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Attend to duty or face disciplinary actions, Robredo warns local government officials

125 brand new candidate soldiers took oath to serve the country

Peace and Order Council discusses criminality, internal security situation of EV

Proponents to Malacañang: disregard CBCP let’s push through with RH

AFP-PNP signs MOA, activates Joint Peace Security Coordinating Councils (JPSCC) in cities and provinces

Why both Mayweather and Mosley can’t beat Pacquiao

8ID Army Commander composes hymn for Filipino soldiers

DENR-Biliran urges residents to preserve marine turtles

350-slots up for grabs for new army recruits

PSWD: 8ID brings hope to the people




Kasugbong Samar initiates regional MSQRT assembly

March 14, 2011

Regional MSQRT meeting in Catbalgan, SamarCALBAYOG CITY  –  Among the many areas in the country that the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) has visited, it was able to establish 3 Multi-Sectoral Quick Reaction Teams (MSQRT) in Eastern Visayas namely, Darangpan (Northern Samar), Kaugop (Leyte) and Kasugbong (Samar) which was recently launched through Samar Partnership for Peace and Development (SPPADE).

In the 1st Regional MSQRT Assembly on March 8, 2011 at Tony’s Kitchen, Catbalogan City, AHRC representative, Atty. Khrizna Gomez said that human rights situation in the Philippines became an issue in recent years and escalated between 2006-2007 with reports of rising number of victims of extra-judicial killings, prompting the United Nations to take action. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, visited the country in 2007 and subsequently filed a report with recommendations on how to address the situation. His report was supported by the Melo Commission (created by Arroyo administration) though it did not show the Melo Report to him.

The Supreme Court through its training arm – the Philippine Judicial Academy organized a national forum attended by different experts in the society which includes the government, academe, NGOs and other civil society groups to talk about the issue.  The highest tribunal subsequently issued a Writ of Amparo and Writ of Habeas Data followed by the creation of human rights offices in the Arm Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP). Eventually a multi-sectoral skills building workshop on ELKs and EDs were conducted and the group identified the problem which lies in the prosecution of cases. Realizing that the predicament is so broad, highly domicile and politically sensitive, the group finally decided to initiate a multi-sectoral approach, said Gomez.

In pursuing its goals, AHRC continuously work closely with various government, the academe, non-government organizations (NGOs), grassroots organizations, and other civil society groups. Maintained alliances with the national and international organizations whose operations and expertise are relevant to the respective sectors served by the center; and involved in establishing MSQRTs which serves as one-stop assistance centers where victims and/or their families can report human rights violations, specifically violations of civil and political rights; request immediate investigation; seek legal advice and assistance; and request witness protection.

Gomez stressed that the essence of MSQRT is to address the needs of Extra-Legal Killings (ELK) and Enforced Disappearances (ED) victims by means of a coordinative mechanism between security forces, CSOs, church, media, academe, government, NGOs and law students. Since it is a “victim-centered” mechanism it includes psychosocial counseling and other forms of assistance or services intended for the victims.

For Samar Province, PSupt. Maximo Manicani suggested that the next MSQRT Assembly should be held in Calbayog City or Gandara as reports revealed that human rights violations and other forms of criminalities mostly occurred in said places compared to Catbalogan and Tacloban Cities. He also recommended that politicians should be requested to attend since ELKs and EDs are allegedly politically related.

Kasugbong convenors Emy Calagos-Bonifacio and Fr. Cesar Aculan has yet to decide on the proposition.

On the other hand, participating agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Samar and Eastern Samar Provincial and Catbalogan City Police Offices, 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, City Social Welfare and Development Office, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Urban Poor Sector, Kaisahan, Katungod han Samareña Foundation Incorporated (KSFI) and the media expressed their commitments to Kasugbong Samar MSQRT.





