PRO8 arrests 169
drug offenders, seized 21M worth of illegal drugs
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 12, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – The intensified crackdown by the Philippine
National Police against the proliferation of illegal drugs in Eastern Visayas has netted a good number of drug suspects and a seizure of a
significant amount of illegal drugs as the Police Regional Office 8
(PRO8) vowed to make the area free from the drug menace.
“The campaign against illegal drugs remains to be one of our top
priority as we want to make Eastern Visayas illegal drugs-free,”
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria, Eastern Visayas
regional director said.
Soria informed that from January 1 to November 30 this year,
intensified anti-illegal drugs operations conducted by the
Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (AIDSOTG) of PRO8
resulted in the confiscation of P21,024,242.90 worth of illegal drugs
in 152 anti-drug operations across the region.
“The confiscated illegal drugs includes 4 bricks of cocaine; 74.646
grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu”; 286 uprooted
marijuana plants, 13 marijuana sticks, 1,599.638 grams of dried
marijuana leaves, 10 marijuana teabags and 1.13 grams marijuana
seeds,” the police official disclosed.
Soria added that a total of 169 violators of RA 9165 or the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were rounded-up by the
police in drug buy-bust operations, raids and searches, and marijuana
eradication operations, resulting in the filing of 150 drug charges in
different courts regionwide.
This developed as AIDSOTG operatives arrested another suspected drug
pusher Monday morning in a buy-bust operation in Villaba town in Leyte.
Soria identified the suspect as one Rudy Pregoner, carpenter, married,
who was nabbed by narcotics operatives infront of Akis Bakeshop in
Brgy. Poblacio Sur of said town.
The police were able to buy from the suspect 2 small heat sealed
plastics sachets with white crystalline substance suspected to be
“shabu” and confiscated 3 more small heat-sealed transparent plastics
sachets with suspected “shabu” and the buy-bust money amounting to
P800.00. Drug charges are being prepared against the suspect who is
currently detained at the Villaba PNP lock-up cell.
“While the illegal drugs situation in the region is not alarming, it
needs close monitoring due to geographical and economic factors,” the
Regional Director averred.
He explained that geographically, Eastern Visayas has wide coastal
areas with several ports and terminals that could serve as the
entrance and exit points of illegal drugs.
On the other hand, EV’s reputation as one of the fastest growing
regions attracts both legitimate and illegitimate businesses.
Soria informed that he had already discussed the matter to his
counterparts in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG),
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
during the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Council (RLECC)
conference for the activation of anti-drug councils and
intensification of security measures in seaports and terminals in the
region aside from soliciting support from the members of the
“An intelligence driven information will make any anti-illegal drugs
operation successful,” Soria said.
Chiz pushes bill
for indigents to be released on bail sans posting bond
By Office of Senator Chiz
December 11, 2012
PASAY CITY – The
Senate approved on third reading yesterday the proposed Recognizance
Act of 2012 that allows the release of any person in detention unable
to post bail bond due to poverty.
Senator Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and
Human Rights and sponsor of the measure under Committee Report Number
405 (CRN 405), said “the bill upholds the right of a person to bail or
to be released on recognizance as guaranteed by the Constitution.”
The proposed legislation allows detainees to be released to the
custody of a qualified member of the barangay, city or municipality
where the accused resides.
“There are detainees who languish in jails albeit qualified to bail
simply because of abject poverty. Their inability to post bail bond
deprives them of their guaranteed rights. CRN 405 seeks to address
this aspect and other problems that the country’s criminal justice
system faces,” the senator said.
Escudero said the bill will also address setbacks in the Philippine
justice system such as: case congestion and prolonged resolution of
cases in different courts all over the country, lack of legal
representation, congestion in jails, and the lack of opportunity to
reform and rehabilitate offenders.
The bill says that any person on custody or detention can be released
on recognizance only if the offense committed is not punishable by
life imprisonment or death.
The application for recognizance must be filed by the accused or any
person on his behalf before or after conviction by the Metropolitan
Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal trial court in Cities
and Municipal Circuit Trial Court.
However, detainees or accused may be disqualified under the following
circumstances: (1) they have made untruthful statements in their
affidavits regarding their circumstances, (2) they are recidivists,
habitual delinquents, (3) those who have previously escaped from legal
confinements, (4) the accused had previously committed a crime while
on probation, parole or under conditional pardon, and (5) there is the
great risk that the accused may commit another crime during the
pendency of the case.
