Ex-PNP chief Eleazar eyes a Senate seat in May 2022

Ex-PNP chief Eleazar eyes a Senate seat in May 2022 | Juan Manila

 

Newly-retired Philippine National chief Guillermo Eleazar will run for senator.

He will join under the tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto, Lacson confirmed on Saturday.


 

MANILA, Philippines — The former PNP chief will substitute for newspaper columnist and PWD (person with disability) advocate Paolo Capino, who withdrew his candidacy due to low ratings in surveys.

“Yes, I confirm that he will run under Partido Reporma to substitute for Paolo Capino who has announced his intention to withdraw from the senatorial race yesterday,” Lacson, Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer, said.

Eleazar served as PNP chief for six months and is succeeded by President Rodrigo Duterte’s new appointee Dionardo Carlos. Carlos was chief of PNP directorial staff during Eleazar’s term.

The Commission on Elections will accept application of withdrawals and substitutions until 15 November. (RA/JuanManila)

Isko Moreno not inclined to bring back US bases

Isko Moreno not inclined to bring back US bases | Juan Manila

 

Presidential aspirant and Manila mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso vowed he would defend Philippine sovereignty and its territories even if it comes to a ‘David and Goliath‘ confrontation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Moreno cited China’s incursions into the West Philippines Sea (WPS), particularly in the country’s exclusive economic zones (EEZs), which has impoverished local fisher folk who have been victims of harassment by the Chinese coast guard and fishing militia vessels.

He added that as part of defending the WPS, he plans to pursue the continued modernization of the Philippine Navy (PN) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The presidential aspirant also touched on the Mutual Defense Treaty and Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, which he said he plans to strengthen to augment the country’s security, especially with the threat of expansionist policies in Asia clearly shown by Beijing, which is now rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal.

Domagoso clarified that he is not inclined to invite the US to reinstall military bases in the Philippines because this has to be thoroughly studied first before any decision is made, which should be certified with legislation.


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, ZAMBALES — Manila’s chief executive visited the fisher folk in the town of Subic on Thursday and he disclosed that he would seriously assert The Hague ruling.

If it results in the refusal of Philippine claims by Beijing, he would back this up by building the country’s capacity to defend its waters in securing unimpeded access for small fisher folk to the abundant fishing grounds found within the WPS.

“We will be fearless in fighting for what is ours. We will insist The Hague ruling. But at the same time as being fearless, we are going to be fair with our discussion and management of the situation on both sides,” Domagoso told local fishermen during his visit which is part of his listening tour in Zambales.

The Manila mayor also revealed that he plans to intensify efforts in gaining trade treaties and agreements with regional neighbors in Southeast Asia, even with claimants to the West Philippine Sea and economic rivals of the US, as part of his administrative platform for the speedy recovery of the economy which has been gravely effected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Treaties will be recognized. Trade with America, Vietnam, China, and all other nations will continue because (the) WPS issue is far different from our economic issue in terms of trade.

“We’ll take that as an opportunity for us to gain: for the people to gain: for the country to gain.” (TRC/JuanManila)

Refocused PNP bags 2 wanted suspects in QC and CamNor

Refocused PNP bags 2 wanted suspects in QC and CamNor | Juan Manila

 

Barely two days after the new directive to refocus on criminality was given for the Philippine National Police (PNP), operatives of the Criminal Investigation Unit (CIDU) and Talipapa Police Station (PS 3) arrested two most wanted persons by virtue of warrants of arrest in Camarines Norte and in Quezon City.

PNP chief Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar has given orders for the police command to reset aim to criminality as the easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and other selected areas have shifted to Alert Level 2.


 

MANILA, Philippines — CIDU chief Major Elmer Monsalve identified the first captured fugitive as Mark Anthony Lizaba, 25, of Barangay IV, Daet, Camarines Norte. He was apprehended while at the Daet Municipal Police Station inside the municipal government compound on R Andaya Road in Bgy Pamorangan, Daet, Camarines Norte.

