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Keeping Abus Away


Indeed a likelihood, Abu Sayyaf bandits - now under heavy attack by government troops in Sulu and Basilan just might resort to possible entry and diversionary tactics in the city - our police, surely tied up with the military have intelligently gone on heightened alert. A very commendable move.

Power up!, gentlemen. Glad to know you are up on your toes.

City Police Director, Sr. Supt. Luisito Magnaye has ordered all police stations whose areas of responsibilities cover coastal areas to be alert and vigilant for possible attempts to create criminal acts in this city to divert the attention of government troops.

See? What we have assumed in the opening lines of this item is true, Magnaye also coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard and Task Force Zamboanga for a joint maritime patrol of the vast waters where pirates and bandits abound.

At present, government troops are hot on the trail of the Abu Sayyaf Group who recently beheaded German national Juergen Kantner in Sulu for failure to pay the P30 million ransom.

Several terrorists had been killed and wounded in the recent encounters.

They are on the run that is why the police, in anticipation of any eventuality, embarked on these measures, Magnaye emphasized.

The police chief has also called the PNP intelligence to coordinate and harmonize their intelligence gathering with their counterparts in Sulu and Basilan.

Such well covered moves. Similarly, we are sure PNP-9 Regional Director, Chief Sup Billy Beltran is closely behind these moves, ever supportive.

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The Cong. Celso Lobregat proposals creating a separate government corporation to manage and administer power generation in Mindanao, and the proposed Mindanao Railways Corporation have been approved on the committee leve1.

Two house committees teamed up in a joint meeting to tackle the Lobregat bills, - No 123, “An Act Creating the Mindanao Railways Corporation, prescribing its Powers, Functions and Duties and Providing for the Necessary Funds for its Operation”, and HB No. 122, that seeks the non-privatization of Agus-Pulangui hydropower complexes which are considered crown jewels of the Mindanao power industry, and to formulate a viable way to operate and maintain these assets that provide majority of electricity in Mindanao.

The plants are among the few utilities still under government control. In his sponsorship speech during the said hearing, Lobregat stressed on the most concrete effect of the EPIRA, specif to Mindanao, is the treatment extended to Agus-Pulangui Hydropower Complexes which were exempted from privatization for the first 10 years of its enforcement. After 10 years, the privatization of the Agus and Pulangui complexes was to be left to the discretion of PSALM in consultation with Congress.

Once created, the MINPOCOR will serve as a nonprofit government corporation with regulated rates that will enable it to raise funds for buying the Agus-Pulangui from NPC/PSALM, as well as, sufficient funds for operating, maintaining and improving said assets efficiently.

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Three siblings were safely rescued from alleged child labor by combined police and anti-human trafficking government personnel in Newslane, Barangay Baliwasan, this city, Saturday.

The rescued victims were two males and a female aged 13, 14 and 15, all temporarily staying at the said place.

They were brought to the Visayan Forum for counseling and temporary custody.

Initial police investigation received by Zamboanga Today showed that the parents of the minors left their children to work for a resident of Baliwasan they owe money.

Allegedly, the victims were forced to work at said as payment for the debt of the parents.

The operation was enforced by joint personnel of Women and Children Protection Desk of Police Station 11; Women and Children Protection Center-Mindanao Field Unit; Regional Public Safety Battalion 9 in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development Office and olf gthe Region’s,; Department of Labor and Employment, and the Regional Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Person (RIACAT).

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Project Double Barrel is “reloaded” and the police are back fighting President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, Philippine National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said Monday, just over a month after they were withdrawn because of widespread corruption, sparked by the Korean abduction/slay.But Dela Rosa said Monday reforms had been implemented to ensure there was no repeat of previous problems.

“The war on drugs is on, and this time it is going to be more extensive, aggressive and well-coordinated, with built-in systems that guarantee full accountability and instill internal discipline among all personnel,” Dela Rosa Added.

This comes after the “resurgence” of the illegal drug trade was noted while the police campaign was suspended.

“It only goes to show that we cannot afford to lower our guard when confronting a vicious enemy. There must be continuity of effort if the desire is to completely eradicate the problem,” deal Rosa said.

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Pork barrel queen and detained businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles on Monday joined the fray in battling Senator Leila de Lima, accusing the latter of extorting money from her in exchange for not reopening the serious illegal detention case filed against her.

The alleged extortion, she said, happened was Justice secretary. She did not elaborate on the circumstances behind the alleged extortion including the amount involved.

Napoles was convicted of illegally detaining whistleblower Benhur Luy who accused her of trying to prevent him from exposing the pork barrel scam, when the National Bureau of Investigation in re-opening the case in an appeal before the Justice department,.

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Troubles for Environment Secretary Regina Lopez do not seem to end. Already facing rough sailing in the Senate Commission on Appointments, she was charged the other day for alleged graft.

Now, she is under fire again, this time for accepting an all-expenses paid travel to Paris sponsored by a private contractor, and for personally benefiting from foreign donations amounting to 260,000 euros or about P13.7 million intended for an environmental project at a public university.

Consumer groups on Monday said part of those funds were diverted to bankroll her Oct. 2, 2016 trip to Paris as Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary.

“Favoring a foreign entity at the expense of Filipinos and accepting favors from a private contractor are acts of graft and corruption and are prohibited by law…” said Rodolfo Javellana Jr., president of the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters.

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Putting on a theatrical poise, and being described teary-eyed and repentant, retired Senior Police Officer 3 Arturo Lascañas appeared anew yesterday before a Senate inquiry and admitted to a series of killings perpetuated by the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), retracting his earlier confession to the contrary.

The former Davao policeman said he killed around 200 to 300 persons during his career, most of which were part of the operations of the DDS.

During his testimony, Lascañas also cited an incident in which Duterte allegedly ordered the killing of 11 Chinese nationals who were arrested in a drug raid at a drug laboratory one New Year’s Eve.

The 11 were taken to a quarry where they were eventually killed. The act, of course, is barbaric but operating a shabu lab is also horrific. Say you?

According to Lascañas, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, who was then with the Davao City police, knew about their operations.

“The reason I made a public confession last week is because of my desire to tell all the truth not only because of my spiritual renewal but I wanted to clear my conscience… because of my sincerity to put my loved ones and myself (out of harm’s way),” Lascañas, who expressed fears for the safety of his family, told the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee chaired by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.

But senators could not understand why Lascañas claimed his decision was borne out of his “spiritual renewal” sometime in July or September, 2015, but still decided to lie before the Senate, during the  Edgar Matobato probe on October 3, 2016. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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