Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hamon ng obispo, wakasan ang krisis sa kriminalidad

MALOLOS—Tahasang hinamon ng simbahan ang admnistrasyong Aquino na wakasan ang krisis sa kriminalidad sa bansa, sa halip na malibang sa panonood ng impeachement trial.

Hinamon din ng simbahan ang pambansang pulisya na tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng pagsawata sa krimen, sa halip na pagtukoy lamang sa mga nasa likod ng krimen.

Ayon kay Obispo Jose Oliveros ng Diyosesis ng Malolos,  hindi na biro ang mga kaso ng kriminalidad sa bansa, at ito ay dapat tugunan ng pamahalaang pambansa at lokal.

“What’s happening in Bulacan is not isolated, it’s a picture of crisis today that is happening all over the country,” ani Oliveros.

Iginiit pa niya, “Ano ba talaga ang ginagawa ng gobyerno, may political will ba to fight criminality in our midst?

Ang problema naka-concentrate sa impeachment, pero ang daming patayan, nakikidnap, ninanakawan araw-araw in other parts of the country.”

Ang tinutukoy ng obispo ay ang mga krimen sa Bulacan, maging sa Mindanao, Visayas at kalakhang Maynila.

Sinabi pa niya na wala sa kalingkingan ng krimeng nagaganap sa ibang bahagi ng bansa ang mga krimen sa Bulacan araw-araw.

Nitong Miyerkoles, isang manggagawa ng simbahan ang iniulat na pinaslang sa lungsod na ito, matapos ang sunod-sunod na krimen na tinampukan ng mga mapapanagahas na pamamaslang.

Ang mga pamamaslang sa lalawigan ay ipinangamba ng mga negosyante, at nagtulak naman kay Gob. Wilhelmino Alvarado upang pulungin ang Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) noong Marso 5.

Batay sa ulat ng pulisya, bumaba ang bilang ng krimen sa Bulacan noong 2011 kumparra sa naitala noong 2010.

Ipinagmalaki rin ng pulisya na bumaba ang bilang ng krimen sa lalawigan sa unang dalawang buwan ng taon kumpara sa katulad na panahon noong 2011.

Sa kabila nito, ipinayo ni Alvarado ang mas madalas na pulong ng PPOC upang tugunan ang lumalalang krimen na naghahatid ng pangamba sa mga negosyante.

Inamin din ni Alvarado na maging siya ay nangamba sa pagiging mapangahas ng mga kriminal sa paggawa ng krimen, dahil karaniwan sa mga ito ay tanghaling tapat nang isagawa.

Ayon pa sa gobernador, isang insulto sa gobyerno at pulisya ang pagiging mapangahas ng mga kriminal.

Kabilang sa mga pinaslang ng tanghaling tapat sa Bulacan ay ang negosyanteng si Cristina Roaxas ng Paombong na binaril at napatay habang nakasakay sa isang pampasaherong jeepney di kalayuan sa bakuran ng kapitolyo.

Pinagbabaril din at napatay ang isang abogado sa loob ng kanyang tanggapan sa Lungsod ng San Jose Del Monte.

Ang dalawang insidente ay kapwa naganap sa pagitan ng alas 11 ng umaga at alas-12 ng tanghali noong nakaraang buwan.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Military and Police Coddling Morong 43 Rights Violators, AFP and PNP Give Victims the Run-Around

 Months after summons have been issued by a Quezon City Regional Trial Court, several respondent military personnel and police officers in the P15-million damage suit filed by the Morong 43 health workers remained officially unnotified of the charges. The National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), counsel for the complainants, asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Brig. Gen. Herbert Yambing of the Office of the Provost Marshall General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to locate and provide information on the “missing” respondents but to no avail.

 “This is tantamount to a cover-up of the military and the police for their peers whose accountability is being sought for their involvement in brazenly violating the rights of the Morong 43 health workers,” said the NUPL through its Assistant Secretary for Legal Services Atty. Ephraim Cortez.

Addressed at their last known assignments, the summons against Gen. Jorge Segovia, Lt. Col. Cristobal Zaragosa, Col. Aurelio Baladad, Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, Maj. Manuel Tabion and P/Supt. Marion Balonglong were returned unserved on the ground that they were no longer assigned thereat.