Lizaba has been classified as the District Level No. 6 Most Wanted Person (4th quarter) and has an outstanding arrest warrant issued by QC Regional Trial Court Branch 226 judge Manuel Santa Cruz for the crime of murder, with no bail recommended, according to Monsalve.

Meanwhile, the second fugitive captured was Maria Luisa Angulo, 54, of GSIS Village, Project 8, Brgy Bahay Toro, Quezon City. She was apprehended by PS 3 agents led by Lieutenant Colonel Cipriano Galanida on 04 November 2021, about 7:00 a.m.

A police informant gave off the location near the intersection of Road 20 and Shorthorn Street in Project 8, Bgy Bahay Toro.

According to Galanida, Angulo is wanted on 41 counts of violating Batasang Pambansa No. 22, or issuing bouncing checks, issued by QC Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 43 presiding judge Don Ace Mariano and Branch 37 judge Sheena Marie Abella-Davis; Calamba, Laguna MTC Branch 2 judge Eric Esma Sakkam; and Mabalacat, Pampanga MTC Branch 1 acting judge Denise Dacanay Sagun. (TRC/JuanManila

City cops shift to anti-crime measures under Alert Level 2

City cops shift to anti-crime measures under Alert Level 2 | Juan Manila

 

Philippine National Police director Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar has ordered all ground commanders in Metro Manila to shift their focus on measures against criminality.

Placing the metropolis under Covid-19 Alert Level 2 has minimized police focus on community lockdown measures and health protocols monitoring.


 

CAMP CRAME, QUEZON CITY — In a statement, the PNP chief rationalized his directive as a shift for the police to fully perform in their mandate of serving and protecting the public against criminal elements.

The Covid-19 alert status in the metropolis has been downgraded to Level 2 and could encourage criminals to go back to their illegal activities, he added.

Inatasan ko na ang lahat ng aming unit commanders na lalo pang paigtingin ang kampanya laban sa kriminalidad dahil tiyak ko na isa sa mga nabuhayan ng loob ay ang mga kriminal na gustong bumalik sa dating gawi,” he said.

(I have directed all unit commanders to enhance their campaign against crimes as I’m sure that those with criminal intent want to get back to their old ways.)

Eleazar, who is to retire from his post this month as the country’s top cop, has clarified that the move is aimed at protecting more people from the crises, especially now that many would still be recovering from hardships resulting from pandemic restrictions.

“Focusing on anti-crime measures would also be timely as more people are expected to go out on the days leading to the Holiday Season,” he stressed.

“I am expecting all our unit commanders especially in Metro Manila to adopt the best practices that were implemented at the height of the pandemic restrictions in order to restrict the movement of criminal elements, especially motorcycle-riding criminals,” he added.

As a measure to ensure that his directive is followed to the letter, Eleazar instructed the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to make certain that all police personnel are well-informed of the guidelines set under the Alert Level 2 to avoid any confusion in its enforcement.

He also called on the public to cooperate with efforts to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus by continuing to observe health safety protocols, especially the wearing of protective equipment like face masks and face shields when in confined or crowded places, and to practice physical distancing. (TRC/JuanManila

Chinese vessels have returned to Julian Felipe Reef

Chinese vessels have returned to Julian Felipe Reef | Juan Manila

 

Hundreds of Chinese militia vessels were sighted near the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef in the West Philippine Sea as the country observed All Saints’ Day.

It may be remembered that hundreds of Chinese ships were seen mooring in the vicinity earlier this year.


 

MANILA, Philippines — According to the US-funded news site Radio Free Asia, which referenced commercial satellite imagery Planet Labs, hundreds of Chinese ships have been photographed breaking territorial borders as they return to Julian Felipe Reef since November 1st and in the preceding days.

The Julian Felipe Reef is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and is part of the Pagkakaisa (Union) Banks in the South China Sea. The same are claimed by Vietnam and China.

Hundreds of these Chinese boats were seen by Philippine patrol ships in October. From the 10th to the 16th of October, 151 of them were spotted all across Pagkakaisa Banks. The next week, the number was cut to 35.

According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), a Washington-based research think tank affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, there has been an increase in the number of Chinese vessels in the region over the last three months.