Philippine human rights defenders express concern over continuing human rights violations in PH at the UN

Press Release
March 14, 2011

Philippine human rights defenders express concern over continuing human rights violations in Mindanao, file complaint on the murder of distinguished botanist Leonard Co with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings

GENEVA, Switzerland  –  The Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (EcuVoice), an ecumenical delegation of Philippine human rights non-government organizations for the defense and promotion of human rights, today,  raised in the UN Human Rights Council the continuing human rights violations in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, and filed a complaint with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions – Mr. Christof Heyns – on the killing of world-renowned Filipino botanist Leonard Co, forester Sofronio Cortez, and farmer-guide Julio Borromeo.

“Of the 1,206 documented cases of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under Mrs. Arroyo, 375 of these were from Mindanao. The brutal killing of Benjie Bayles, a member of my church and the torture and killing recently of B’laan chieftain Rudy Dejos and his son Rody Rick of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur show that extrajudicial killings continue under the prevailing climate of impunity in the country. We are worried because these incidents are continuing,” said Philippine Independent Church Bishop Felixberto Calang, also of Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace Mindanao), in an oral statement read for him by Atty. Ephraim Cortez of the National Union of People’s Lawyers in the general debate on Item 3 at the 16th Sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.

Bishop Calang also expressed concern over the conduct of the prosecution of the accused in the Maguindanao massacre. He said that the relatives of the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre are “apprehensive of attempts to bribe witnesses and prosecutors in apparent moves to weaken the ongoing legal case against the powerful Ampatuan family…the victims’ families complain of the slow pace of the judicial processes while witnesses remain unprotected and some have already been killed,” asserted Calang.

EcuVoice also brought the complaint letter sent by Agham, an organization of advocates for science and technology for the people, on the killings of Leonardo Co, Cortez and Borromeo. The three were killed November 15, 2010 in Kananga, Leyte, Philippines, while conducting research on tree biodiversity for the Energy Development Corporation.

The complaint included submission of a report by an independent fact finding mission conducted 10 days following the incident. Based on extensive interviews and field investigations, the mission concluded that Co, Cortez and Borromeo were apparently shot by elements of the 19th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.  The complaint urged Special Rapporteur Heyns to investigate the killing of Co, Cortez and Borromeo, up to and including all levels of the military command concerned with their shooting.  The killings of Co, Cortez and Borromeo were among the first 30 extrajudicial killings committed under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

The oral statements and filing of the complaint are among the activities in EcuVoice’s weeklong participation in the 16th Session of the United National Human Rights Council.  The delegation is headed by Bishop Calang and Marie Hilao Enriquez, Karapatan Chairperson. They were joined in the EcuVoice delegation by Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, one of the Morong 43 health workers illegally arrested and detained in February last year; Atty. Ephraim Cortez of the National Union of People’s Lawyers; Cristina Palabay of KARAPATAN; Girlie Padilla of the Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace and Rhonda Ramiro of BAYAN-USA.





DENR allots over P150K for agro-forestry

March 14, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  A ten (10) hectare vegetable based agro-forestry project is set for implementation in a forestland in Taft, Eastern Samar located inside the Ulot Watershed Model Forest.

With a fund allocation of P155,500 from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the project shall be undertaken by the San Rafael Integrated Farmers Cooperative, Inc. (SRIFC) in Barangay San Rafael, Taft, Eastern Samar. The project is expected to be completed within the year.

In a Memorandum of Agreement set to be ratified by the DENR and the People’s Organization (PO) SRIFC through its President Jesus Cabujat, the DENR shall facilitate and provide technical assistance to the PO in the implementation of the project.  This shall include determination of species to be planted in accordance with site species suitability and market potential for the commodity.

For its part, SRIFC shall conduct activities for the ground implementation of the project to include site preparation, sowing, planting and nurturing of the vegetable farm. A nursery shed house/bunkhouse which shall also serve as bagsakan center will be constructed from the allocated funds.

“With this vegetable based agro-forestry project, we hope to veer the upland people away from further destruction of our forests,” says DENR Regional Executive Director Primitivo Galinato, Jr. “Sadly, we are seeing our forests being opened up as upland communities engage in charcoal making which provides them immediate income,” RED Galinato laments.

RED Galinato reveals that the project is in consonance with the National Convergence Initiative of government which calls for collaborative efforts of the local government units, people’s organizations, non-government organizations and other stakeholders towards poverty reduction and environmental protection.