 “With their cynical unwillingness to cooperate, state forces have put up another roadblock to justice that effectively frustrates efforts to seek accountability for human rights violations against the Morong 43 health workers,” said Cortez.

In a letter sent to the NUPL, Yambing declined to give information on the whereabouts of the military personnel purportedly because his office has “no direct knowledge” on the whereabouts of the military officers and that he supposedly has no authority to release such information. On the other hand, the PNP, through Records Management Division Chief Manuel Gaerlan, CEO VI, said in its reply that the names of P/Supt. Balolong and P/Supt. Nubleza, who have been publicly known to be part of the service, strangely do not appear in the roster of the PNP.

“Either they are  deliberately  hiding any information about those involved or they are giving us a run-around through technicalities in  disclosing very simple standard details about their personnel for the purpose of serving summons, or both” Atty. Cortez said.

The summons to the respondents in what is considered the first civil case for human rights violations against former President Gloria Arroyo and her security forces were issued last November 28, 2011. The Morong 43 health workers were illegally arrested in Morong, Rizal on February 2010. They were illegally arrested, detained, and tortured on the baseless charges of being members of the New People’s Army (NPA). Against all odds, they had filed the countersuit way back in April 2011.

 Aside from Segovia, Zaragosa, Baladad, Abawag, Tabion, Balonglong and former President Arroyo, the other respondents in the case are former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Gen. Victor Ibrado, and Gen. Delfin Bangit.

 “This obstructionist attitude demonstrates the manifest bias of the military and the police in favour of those from their ranks who commit rights violations,” Atty. Cortez said.

 “And it  shows once again how hard and sometimes frustrating it is to pursue justice for human rights violations under the present legal and judicial system  and how impunity is perpetrated before, during and after a violation,” NUPL Secretary General Atty.  Edre U. Olalia added. “But we shall not let up. They cannot just get away with it just like that.”#

Int’l lawyers group challenge gov’t to arrest Palparan

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization founded in 1947 that has consultative status with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and accredited with the UN Human Rights Council, has called on the Philippine government to use all its powers, resources and machinery in immediately arresting retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. who has gone into hiding for three months now.

Gen. Palparan has been indicted for the enforced disappearance of two young activist students Sherilyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno who were forcibly abducted, brutally tortured, and repeatedly raped in 2006. He faces a string of other pending and potential suits for his involvement in hundreds of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and other violations when he was in active service during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo.

 In the recently concluded meeting of its governing Bureau in Brussels, Belgium over the weekend, the IADL approved by consensus and in principle an omnibus resolution challenging the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to leave no stone unturned to immediately arrest Gen. Palparan and prosecute him forthwith, noting that he is reportedly the highest-ranking military official that has ever been criminally indicted for human rights violations after the Marcos dictatorship.

The IADL resolution said that violators of human rights anywhere in the world, wherever they are, must answer for their crimes against humanity. The IADL emphatically stressed that targeting of civilians violates the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It underscored that those who violate these laws must be held accountable.

The IADL, which reputedly has members in 90 countries, asked its country affiliates to blast the information about Gen. Palparan and to closely monitor the case/s against him even as it twitted Pres. Aquino for striking a distant and uncaring pose about pressing social and economic issues.

The IADL, headed by its President Jeanne Mirer from the New York-based National Lawyers Guild (NLG) that has thousands of members in all the states of the US, noted that there continues a bubble of impunity even under the present government. It expressed concern that serious and credible reports of killings, disappearances, torture, urban poor demolitions and other human rights violations continue; that the government has by and large not undertaken clear, strong, concrete and effective steps to make perpetrators accountable; and that political prisoners still unjustly languish in jail.

The IADL said that unless perpetrators are punished and held accountable for their actions, the violations will continue with impunity. It pointed out that unless positive and concrete actions are taken by the government to improve the dire human rights situation, there will be more victims and the likes of Gen. Palparan will continue to sow terror.

Consistent with its various campaigns to work for the release of political prisoners all over the world, the IADL also joined appeals that the more than 300 political prisoners be immediately released through a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty or through any other mutually acceptable mode of release.

The Bureau was also informed how the legal and judicial system in the Philippines has perpetrated the injustice against these prisoners through the filing of false or wrong charges – a practice that is also incompatible with international human rights law and international criminal law principles- ,  the improvident use of generic names to persecute branded “enemies of the state,” and the infectiveness or impracticability of existing local legal remedies.