Ilonggo priest surrenders to NBI
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA /
December 11, 2012
ILOILO CITY – Ilonggo Catholic priest, Reverend Father Lowe Dongor who is subject of
manhunt by United States (US) authorities have surrendered.
Officially tagged as US
“Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fugitive,” Father Dongor
voluntarily gave up to the National Bureau of Investigation Western
Visayas Regional Office 6 (NBI WEVRO 6).
This, following months of
negotiations as the bureau got official FBI request for assistance
middle of this year to locate Dongor.
A native of Barotac Nuevo,
Iloilo, Father Dongor fled the US in October 2011 after entering a
“not guilty” plea on charges of possession of child pornography. He
has since visited his hometown and likewise fled thereafter when the
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a warning
on his “not in good standing” status with the Church. Local media then
got wind of his presence and tried to reach him however the
beleaguered priest managed to flee anew.
“The National Bureau of
Investigation - Western Visayas Regional Office (NBI-WEVRO) confirms
the voluntary surrender and repatriation to the United States (US) of
the person of Reverend Fr. Lowe B. Dongor,” the NBI WEVRO 6 in an
official press statement said. “The 36 year-old native of Barotac
Nuevo, Iloilo, Philippines stands accused in the US District Court of
the District of Massachusetts of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution
(UFAP). Fr. Dongor was the subject of an Arrest Warrant requested by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 1 count of UFAP, a
felony act. His UFAP charge came after he fled the US in October 2011
amidst charges of possession of child pornography. He was the
Associate Pastor of St. Joseph Parish of the Diocese of Worcester in
Massachusetts and asked to go on administrative leave when charged and
arraigned of the said charge.”
“We are officially
confirming the surrender of Fr. Dongor and turn-over to US authorities
through our counterparts in the US Embassy in Manila. In close
coordination with Embassy officials, we have effected Fr. Dongor’s
return to the US. It was one successful operation, which was made
possible through the support of concerned and civic minded
individuals, who worked with the NBI WEVRO team headed by Agent Arnold
Diaz, the agent on case who was entrusted to lead the negotiation
process. Fr. Dongor is now in custody of American authorities where he
will have his due day in a US Court. We thank Fr. Dongor and his
family for cooperating, trusting the bureau and the justice system,”
NBI WEVRO Regional Director Elfren Meneses Jr. said.
Agent Diaz as lead agent
personally escorted Father Dongor and left last night for the US. The
duo is expected to be met by joint US Homeland Security Investigation
(HSI), the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) team upon
It was not immediately clear
when Father Dongor will be made to appear in Court.
Philippine News Service (PNS)
in an independent investigation learned that Dongor stands accused
before Judge Robert Collings, US Magistrate Judge of the John Joseph
Moakley US Courthouse in the District of Massachusetts.
Docketed as 12-mj-1065-RBC,
the FBI filed the UFAP felony charge in February 23, 2012 with the
offense a “Category II.”
The FBI was called in by the
Office of the Worcester District Attorney following Father Dongor’s
failure to appear in an October 2011 Court hearing. Dongor has since
fled the US and went into hiding here in the Philippines.
The UFAP charge carries a
$5,000 bail and/or 5 year imprisonment.
In a PNS interview, Father
Dongor expressed readiness on whatever outcome awaits him in the US.
Such, as he admitted having “no resources at all….poor as a rat,” thus
not able to secure for himself a private counsel.
“I have to, and ready to pay
for the terrible mistakes I committed to my God, my Church, my
community, my family and myself,” he said. “I wish I can change things
and go back to my priesthood for that is what I have been dreaming of
since I was 6 years old. But all of that is gone now. I have nothing
to offer, no money even to hire a lawyer for my defense but I still
have my faith in God and that is more than enough for me now.”
special task group for 2013 polls
Samar identified "hot spot" for
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 11, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – In order to ensure a fair and secured
midterm elections next year, the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) had
formed a special task group to be deployed in Samar province after it
was included in the list of 15 “priority areas” for the May 2013
“We will make sure that
upcoming elections is not only free and fair, but also secured,
peaceful and orderly,” Police Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria,
Eastern Visayas regional director told reporters during a press
conference held at Camp Lukban in Catbalogan City, headquarters of
Samar Police Provincial Office on Saturday morning.