8ID junks Katungod-SB-Karapatan’s allegation of violation of rights of children by 14IB

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
March 12, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City  –  The allegation of violation of children’s rights by soldiers of the Army’s 14th Infantry Battalion as mentioned in the press release of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) Katungod-SB-Karapatan on March 4, 2011 is a mere fabrication.  Accordingly, the incidents transpired in Eastern Samar where 14IB while conducting military operations at Brgy. Huknan, Giporlos municipality allegedly threatened and interrogated two 17 years old children. [ read news ]

However, Lt Col Hermilo Demafiles, Commanding Officer of 14IB dismissed this accusation as untrue.  “The statement of Katungod-SB-Karapatan is a total lie and only intends to poison the people we are serving.  People might get angry when reading these new propaganda lines of Katungod-SB for they themselves are the one volunteering their support in the pursuit of genuine peace in their province,” says Lieutenant Colonel Demafiles.

“Even the local government officials are satisfied with the way the 14IB implements the peace initiatives in their localities in contradiction with the allegation of Katungod-SB-Karapatan,” he added.

Katungod-SB-Karapatan, a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA), usually becomes noisy when it sensed that the government forces are winning in its counter insurgency drive in the area.  It can be recalled that 14IB flagged various feats against the terrorist NPA in Eastern Samar where the enemy camps and firearms were seized and a number of them either killed or surrender.

Furthermore, no less than Roberto Gacuma, former secretary of South Samar Front (SSF) of Samar Provincial Party Committee (SPPC), Eastern Samar Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) of the CPP who surrendered recently has confirmed the lies behind this Katungod-SB-Karapatan. In a press conference sometime in March 2010, Gacuma declared that KATUNGOD-SB-Karapatan is being run by the CPP-NPA and serves as their immediate propaganda mouthpiece.

Hence, it is but normal that KATUNGOD-SB-Karapatan is biased against the military being a front organization of the CPP.  That is why they were silent when an innocent child was mercilessly killed by members of the NPA that ambushed the troops of 63IB last December 14, 2010 in Northern Samar.  Is this not a clear violation of human rights especially the rights of children? KATUNGOD-SB-Karapatan chose to keep their mouth shut regarding this incident because the perpetrators (NPA) are their comrades.

We are therefore appealing to the people of Eastern Visayas not to fall victim to the black propaganda of Katungod-SB-Karapatan but to work hand-in hand with the authorities to include media entities and various religious and people’s organization to take account our moral obligations to maintain peace and harmony in our respective communities.





Colonel Labador is the new 801st Brigade Commander

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
March 12, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar  –  The Army’s 801st Infantry Brigade welcome its new commander Colonel Romeo Labador in today’s simple but meaningful change of command ceremony held at Camp Eugenio Daza, Hinabangan, Samar with Major General Mario Chan, the Commander of 8th Infantry Division, presiding the activity.

Outgoing Commander, Colonel Alexander Albano, who had already assumed commandership of the Army Reserve Command earlier, has spearheaded the brigade’s operations in Eastern and Western Samar for more than two years before relinquishing his command to Colonel Romeo Labador, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983 and the former 8ID’s Chief of Staff.

In his assumption speech, Colonel Labador said that he will focus his efforts in the implementation of Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan” to sustain the peace that reigns in the two provinces under his area of operation more particularly on the communities declared as insurgent-free to prevent the re-incursion of the Communist Terrorists (CTs).

Meanwhile, Major General Chan recognized the remarkable accomplishments of Colonel Albano in his more than two years stewardship of the Brigade that brought meaningful change to the lives of the people in the area.  He also congratulated Colonel Albano for a job well done and bid ‘good luck’ to him on his new assignment. He likewise expressed his appreciation to the provincial officials headed by Governor Sharee Ann Tan-delos Santos of Samar and other stakeholders who were present and thank them for their all out support to 801 Bde under Col Albano.