The IADL agreed that if the Aquino government is really serious and sincere in its commitment to improve the Philippine human rights situation, the release of political prisoners is only proper and an imperative as a matter of law, principle and justice.

The IADL also resolved to ask the Philippine and US governments to stop US intervention in the country through deceptive and unequal visiting forces agreements or arrangements and is expressed alarmed at talks to expand the presence of US troops, facilities and materiel. It pointed out that this is contrary to the general principles in international law, particularly on national sovereignty and the right of peoples to self-determination.

The IADL has consistently opposed and campaigned against any kind of foreign intervention in any country including economic, political, and military interference. It lamented that US troops remain in the Philippines despite the historic struggle and laudable victory in kicking out in the 1990s the two largest military bases outside the US mainland.

Finally, the IADL resolution called on the Philippine government and the liberation movement National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to resume their peace negotiations to address and resolve the roots of the armed conflict, even as it noted that the landmark Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) marked its 14th anniversary while the Bureau was in session. The Bureau was informed that the CARHRIHL conforms to international legal principles and standards that the IADL stands for and in fact contains provisions on the foregoing issues contained in the IADL Resolution.

In a related vein, the IADL affirmed its full support to its officers and members who make up in their individual capacities the majority of the International Legal Advisory Team (ILAT) to the NDFP Negotiating Panel. The ILAT gives its advice and opinion pro bono on matters of international law related or coming out of the peace negotiations.

 Those present at the Brussels meeting were lawyers who are key leaders or prominent representatives of different  democratic lawyers associations in 16 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and Latin America including  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Germany, France, Haiti, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Philippines, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

 The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), the affiliate of the IADL in the Philippines and which represents the families of the disappeared university students and several other victims of human rights violations, was represented by its Secretary General in the Bureau meeting

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pastol binaril ngunit naituro ang suspek bago namatay

MALOLOS CITY—Naghihimas ng malamig na rehas ngayon ang isang binata sa bayan ng San Miguel, Bulacan matapos siyang maituro ng kanyang biktimang pastol ng itik bago ito tuluyang namatay kamakalawa ng gabi.

Ang suspek ay nakilalang si Richard Felipe, 28 binata, residente ng Brgy. Batasang Matanda sa nasabing bayan.

Siya ay naituro ng kanyang biktima na si Rolando Ortega, 42, anyos, tubong Albay, pastol ng itik ni Lauro Luris, at residente rin ng Brgy. Batasang Matanda.

Batay sa imbestigasyon ni PO3 Reggie Valenzuela, binabantayan ng biktima amga itik ni Luris bandang alas10:40 noong Lunes ng gabi ng dumating ang suspek na armado ng isang shotgun.

Walang sabi-sabing pinaputukan ng malapitanng suspek ang biktima ng dalawang beses, pagkatapos ay tumakas.

Naisugod pa sa San Miguel District Hospital ang biktima, at sa kabila ng mga sugat na tinamo mula sa shotgun ay nasabi nito kung sino ang bumaril sa kanya.

Inilipat sa Bulacan Medical Center si Ortega, ngunit pagdating doon ay idineklara itong dead on arrival.

Ayon pa sa imbestigasyon ni PO3 Valenzuela, may matandang alitan ang suspek at ang amo ni Ortega na si Luris.

Ito ay nag-ugat diumano sa supply ng kuryente sa itikan ni Luris na matatagpuan sa nasabing barangay.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Payapa daw ang Bulacan, ayon sa pulisya

Para kay Police Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez (kaliwa), direktor ng pulisya sa Bulacam payapa ang lalawigan.
MALOLOS—Sa pangkalahatan, payapa ang Bulacan, ayon sa pulisya; ngunit nagpahayag naman ang military ng pagpapaigting sa kampanya laban sa mga rebeldeng komunista.

Para naman kay Gob. Wilhelmino Alvarado, dapat magpulong ang Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) ng Bulacan ng apat na beses sa loob ng isang taon upang matugunan ang lumalalang insidente ng kriminalidad.

Ito ang magkakahiwalay na pahayag ng mga pinuno sa lalawigan kaugnay ng unang pulong ng PPOC sa tong ito na ipinatawag ni Alvarado dahil sa tumataas na insidente ng mapangahas na krimen sa Bulacan na ayon sa kanya ay “isang insulto sa kakayahan gobyerno.”

