the 11 casinos it operates.


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