ES Ochoa sets in motion administrative proceedings against Ombudsman’s special prosecutors

Press Release
March 11, 2011

MALACAÑANG  –  Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Friday that Malacañang had initiated administrative proceedings against Special Prosecutor Wendell Sulit of the Office of the Ombudsman, and had asked her to explain why she should not be sanctioned for entering into a questionable plea bargain deal with retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

Ochoa issued the show-cause order directing Sulit to submit to the Office of the Executive Secretary an explanation, within five days from the time she received the order, why no administrative disciplinary proceedings may be commenced against her.

The Executive Secretary said the initiation of administrative proceedings was based on the recommendations of the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives, which looked into plea bargain agreementwith the former military comptroller.

Ochoa likewise said that the Office of the President had referred to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) the House Committee on Justice Resolution No. 3, which also recommended the filing of appropriate charges against Deputy Special Prosecutors Roberto Kallos and Jesus Micael; and Assistant Special Prosecutors Jose Balmeo Jr. and Joseph Capistrano.

“Under the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, a complaint against a civil service official may be initiated by the disciplining authority,” Ochoa said.

Under Section 8 of Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989, “a Deputy or the Special Prosecutor may be removed from office by the President for any of the grounds provided for the removal of the Ombudsman, and after due process.”

The special prosecutor, just like the Ombudsman, can be removed from office on grounds of culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.

In this case, the congressional reports are treated as complaints and the bases of the initiation of administrative proceedings against Sulit, Ochoa explained.

Meanwhile, Ochoa wrote CSC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III and asked that the Commission initiate administrative proceedings against Kallos, Micael, Balmeo, and Capistrano in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 292 or the Administrative Code.

The Office of the Ombudsman and CSC exercise concurrent jurisdiction insofar as administrative cases against Sulit’s deputies and assistants are concerned, as they are not presidential appointees.

The Administrative Code states that the Civil Service “embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters” and that the CSC can “hear and decide administrative cases instituted by or brought before it directly or on appeal.”

After conducting an inquiry into the plea bargain deal, the House Committee on Justice forwarded last February Committee Resolution No. 3 to the Palace, requesting the President to take action on the panel’s recommendation to dismiss Sulit and file appropriate charges against Kallos, Micael, Balmeo, and Capistrano.





NPA not involved in Biliran bus burning incident

Press Release
March 9, 2011

The Efren Martires Command of the New People's Army-Eastern Visayas today slammed the Philippine National Police for accusing the NPA of involvement in the burning of two buses of Silver Star Bus Liner in Almeria, Biliran that also killed two drivers last March 5.

"The NPA had nothing to do with the Biliran bus burning incident," said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. "But Agence France Press quoted PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz as claiming that "initial investigation" pointed to the NPA as behind the bus burning for "revolutionary taxation." Cruz did not even show a shred of evidence for his claim from the police's so-called "initial investigation."

News reports clearly showed the incident to be a common crime. The PNP's accusation is therefore nothing more than lazy, baseless and incompetent work and invented out of thin air. It also seems the PNP is spreading disinformation against the NPA after its successful ambush on police elements in Arteche, Eastern Samar last Feb. 26."

Manuel added that revolutionary taxation was an assertion of political authority and not a punitive action. "Companies that do business inside the revolutionary territory have to comply with the laws and policies of the people's democratic government. That includes respecting the communities involved, desisting from counterrevolutionary activities, and protecting the environment, among other regulations that may be clarified. Revolutionary taxation is thus just one of the laws and policies that businesses have to comply with inside the revolutionary territory, and not even the decisive one. For example, large-scale mining is banned totally because of its pro-imperialist, anti-people and anti-environment nature. Similarly, commercial logging is also banned totally, and trees may only be cut by the peasants for their personal use such as in constructing their houses.

"Thus, when the police score the NPA over "revolutionary taxation" such as in the Biliran bus burning incident, it is nothing more than disinformation rearing its ugly head once again."





Civilian’s tip abates NPA extortion activities

By CPT DRANDREB CANTO (INF) PA, 802nd Infantry Brigade
March 9, 2011

CAMP DOWNES, Ormoc City  –  Some 20 members of terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the province of Leyte were encountered by the Army’s 78th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Mat-i, Brgy Antipolo of Albuera town around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, March 8 following the tip from the civilian.

