MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte picks Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar as the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, says Interior Secretary Eduardo Año in an announcement on 05 May.
“President Duterte has just approved the appointment of Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar as the next chief of the Philippine National Police with the rank of Police General. Police General Debold Sinas retires on May 8, 2021,” says Año in a statement.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar, with his impeccable record in the National Police Commission, based on his seniority, merit, service reputation, and competence “was recommended … to lead the police force.
“I welcome the appointment of Police Lieutenant General Eleazar who is very qualified for the job,” he says.
“I expect Police Lieutenant General Eleazar to lead the PNP organization to greater heights amidst the pandemic during these challenging times,” he says.
Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for administration, will replace the Sinas who retires on 08 May, after serving as PNP chief for only six months.
Eleazar will be promoted to the rank of general upon his installment as PNP chief. He will also serve for six months and will retire on 13 November.
Malacañan confirms Duterte’s appointment of Eleazar as the new PNP chief.
“General Eleazar’s track record of professionalism, dedication, and integrity speaks for itself. We are therefore confident that he will continue the reform initiatives of his predecessors and lead the police organization to greater heights,” says presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr in a statement.
Eleazar will be the sixth PNP chief appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte during his term.
A brief background on the new PNP chief
Eleazar served as deputy chief for operations and commander of the Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield, the law enforcement unit of the Government against quarantine violators.
He belongs to the ruling Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987, along with Sinas.
He came to the spotlight in March 2019, when he confronted a cop who allegedly extorted money from the family of a drug suspect. He was Metro Manila police chief then.
He also said that cops shouldn’t be “treated as babies” anymore, especially since he has repeatedly warned them to stop engaging in illegal activities.
In March, Eleazar ordered the relief of Lieutenant Fernando Calabria Jr., the police intelligence chief of Calbayog, Samar, for asking a local court for a list of lawyers of alleged communists. He apologized to the legal community for the concerns sparked by the police officer’s actions.
The other candidates for the PNP chief position are National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Brigadier General Vicente Danao, one of Duterte’s most trusted cops; Police Lieutenant General Joselito Vera Cruz, PNP deputy chief for operations; and Police Lieutenant General Israel Ephraim Dickson, chief directorial staff of the PNP.
Danao will retire in August 2023 while Vera Cruz and Dickson will both retire in March 2022.
MANILA — The joint military exercises between the Philippines and the United States are not aimed at using force against other countries, says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. The exercises concluded Friday.
“We have been doing this for the past 36 years. These military exercises… we’ve never used even once, our knowledge to fight another country. But for disaster and humanitarian purposes we have done this many, many times,” he says at the concluding ceremony of Balikatan 2021 which was scaled down because of the pandemic.
What the Balikatan shows, Lorenzana says, is the strong alliance between the two military allies and the resolve of both nations to preserve international order amid emerging security challenges in the region.
“Our success brings forth two important messages to the world: first, that nations become stronger if we work together. Second, there is no threat too daunting if the burden is shared and shouldered together,” he says.
Lorenzana and US embassy in the Philippines Charge d’Affaires John Law led the simple closing ceremonies for the Balikatan at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo.
The 11-day Balikatan exercises that opened 12 April was scaled down with only about 225 military personnel from the US and 415 from the AFP. (JSM/JuanManila)
Sa paghagupit ng bagyong Bising
NAKAHANDA na ang Globe para sa pagtulong sa mga residente ng Eastern Visayas, Bicol Region, Caraga at iba pang lugar kung saan inaasahang mararanasan ang paghagupit ng bagyong Bising.
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Inaasahang lalong lalakas ang bagyong Bising na may international name na Surigae mula 195 hanggang 205kph (kilometers per hour) bukas base sa pagtaya ng PAGASA.
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Sa pinakahuling bulletin ng PAGASA kaninang alas-11 ng umaga, tinatayang aabot sa lakas na 185 kilometro kada oras at pagbugso ng hanggang 230 km/hr ang hangin na dala ng bagyong Bising.
Sa kasalukuyan, kumikilos patungong hilagang-kanluran sa bilis na 20 kilometro kada oras ang bagyo at inaasahang lalabas ito sa Philippine Area of Responsibility Linggo ng gabi.
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Layon nitong protektahan ang mga kontratista at mga empleyado nito mula sa mga manloloko.