Recalling his own experience
as Commander of Task Force: ABRA during the 2010 national and local
elections, Soria assured that he will ensure that the will of the
people is truly reflected in the upcoming elections.
violent incidents that took place in some areas of the region that has
defined the past electoral exercises is an indication that there
exists an impending disturbance on peace and security in the May 2013
midterm elections. One of the greatest concerns we hold close to us is
the need for security and peace. A truly peaceful electoral process is
an indication that we will hear the voice of the people, our real
“bosses”, Soria said.
Police Senior Superintendent
Edgardo Orduña Basbas, the PRO8 Deputy Regional Director for
Operations will head the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG)
to be assisted by Police Senior Superintendent Eusebio Adamero Mejos,
Samar Provincial Director.
The task group will be
assigned troops coming from Samar provincial command, the Regional
Public Safety Battalion (RPSB8) and PNP Special Action Force (SAF) and
will be based at the Samar Police Provincial Office in Camp Lukban,
Catbalogan City, Samar’s capital.
“We aim to neutralize the
two remaining Partisan Armed Groups or PAGs in Samar province before
the campaign period,” the Regional Director averred, adding that he
ordered the RSOTG to conduct a stepped up crackdown on PAGs and to
continue the massive drive against loose firearms that may be used as
an “instrument of violence” in next year’s polls.
Earlier, the Department of
the Interior and Local Government (DILG) classified Samar province, as
well as Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Maguindanao, Abra, Pangasinan, Masbate,
Lanao del Sur, Ilocos Sur, Basilan, La Union, Cavite, Cagayan,
Batangas and Misamis Occidental as priority provinces for the
elections based on how these fared in various factor that includes
having histories of election-related violence, presence of intense
political rivalry and threat groups, and number of loose firearms and
Soria added that a province
that lands in the priority list means it would receive greater focus
from state security forces as the electoral season formally begins in
“This is aimed at deterring
any untoward incident that could affect the integrity of the electoral
exercise,” the Regional Director added.
Earlier, the Philippine
National Police launched the “Secure and Fair Elections” program (SAFE
2013) which detailed, among others, the estimated number of loose
firearms and the presence of private armed groups and other threat
groups that could cause violence in the identified high-risk areas and
the police action to be undertaken against these factors.
Gov’t takes lead in
crafting nat’l agenda on human rights
December 11, 2012
The government has set the stage for the crafting of a national agenda
on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the hosting of a multi-sectoral
human rights summit in Malacanang on Tuesday.
The 2nd National Summit on
International Humanitarian Law was organized by the Presidential Human
Rights Committee (PHRC), chaired by Executive Secretary Paquito N.
Ochoa Jr., to further strengthen the country’s policies in upholding
and protecting human rights, particularly during armed conflict.
In a statement read by
Deputy Executive Secretary Teofilo S. Pilando Jr. on his behalf, Ochoa
said: “We are honored to host this event because it highlights and
places great value on strong and productive discourse between
government and human rights defenders to identify and collectively
resolve critical issues.”
“Moreover, it situates human
rights and international humanitarian law within the same breadth as
the promotion and protection of our people’s overall welfare and
well-being, especially in situations of armed conflict,” he added.
According to Ochoa, the
Philippine government’s commitment to the IHL further leapt forward
under President Benigno S. Aquino III’s administration, citing several
key measures and initiatives that it has taken since coming to office.
Among these are the
ratification of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court in
August 2011 and its adoption months later to boost human rights
protection in situations of armed conflict; the implementation of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 2011-2016 Internal Peace and Security
Plan: Bayanihan; and the issuance of Administrative Order No. 35,
which created an inter-agency committee to probe human rights abuses
allegedly committed by state and non-state forces.
Other initiatives include
the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro on October
15, and the signing of the terms of reference that rendered
operational the government’s Complaints Monitoring Working Group under
the Philippine Government Monitoring Committee to further enhance
compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human
Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRIHL) between the
government and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Since the first national
summit held in August of 2009, the government has likewise put in
place Republic Act No. 9851, which defined and penalized war crimes,
crimes against humanity and genocide.
“Significant as they are,
these developments should encourage all of us to revisit the other
commitments we made at the first IHL summit some three years ago.
These are commitments that deeply relate to our institutional mandates
as government instrumentalities, as an independent national human
rights institution, as civil society, and as parties to the armed
conflicts in the land,” Ochoa said.