Based on the report reaching this headquarters, troops of Second Lieutenant Vinluan were conducting routine security patrol in the area when an undisclosed civilian approached them and reported that some armed men who plans to conduct extortion activities in their barangay were seen in the place quite distant from their location.

The troops then diverted their routes towards the place being guided by the said civilian until encounter transpired.  Exchange of fires lasted for about 30 minutes before the terrorist fled bringing along with them their wounded comrades.

One soldier was reported hurt in the side of the government forces while it is still being determined on the enemy side as of press time.  Only excessive bloodstains that stained in the area of encounter were left when the troops pursued.

Meanwhile, Colonel John Bonafos, the 802nd Brigade’s commander commended the troops for successfully thwarting the enemy’s extortion to the people.

“Such gallant feat of our troops is a clear manifestation of their dedication to duty in protecting the people against the threat groups that will sow terror to the peace loving Samareños”.

He said that another NPA plan was thwarted due to the unwavering support of our people.  It only proves that insurgency could not be totally expunged by a mere military solution.  It needs a thorough collaboration between the civilians and the soldiers.

Colonel Bonafos also condemns in the strongest possible terms the continuous blatant violation of the terrorist NPA on human rights and international humanitarian law in making the people as their “milking cow.”

“The extortion activity was already condemned by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as extreme violation of people’s rights. This terrorist act is a clear manifestation of ill-respect to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), a total abuse of our people’s right that is deemed condemnable in the strongest possible terms,” declares Colonel Bonafos.

“We challenge the different human rights advocates who always create noise over the violation of human rights to come out and eventually condemn this undoubtedly human rights violation and stop extorting food supplies and money from the people,” says Colonel Bonafos.

“We would like also to recognize the heroism paid for by our comrade-in-arms who died in the true spirit of peace and democracy.  The highest regards of our people and our Armed Forces will be bestowed upon him.  Although sad to note, my deepest condolences to the loved ones left by Private Jonie Briones,” vows Colonel Bonafos.

Troops of 802nd Brigade are still in the area to pursue the fleeing terrorist and let them face the consequences of their illegal acts and be charged with the full force of the law.





Campaign reaches out to KTV bar owners, massage parlors

Iloilo Capitol, PRO6 intensify drive vs. human trafficking

By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA, Philippine News Service
March 8, 2011

ILOILO, Philippines  –  The campaign against human trafficking is off to a different playing field here in Iloilo with innovations in strategies employed by the Iloilo Provincial Government (IPG) and Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6).

Subject of a Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA), seekers of business licenses in the “entertainment and dining industry” will now be required to attend an orientation-seminar relative to human trafficking.

“Consider yourselves warned,” is the underlying message to all owners of Karaoke or KTV Bars, massage parlors, spas, restaurants and other similar business establishments.

As such, “no attendance, no permit” is now the condition with the seminar primarily focused on the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, RA 9208 or Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and other related laws.

“This prerequisite is provided for in the Memorandum of Agreement between Iloilo Provincial Government and Police Regional Office 6 which was signed by Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. and the region's top cop, Police Chief Superintendent Cipriano E. Querol, Jr. It applies both to those who are renewing their business licenses and for the new applicants,” PRO 6 in a news release sent to Philippine News Service (PNS) went.  “The Agreement will serve as coordinating efforts between the PRO6 and Iloilo Provincial Government in regulating the hiring of women and children to work in Karaoke bars, restaurants, massage parlors, spas and similar establishments.”

With Iloilo as “take-off” province of said campaign, Querol said the Agreement will be replicated to other provinces in the region.

"Western Visayas is among the target destinations of trafficked women and children. With the support of the Local Government, we can effectively combat trafficking in persons through massive information campaigns," he said.

To note, Police Superintendent Ma. Cecilia Detablan, Chief of Regional Women and Children Protection Desk, disclosed that the Philippines was placed on the Tier 2 Watch List of the US State Department.  The report was for Calendar Year 2009 that showed slow progress of the country in convicting trafficking offenders.