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Sinusuportahan din ng Globe ang United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, partikular na ang UN SDG No. 9 na kumikilala sa kahalagahan ng imprastraktura at innovation bilang mga pangunahing tagapagtaguyod ng pag-unlad ng ekonomiya. Nakatuon din ang Globe sa pagtupad sa 10 United Nations Global Compact principles at 10 UN SDGs.
WASHINGTON – The White House rules out imposing any form of a COVID-19 vaccine passport in the United States Tuesday, but allows private businesses to freely explore the idea.
“The government is not now, nor will be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” says US Press Secretary Jen Psaki to reporters.
Although touted around the world as a potentially powerful tool in safely reopening countries to travel and mass gatherings, the idea has prompted widespread pushback over concerns because of potential privacy or other civil rights abuses.
The strongest interest, Psaki says, comes from private businesses looking to reopen business sites where “there are large swaths of people,” like stadiums or theatres.
“Our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected, and so that these systems are not used against people unfairly,” says Psaki.
MANILA — Another lockdown. The NCR Plus Bubble—Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna—today faces a hard lockdown to run for a week starting 29 March to 04 April, after posting sharp spikes in new coronavirus infections. New cases of coronavirus show highs of 9,000 for the second straight day on Sunday. This new restriction comes with a curfew from 6 PM tonight until 5 AM tomorrow for week.
What to expect
- Stringent limitation to movement and transport of people
- Persons below 18 and above 65, pregnant women, and those with comorbidities must stay at home, except when obtaining essential goods
Workers must show ID
- Persons below 18 and above 65, pregnant women, and those with comorbidities must stay at home, except when obtaining essential goods
- Heightened police presence
- Strict regulation of industries allowed to operate
- Skeletal workforce for most companies
Maximum 50% capacity for:
- Private establishments (essential goods and services)
- Media establishments and their total permanent staff complement
- Workers accredited by the DOTr, DPWH
Full operational capacity for:
- Public and private hospitals
- Health emergency and frontline clinics
- Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, workers and farmers, ARBs, agri-fishery stores, fisherfolk
- Manufacturers of medicines, medical supplies, devices, and equipment
- Delivery, courier services, food transport, medical, and other assorted goods
Public transport is not restricted but at a limited capacity
Aid to be distributed to those unable to go to work (JSM/JuanManila)
MANILA — After news reports broke out and public sectors, including lawmakers, censured the presence of Chinese vessels believed harboring militia men, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says ships were sent to the Julian Felipe Reef to patrol the area.
A US-based private geospatial and data analysis firm, Simularity says it saw hundreds of Chinese vessels “mooring, arriving and departing” in Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef in the West Philippine Sea since December 2020.
The Chinese embassy denies they are militia ships. It says they are fishing vessels caught in a bad weather and were seeking shelter. It also says they own the reef.
The claim has no basis in international law The Hague decided and clarified important aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and customary international law.
“We stand by our position calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef which has been communicated to the Chinese Ambassador,” Lorenzana says in a statement in response to the findings.
“We are ready to defend our national sovereignty and protect the marine resources of the Philippines. Thus, there will be an increased presence of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard ships to conduct sovereignty patrols and protect our fishermen in the West Philippine Sea,” he points out.
Navy and coast guard ships have already been deployed to monitor the situation in the area, while the Philippine Air Force deploys airfcraft “every day with the same mission,” says Lorenzana.
“Our air and sea assets are ready to protect our sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea and the Kalayaan Island Group,” says the Defense chief, adding that the agency is “consistently coordinating” with other Government agencies on efforts in the West Philippine Sea.
“By securing the West Philippine Sea and its islands in the Kalayaan area, the Philippines reinforces its commitment to keeping the freedom of navigation and maintaining regional peace and stability,” Lorenzana says. (JSM/JuanManila)
Featured image: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
MANILA — Strict compliance with movement restrictions prompted Philippine National Police chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar to order police chief of localities at the borders of the four provinces annexed to Metro Manila in the Bubble Area to deploy personnel to guard entry and exits points.
Eleazar says all entry and exit points, especially small access roads, should be guarded to restrict movement in and out of the NCR Plus Bubble.