“In the end, these
commitments – and the challenges that come with them – will be our
measure of readiness to craft a National Agenda on International
Humanitarian Law that will fuse and further our efforts.”
Participants in the human
rights national summit, the second since August 2009, include
representatives from the government, non-government organizations,
civil society groups, members of the diplomatic community and other
syndicated estafa raps vs. 17 bank execs
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA
December 9, 2012
ILOILO CITY –
Criminal charges of Syndicated Estafa have been filed by the National
Bureau of Investigation Western Visayas Regional Office 6 (NBI WEVRO
6) against 17 bank personalities of the Rural Bank of Badiangan
The charges once upheld,
carries no bail for all of the respondents.
With an initial 37
victim-depositors, the NBI WEVRO 6 concluded its probe and established
alleged violation of Section 1, Presidential Decree (PD) 1681 in
relation to Article 315 (2) (a) of the Revised Penal Code as amended.
At stake are over P13
million in depositors’ money gone missing following the bank’s closure
in July of this year. The said amount though is expected to
significantly balloon once the rest of the accounting and pending
complaints are resolved.
To date, victim-depositors
were segregated into three groups coming from Iloilo City and the
Municipality of Januiay. Fourth group are Badiangan, Cabatuan and Sta.
In an official NBI WEVRO 6
press statement, named suspects and charged before the Provincial and
City Prosecutor’s offices are former bank manager Samuel Hortelano and
current manager Bella Buscar. Also charged are bank Vice President
Joby Arandela, bank cashier Helen Rico, bank secretary Egleserio
Rebustes and bank member of the board Josefina Arandela.
Likewise charged are
“independent directors” Nena Mana-ay and Edgar Llave, current
compliance officer Emilda Davoc, former bank secretary Herlyn Heda
Salazar, bank clerks Lenie Abordaje, Cynthia Tacanloy, Ma. Cynthia
Paula Tacanloy alias “Mar-Mar,” former compliance officer Cres Davoc,
account officer Ana Marie Balbasor, security guard Federico Abordaje
alias “Idoy” and member of the bank’s board of directors, Aileen
The victim-depositors, the
statement went, “were all enticed by Bella Buscar….to open an account
due to the high interest rates….as well as the assurance that their
deposits are insured with the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation
(PDIC). All of the complainants personally entrusted their money
intended for opening a time deposit account to Bella Buscar at her
officer in Badiangan, Iloilo or at their respective residences in
Certificates of Time Deposit
were issued and renewed upon maturity as interests supposedly earned
were personally delivered to the victim-depositors’ homes. However
when the closure happened in July, the PDIC disclosed that amount as
purportedly deposited were never recorded in the master list of
“All of the complainants
were shocked upon learning this since they were under the honest
belief that they were depositors……After the denial of their claim, the
respective amounts deposited could not be accounted anymore by Bella
Buscar and her co-principals, and is now presumed to have been
misappropriated for their own personal purpose,” the bureau’s
As such, NBI WEVRO 6 probe
established “false pretenses and fraudulent acts” by the respondent
bank workers “who by their concerted over acts, conspired and
confederated with one another.”
“We have more than 5
suspects so it is Syndicated Estafa and yes, no bail recommended,”
Regional Director Elfren Meneses Jr. said in an interview. “All of the
17 suspects are to be held equally and solidarily liable.”
The Rural Bank of Badiangan
case was handled by NBI lawyer, Investigation Agent II Arnold Diaz.
“Clearly the scheme that
became a scam did not happen overnight,” Diaz said.
Meantime, yet another new
complainant surfaced over the weekend with a similar story of having
been duped of hard-earned family savings.
Retired and having to tend
to a sick husband who has fallen ill to Cancer, the 72-year victim is
a native of Cabatuan, Iloilo. She is thus far the latest of victims
who sought NBI help.
“We lost everything, all of
our lifetime of savings from our pension that we entrusted to the bank
since 2005,” she said.
Catbalogan jail escapee in Calbayog City
By RPCRD, Police Regional
December 7, 2012
CAMP RUPERTO K. KANGLEON,
Palo, Leyte – This man can no longer continue his fondness
with guns as the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG8) of Police
Regional Office 8 brings him to his rightful place in jail.