Satellite imagery showed 40 boats on the northern side of the Union Banks, including the Julian Felipe Reef, as early as August. On September, more than a hundred vessels had been spotted, and by 17 October, “well over 150 can be seen.”

The vessels, according to the AMTI, are more uniformly distributed over the northern part of the Union Banks, with comparatively few at Whitsun Reef, compared to the massing at the same reef in March.

Although some of the ships were Vietnamese coast guard and fishing boats, the “great majority” were Chinese vessels with a length of at least 50 meters, according to the report.

According to the same source, the Chinese vessels remained in Philippine seas despite patrols by claimants, protests, or worldwide criticism. The boats, as previously noted, go from one feature to another but do not depart the region.

“This is evidence of the Chinese militia’s shell game in the Spratlys Islands,” AMTI said.

“When international outcry or patrols by other claimants convince them to leave a disputed feature, they disperse to nearby reefs for a time, but their overall numbers in the Spratlys remain consistent,” the AMTI continued.

The Philippine Foreign Affairs Department filed diplomatic complaints many times in March as 200 Chinese vessels swarming the Julian Felipe Reef were flagged. This led the Philippine armed forces to strengthen naval patrols in the region.

China claims practically the whole South China Sea with its nine-dash line creation, but the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has decided against it.

China’s aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea was downplayed by President Rodrigo Duterte, who was in a tight embrace with China in exchange for supposedly massive investments and loans, which have yet to materialize with a few months left in Mr Duterte’s six-year term remaining. (RA/JuanManila


Featured image:  The Julian Felipe Reef where Chinese vessels are seen is a satellite imagery dated 20 March 2021 by Planet Labs. /Credit: Planet Labs

PH, Indonesia agree on setting continental shelf boundary

PH, Indonesia agree on setting continental shelf boundary | Juan Manila

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday that delegates from the Philippines and Indonesia recently met to agree on the delimitation of continental shelf boundary between the countries.


 

MANILA, Philippines — The video conference on 28 October was attended by a delegation represented by DFA-Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office Assistant Secretary Maria Angela Ponce and Indonesian counterparts led by Director Bebeb A.K.N. Djundjunan of the Legal Affairs and Territorial Treaties Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Both sides affirmed the rule of law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), in the delimitation of boundaries,” they said at the meeting.

Among the discussions were the principles and guidelines of the continental shelf boundary delimitation, identification of respective base points, and timeline and structure of future meetings.

“The Philippines and Indonesia are eager to commence and lay down the foundation of the road to achieving another milestone in bilateral relations after the ‘Agreement Concerning the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone Boundary’ entered into force in 2019,” the DFA said.  (HMP/JuanManila)

Police visibility intensifies during the holiday season

Police visibility intensifies during the holiday season | Juan Manila

 

The Yuletide season just a month away and an increase in criminal activities could be a possibility.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar has directed all police units across the country to enhance visibility and patrol activities to prevent the expected spike in street crimes.


 

MANILA, Philippines – In an advisory to the whole police organization, Eleazar announced that he is directing all police units nationwide to conduct regular and at random police patrols to maintain peace and order and secure and protect the public against criminal elements that may take advantage of unwary victims.

“We to be always vigilant because criminal can attack anytime and anywhere. This is why I have ordered our men to be on guard and at the ready for any eventuality and not only during criminal incidents but also in emergency situations,” he pointed out.

The PNP chief reminded the public to exercise caution and always be aware of their surroundings to avoid becoming a victim of petty crimes that often escalate during the holiday season when most workers receive their Christmas bonus, thus making them potential targets of robbery and theft.

The country’s top cop enjoined police personnel to be mindful of their mandate and commitment to the citizenry of serving and protecting the people as loyal and devoted public servants.

“Let me commend our men in uniform for their devotion as law enforcement officers and may I urge our citizens to cooperate with your police and immediately report to the authorities any suspicious activity they notice so that crimes can be prevented promptly before they happen,” he concluded. (TRC/JuanManila)

China telco’s 40% stake in Dito, a major security concern

China telco's 40% stake in Dito, a major security concern | Juan Manila

 

Chinese state-owned telecommunications firms had been banned from operating in the United States. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cited national security concerns.