“The US State Department provides information on trafficking in many countries and ranks each country's performance from Tier 1 (highest) to Tier 3. The ranking is based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than on the size of the problem,” the news release continued.  “Defensor said his office is willing to support PRO6 in all its campaign in the maintenance of peace and order in the province.”

"In all matters of mutual concern, you can always expect the support of my leadership," Governor Defensor assured.  (with report from RPIO)





Enemy cache discover by 14th IB

By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
March 8, 2011

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar  –  Through intensified implementation of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” by the government troops in the whole area of Eastern Visayas Region, another cache of war materiel from the New People’s Army were discovered by the troops of 14th Infantry Battalion Monday afternoon, March 7.

Reports reaching this headquarters from Lieutenant Colonel Hermilo Demafiles, Commanding officer of 14IB disclosed that the troops led by 2nd Lieutenant Cristobal while conducting security operation at Sitio Puroy, Magsaysay, Mc Arthur Eastern Samar, discovered cache of war items through the information volunteered  by  populace of said barangay.

Said cache contains one (1) galloon ammonium nitrate used in making improvised explosive device (IED) like land mines, fourteen (14) rounds of M203 ammunitions, one (1) M203 grenade launcher with serial number 130964, two (2) rounds of fifty (50) caliber ammunitions, two hundred nine (209) rounds of M14 ammunitions, one (1) M16 magazines (long), two (2) pieces typewriter, one (1) uninterrupted power supply, nine (9) cassette tapes, two (2) bottles dextrose, one (1) enemy map, one (1) container gasoline, twenty (20) pieces terumo needle, one (1) liter duplicating ink, digital sphygmomanometer for blood pressure, voluminous subversive documents with high intelligence value and some personal belongings.

Again, 8ID Commander Major General Mario F. Chan, extended his appreciation to the local folks for the timely information that resulted to the discovery of said cache and applauded his men for a job well done. “I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the continued support of the people by giving us the information that led to the success of our operation. It only goes to show that the people are already with us in our quest to attain genuine peace in the area,’’ says Chan.





NBI 6 nabs ‘NPA’ in extort spree

By FLORENCE HIBIONADA, Philippine News Service
March 8, 2011

ILOILO, Philippines  –  A self-proclaimed member of communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Western Visayas Regional Office 6 (WEVRO6).

Believed to be behind the series of extortion letters sent out to businessmen in Southern Iloilo, caught was June Tenerife of E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental.

The 35 year-old suspect was led by one of his victims into an NBI-WEVRO 6 entrapment operation in Sitio Sinigidan, Barangay Tenyente Benito in Tubungan, Iloilo.  Tenerife has set up temporary residence in said barangay following his marriage to a local resident.

NBI WEVRO 6 operatives successfully made the arrest early Monday evening without any incident.  Among the recoveries were a .45 caliber pistol, five live ammunitions and various Identification Cards bearing Tenerife’s various identities.

ABS-CBN Iloilo’s John Fernandez in a report gathered that among the suspect’s victim was a rice trader in the area with the demand made in an extortion letter.  Same NPA-reasoning of “revolutionary tax” was used by the NPA-wannabe with follow-up demand made via a text message.

The NBI-WEVRO 6 is consolidating evidences that has built up against Tenerife and will be used in filing corresponding complaints.  Among the charges to be filed are extortion, illegal possession of firearms and grave threats.

NBI WEVRRO 6 Regional Director Elfren Meneses Jr. decided to withhold the identity of the victim for security reasons.

Incidentally, NPA extortion cum demand for “revolutionary tax” is prevalent in Southern Iloilo with known NPA-infiltrated hinterland barangays here.  The Municipality of Tubungan for its part has since been subject of NPA attacks particularly cellular site towers of major telecommunication companies.

Tenerite upon his arrest though has reportedly clarified his supposed NPA membership denying the extortion charge while admitting ownership of the gun recovered.

Bureau insiders told Philippine News Service (PNS) that the suspect is also believed to be operating alone.


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