Eastern Visayas Regional
Director Chief Superintendent Elmer Ragadio Soria identified the
suspect as Junie Mañoso Diaz, also known as Mayo, 48, single, jobless,
a resident of Brgy Peñaplata, a hinterland barangay in Gandara, Samar.
“The suspect is fond of
bringing firearms which is illegal if you do not have license and
permit to carry,” Soria said. He added that Diaz was previously
arrested in the past for illegally possessing firearms.
The Regional Director
informed that an intelligence driven operation was launched in the
early morning of December 5 at Brgy. Tumaligues in Calbayog City based
on information given by an informant on the presence of a fugitive at
The suspect was surprised
but did not resist arrest when elements of RSOG under Police Inspector
Constantino Jabonete, Jr. arrested him inside his residence.
The police team was armed
with an Alias Warrant of Arrest for Illegal Possession of Low Powered
Firearm under Criminal Case Number Y8-K-133 issued by Hon. Judge Alma Uy Lampasa of Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Catbalogan City.
Judge Uy recommended an
amount of P60,000.00 for the suspect’s temporary liberty.
Soria disclosed that aside
from being an escapee, suspect is also a parolee for similar offense.
“He was arrested in
Catbalogan City for bringing firearm on May 25, 2008 and while
detained at the PNP lock-up cell awaiting trial, he managed to escape
sometime in December that year,” the region’s top police official
Soria further informed that
suspect has previous records of arrest for similar offense and was
sentenced on October 20, 2004 after he has been found guilty for
violation of Republic Act 8294 in criminal case number Y4-D-186.
“He was on probation
effective January 12, 2004 per order of Judge Salvador Jakosalem of
Catbalogan Municipal Trial Court until he was re-arrested in 2008,” he
The RSOG brought Diaz to the
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) detention facilities in
Catbalogan City for proper disposition.
Soria further assured
Eastern Visayas folks on the continuous implementation of Manhunt:
Charlie, the PNP’s campaign against wanted persons.
“We will leave no stone
unturned in conducting manhunt operations against those wanted by law
for them to face the consequences of their committed crimes,” the
regional director ended.
On the Aquino govt’s superbody
No need for
frills and fuss, victims need resolution and end to EJK
December 7, 2012
QUEZON CITY – Karapatan today held a picket in front of the Department
of Justice (DOJ) to underscore the point that Pres. Aquino’s
‘superbody’ is “extraneous and thus, inessential in solving the cases
of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations.”
“The victims and their families need no more frills and fuss. If only
the government listens to the voice of the people, they would say:
Just get down to work; solve and stop extrajudicial killing,” said
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
The members of the Manilakbayan mission, a 74-member delegation from
Mindanao, joined the picket to highlight the cases of extrajudicial
killings of indigenous peoples and peasants under the Aquino regime
who are mostly killed because of their opposition to large-scale
mining operations and destructive government projects in their lands.
With the Manilakbayan delegation are the widows of slain IP leaders
who pressed the DOJ to “go after the identified perpetrators of
extrajudicial killings is what the victims need such as the members of
the 27th IB responsible for the massacre of Juvy Capion and two
children who are both minors; the arrest of Alde Salusad of the New
Indigenous People’s Army Reform (NIPAR) who remains free despite a
warrant of arrest for the killing of Jimmy Liguyon, a tribal leader in
Palabay added that what makes things worse is the Aquino government’s
move to promote AFP officers who have pending court cases for rights
violations, such as Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año was implicated in the
abduction and enforced disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos and is
held responsible for a string of human rights violation in Southern
Luzon region; and Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad has a pending criminal
case for the illegal arrest and torture of the 43 health workers or
“With these AFP officers and PNP sitting in the Aquino ‘superbody’,
the government expects us to hail and praise this ‘superbody’? Palabay
Manilakbayan delegates are one in saying that the people in Mindanao
“do not only need relief goods because of typhoon Pablo, but also
relief, or more exactly, an end to military presence in our
communities; that we do not only need rehabilitation after the floods,
but also rehabilitation of our communities from destruction of bombs
during military operations and mining explorations that has long
Karapatan earlier chided the Aquino government for its ‘superbody’
saying that it is only part of the GPH’s effort to secure the more
than $13 million in US military assistance to the GPH that it does
anything to deodorize its human rights record.”
Since 2008, the said military aid remains unreleased due to
international pressure from various Philippine solidarity groups that
campaigned on the issue of extrajudicial killings and other rights