Ayon kay Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez, Bulacan police director, bumaba sa 14,155 ang ang bilang ng krimen na naitala sa lalawigan noong 2011, kumpara sa naitalang 20,202 noong 2010.

Binanggit din niya na tumaas 3.70 porsyento ang crime solution ng pulisya sa taong 2011 kumpara sa naitalang 8.50 porsyento noong 2010.

Ayon pa kay Mendez, bumaba rin sa 1,802 ang naitalang krimen sa lalawigan sa unang dalawang buwan ng taon kumpara sa 2,943 bilang ng krimen sa lalawigan na naitala noong Enero at Pebrero 2011.

“Despite crimes committed in the province recently, Bulacan remains generally peaceful,” ani Mendez.

Iginiit niya na patuloy ang pagpapataas ng kakayahan ng pulis, bukod sa pagpapaigting ng pagpapatrulya sa mga pangunahing lansangan.

Bukod dito, hiniling din ni Mendez ang tulong ng kapitolyo para sa pagpapaunlad ng kakayahan at kagamitan ng mga kasapi ng Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Group na tinawag din niya na “crisis group.”

Para namn kay Col. Hilario Lagnada ang kumander ng 56th Infantry Battalion, higit nilang napahina ang puwersa ng remebleng komunista sa lalawigan.

Sinabi niya na sa kabila ng kakayahan ng mga rebelde na magsagawa ng mga partisan operation, hindi naman sapat ang kasanayan ng mga ito at nahihirapang maka-ingganya ng ngmga kasapi.

Ipinagmalaki ni Lagnada ang ilang engkwentro nila sa mga rebelde sa kabundukan ng Bulacan na nagbunga upang mabawasan ang sandatahang kasapi ng mga ito at sa pagkakatuklas ng mga imbakan ng baril noong nakaraang Pebrero 14. sa bulubunduking bayan ng Donya Remedios Trinidad.

Sa kabila naman ng pananagumpay na ito, iginiit ni Alvarado ang patuloy na pagtugis sa mga kriminal at mga rebelde sa lalawigan.

Ito ay dahil sa nagiging mapangahas ang mga kriminal sa kanilang paggawa ng krimen na karaniwang ginagawa kung araw.

“Hindi simpleng activity yan, hinihiya na nila ang gobyerno.  Insulto na sa kakayahan ng gobyerno ang mga criminal activities conducted on broad day light,” ani Alvarado.

Iginiit din niya na ang mas madalas na pagpupulong ng PPOC upang tuluyang masugpo ang kriminalidad sa lalawigan na naghahatid ng pangamba sa mga negosyante at mamamayan.

3 patay, 2 sugatan sa Calumpit truck rampage

MALOLOS CITY—Tatlo katao ang kinarit ni kamatayan, at dalawa apa ang nasugatan matapos araruhin ang mga sasakyan sa Calumpit ng isang dumptruck na tumatakas sa galit ng mamamayan ng Pulilan kamakalawa ng gabi.

Ang mga namatay ay nakilalang sina Romnick Aguilar, driver ng truck, Ramil Anade, pasahero ng truck; at tricycle driver na si Avelino Cartago.

Nasugatan naman sina Alfredo Aguilarna ngayon ay nasa kritikal na kondisyon sa  Bulacan Medical Center, at si Danny Balmaceda, isa sa mga humabol sa dump truck.

Ayon kay Superintendent Manuel Santos, hepe ng pulisya ng Calumpit, nag-ugat ang insidente sa diumano’y pambabato ni Romnick sa limang tapong gulang na si Renza Daban sa Brgy. Dampol Pulilan, pasado alas-6 ng gabi noong Huwebes.

Ikinagalit ito ng mga residente kaya’t tinangkang kumprontahin si Romnick, ngunit agad itong sumakay sa kanyang dump truck na may plakang RKX-243, at tumakas.

Hinabol ito ng mga residente kabilang si Balmaceda na sumakay sa isang Forward truck na may plakang XCR-227.

Batay sa pahayag ni Balmaceda, tinangka nilang mag-overtake sa dumptruck pagdating sa Brgy. Caniogan, Calumpit, di kalayuan sa Calumpit District Hospital.