Subsequently, it ordered China Telecom to terminate operations in the US within 60 days.


 

MANILA — China Telecom, the largest Chinese telecommunications company, is the same firm with 40 percent stake in Philippines’ Dito Telecommunity, a third telco player in the country.

The FCC had recently sent an advisory to the US House Committee to monitor its its decision against the operation of China Telecom in the United States.

Similar security concerns have been expressed in the Philippines over Dito’s actions, particularly the deployment of cellular stations within or near military barracks.

Senator Risa Hontiveros raised serious concerns about Dito’s dealings with China Telecom last month. She requested that the National Security Council conduct a security audit to determine potential threats to the country.

In a statement, the FCC explained it found that China Telecom “is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.”

The U.S. regulator argued such “ownership and control” raise “significant national security and law enforcement risks” and the operation of the division would give the Chinese authorities the ability to “access, store, disrupt” or misroute US communications, which could be used for espionage and “other harmful activities” against the nation. (HMP/JuanManila)

Counterfeiters print bills for buying votes

Counterfeiters print bills for buying votes | Juan Manila

 

Selling votes to unworthy leaders vying for office in May 2022 is not only unethical, but it is also a ruse that low-level posers engage in discreetly, at the expense of people whose votes they would secure.

Some ₱111,000 of fake money was seized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday. The bills were manufactured by two men in Cebu City, who said it was to be distributed for the May 2022 national and local polls.


 

MANILA — PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar has identified the suspects: Joseph Mercado Salas, 36, and Ivan Noval Luardo, 35.

The police received an anonymous tip through the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), saying some individuals making counterfeit money and preparing to distribute them for the upcoming elections.

CIDG commander Police Major General Albert Ignatius Ferro teamed up with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to verify the report and catch the suspects.

Salas was first apprehended in Cebu City last 19 October for making ₱24,000 of fake money.

A follow-up operation was then initiated once officials learned that Salas had an accomplice.

Luardo was then arrested on 25 October. Taken from him were 52 pieces of fake ₱1,000 bills (₱52,000) and 70 pieces of fake ₱500 bills (₱35,000).

Eleazar warns the public of accepting money from political candidates through ‘vote-buying’, saying they will be scammed.

Pinapaalalahan din natin ang ating mga kababayan na mag-isip-isip sa pagtanggap ng pera mula sa mga kandidatong bibili ng inyong mga boto dahil baka mabudol lang kayo (We are reminding the public to think twice before accepting money from candidates who will buy your votes because you might get scammed),” he added.

The suspects were charged before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Article 168 (illegal possession and use of false treasury or banknotes and other instruments of credit) in relation to Article 166 of the Revised Penal Code. (HMP/JuanManila)

AFP on track in crushing communist movement by mid-2022

AFP on track in crushing communist movement by mid-2022 | Juan Manila

 

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it is on target in its mission to crush the communist movement by the middle of next year.

AFP chief-of-staff Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr also cited the significant gains and accomplishments the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has achieved.


 

CAMP AGUINALDO, QUEZON CITY — General Faustino hailed the NTF-ELCAC’s ‘Support to Barangay Development’ program which is aimed at stirring development and bringing social services closer to people in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas that are believed to be vulnerable to NPA influence and recruitment.

“We have a very good strategy. It is really working, we see how effective it is. We have here a strategy that works,” said General Faustino.

The AFP chief recently visited troops of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) based in Camp Brigadier General Edilberto Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City and led the destruction of 316 firearms seized from New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in various operations from February to December last year.

The 4ID, or Diamond Division, covers the entire Caraga region, and the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, and Misamis Oriental, including the highly urbanized cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Northern Mindanao. This is the military area which has the most active presence of the NPA guerrillas.

General Faustino said the seized firearms indicate the military’s success in curtailing the strength of the NPA in this part of the country.

“Right now, we are on target. Our enemies are getting weaker,” he said, adding that a similar trend is observed in other parts of the country that have the presence of NPA guerrillas. (TRC/JuanManila)