Only authorized persons outside residences (APORs) including essential workers and those who deliver essential goods, are allowed to come in and go out “for as long as they present identification cards and other documents that could prove that their travel is essential.”
“We have already mobilized the necessary police forces to restrict the movement of the people coming in and going out of the NCR Plus Bubble and at the same time, in the conduct of community enforcement of the quarantine measures inside the bubble,” says Eleazar.
“I have already directed the chiefs of police of these areas to coordinate with their respective local government units down to the barangay level, to set up border control points in these access roads,” he says.
The Joint Task Force COVID Shield quarantine control points:
- the boundaries of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija
- the boundaries of Rizal and Quezon province
- the boundaries of Laguna, Batangas and Quezon provinces and
- the boundaries of Cavite and Batangas
Checkpoints within Bubble area to monitor compliance
Meanwhile, Eleazar points out that checkpoints hoisted within the Bubble Area are “not there to restrict movement” but to monitor compliance with health protocols.
Eleazar clarifies in his statement that no quarantine control points should be set up within the Bubble, especially the entry and exit points of Metro Manila, except if they are in support of the QCPs that were set up at the boundaries of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal to ease traffic jams that may be created.
“This Bubble concept is new to us so adjustments and corrections are being made to improve its implementation,” says Eleazar.
“Checkpoints within the bubble are still necessary particularly during curfew hours. Beyond curfew period, they can observe, caution or accost those flagrantly violating health protocols but will no longer check motorists for movement restriction.
“Checkpoints are critical police interventions in case of dragnet operations, emergencies, and hot pursuit operations.”
Over 10,000 cops are already deployed around the capital region to enforce curfew hours and quarantine protocols. During the first full week of uniform curfew in Metro Manila, the PNP accosted more than 19,000 quarantine violators—5,300 of whom were arrested.
An all-time 8,019 new COVID-19 infections were reported Monday, the highest since the pandemic more than a year ago. (JSM/JuanManila)
MANILA — A new resolution signed by President Duterte takes effect today.
With the unmanaged spikes in new COVID-19 infections, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Metro Manila—also called the Subject Area—revert to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from 22 March to 04 April.
The reversion limits travel for the essentials in and out of the Subject Area only, a measure taken to prevent further spread of the virus.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr, only the following are allowed:
- Essential workers, who will need to show their work ID
- Health and emergency frontline services personnel
- Government officials and government frontline personnel
- Duly-authorized humanitarian assistance, actors
- Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons
- Persons going to the airport for travel abroad
- Anyone crossing zones for work or business and going back home
- Returning overseas Filipinos and OFWs
Public transport will continue to operate but at capacities set by the Transportation Department. Meanwhile, Filipinos are encouraged to walk or bike.
Mass gatherings, including religious services are disallowed, while in-person meetings are highly discouraged. Weddings, baptisms and funeral services are also disallowed but capped at 10 people.
The dioceses of Cubao and Novaliches announced that in-premises Masses are suspended.
Additional restrictions include the suspension of the operation of driving schools, cinemas, cultural centers and a limit on social events by the tourism department.
A bubble, not a lockdown
The new measures do not constitute a lockdown, the Palace says, and instead puts Metro Manila and the four provinces within a bubble.
A limited on-site personnel will be allowed to work. The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), meanwhile, urges the private sector to roll out alternative work arrangements for its employees.
The Government, however, will not provide financial assistance to workers who may be affected by the new measures.
Food establishments will continue to operate, limited to deliveries, take-out and outdoor dining only. Only two people will be allowed to share a table.
The Subject Area will also have a unified curfew of from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m., a measure already rolled out a week earlier across Metro Manila.
Workers, cargo vehicles and mass transport services are not be restricted by the curfews.
People are discouraged from visiting others outside their immediate families, and are “strongly advised” to wear face masks at home.
The Interior Department and local governments are to ensure that isolation protocols are followed, but it is not clear whether COVID-19 testing efforts will be increased within the Subject Area.
Local governments have been directed to implement the following “surge responses:”
- Actively find incidences in barangays with CODE (Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic) team visits
- Increase facility-based quarantine and isolation as well as better referral of patients to treatment and monitoring facilities
- Government also ordered hospitals to increase the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients to 50% of beds for public hospitals and 30% of beds for private institutions. (JSM/JuanManila)