Ngunit sa halip na huminto ang dumptruck, inararo nito ang Forward truck at nadamay ang tricycle na minamaneho ni Cartago.

Ayon sa pulisya, dead on the spot sina Romnick at Anade, maging si Cartago na nagkadurog-durog ang katawan pati tricycle.

Sinabi naman ng mga saksi na matapos ang insidente, agad na tumakas ang tatlo pang kasama ni Romnick upang makatakas sag alit ng taumbayan.

Patuloy pa rin ang imbestigasyon ng pulisya.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Despite crimes, Bulacan is generally peaceful, says PNP

MALOLOS CITY—Despite the recent spate of murder cases, some committed in broad day light, Bulacan Police director Senior Supt. Fernando H. Mendez Jr., yesterday declared that the peace and order situation in Bulacan is “generally peaceful”.

Mendez made the announcement during the Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting held at the Balagtas Hall of the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here yesterday morning.

The Bulacan police director earlier made a powerpoint presentation showing the peace and order situation in Bulacan, the Bulacan Police Provincial Office’s administrative capability, accomplishments, plans and programs and assessments.

Mendez said that from 2010 the crime rate in the province has been sliding down while the accomplishments on crime prevention and neutralization of criminal syndicate and lawless elements has gone up.

A series of killing incidents, most of which happened in broad daylight, has somewhat tainted the peaceful atmosphere in the province prompting officials to convene the PPOC.

Mendez also lined up several programs that the provincial police office is currently pursuing, among of which includes Implan “PIPS” or Police Integrated Patrol System, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs), One Police Supervisor per Barangay, Pa-Sine sa Barangay Laban sa Droga and Takbo sa Barangay Laban sa Krimen.

He also told the council presided by PPOC chairman Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado that the BPPO is also upagrading the capability of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, conduct of criminal investigation course, personnel to be trained on search, rescue and relief operation and disaster response capability enhancement. He added that they are also planning to repair and convert old buildings at the provincial police headquarters into a multi-purpose building.

Col. Hilario Vicente C. Lagnada, battalion commander of the 56th IB of the Philippine Army on his part reported that the effort of leftist insurgents is still focused on their recovery program such as recruitment of new members, training/education  of their regular members to enhance their skills and capabilities.
“Furthermore, their activities indicate a possible conduct of tactical offensives considering the fact that they have been outscored by the government troops during recent encounters. It is expected, as in the mindset of the military, that they will conduct liquidation, ambuscades, harassments or any other form of “tactical offensives” just to inflict casualties to any AFP/PNP personnel,” Lagnada said.

During the meeting, Alvarado has suggested that the PPOC meet on a quarterly basis. The governor stressed that the great province of Bulacan is not a place for criminals.
“Peace and order is very vital for growth and development. We have to put everything in order so there can be peace. Napakahalaga ng pagtutulungan ng LGUs at ng ating mga law enforcement agencies. Kailangan sustained palagi ang pangangalaga ng kaayusan at katahimikan,” Alvarado said.—EMIL G. GAMOS

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bulacan no haven for criminals

MALOLOS CITY—Criminals has no place in Bulacan, Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said yesterday as he announced to convene the Provincial Peace and Order Council tomorro, March 5.
He also reminded local police to intensify operations against criminal elements; while limiting hours in watching telenovelas in their headquarters.
The governor’s statement came after Bulacan journalists along with businessmen nagged him over the rising crime rate in the first two months of the years in the province.
“Bulacan is peace and it is not a haven for criminals,” Alvarado said in his weekly radio program aired over DWSS radio yesterday.
He said that he will convene the PPOC tomorrow  to assess and address the situation.
“Criminals are getting bold, insulto n a yan gobyerno lalo na sa PNP,” Alvarado said citing the killing of a businesswoman near the capitol compound here in broad daylight.
“They must be stopped, and to do that, there must be team work between local government units and the local police,” he said.
The governor added that order must come first for peace to take place, noting that criminality serves as deterrent to economic progress.
Alvarado also expressed concerned over police inability to solve crimes and added that they should intensify campaign against law less elements, instead of watching telenovelas in their stations.
“I am not banning them from watching TV, because it’s a source of information on whats going on in the world, but they should limit TV hours especially watching telenovelas,” the governor said.