Tag Archive: relieved police officers

The government sacked the commander of the National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) following the death of more than 40 police commandos in a clash with Muslim armed groups in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, over the weekend.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina made the announcement then claimed that they did not recieve prior notice of the elite police unit’s operation, which eventually turned into the bloody clash.

Director Getulio Napeñas was relieved as SAF commander pending the result of an investigation by the PNP, Roxas said in a press briefing in Camp Crame Tuesday.

“He (Napeñas) was given chance to help recover body of his men, but today he was recalled back to Manila,” Roxas added.

Espina said in the same briefing that SAF deputy commander Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño will replace Napeñas, in an officer-in-charge capacity.

“His (Napeñas) administrative relief will pave the way for the start of the board of inquiry, I would like to get to bottom of things,” he said.

The inquiry will be conducted by Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Western Mindanao head Dir. Edgardo Ingking, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Dir. Benjamin Magalong, and Directorate for Research and Development head Chief Supt. Catalino Rodriguez, Espina said.

Crame ‘not told’ of SAF operation

Roxas and Espina claimed that the DILG and PNP leadership were not informed of Sunday’s SAF operation in Mamasapano — which involved almost a battalion of police commandos in full battle gear — before it was executed.

“No… Ang masasabi natin, hindi ‘yan dumating sa command group,” Roxas said when asked if the operation was cleared with him.

“It did not reach the command group. That’s as far as I can say, everything will be tackled in the board of inquiry… It didn’t reach us,” Espina said for his part.

A total of 392 SAF members from different parts of the country participated in the operation, which targetted Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah operative Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomb expert Abdul Basit Usman, Roxas said.

“It was a legitimate operation,” Roxas said in a televised press briefing in Maguindanao on Monday afternoon.

Bitter pill

Roxas on Tuesday maintained his careful stance on how the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) — which just concluded peace negotiations with the government last year — was involved in the clash that followed the SAF raid.

As of Tuesday, 44 SAF members were confirmed killed while 12 are injured and 336 are unharmed and accounted for, Roxas said.

“Tuloy ang tiwala at kumpiyansa ng PNP sa peace process na bagamat napakalungkot, matindi ang kapaitan ng pangyayari, ang mas malawak na peace process ay mahalaga at kabahagi ang PNP sa pagsulong ng peace process,” he said.

The government and MILF signed a peace agreement March 2014 and are currently waiting for the approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which will implement their deal.

Congress’ deliberations on the BBL were suspended until investigations on the clash are completed.

Elements of the SAF were first attacked by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), then had a “misencounter” with members of the MILF, Roxas explained.

The DILG chief also said Tuesday that investigators still have yet to determine if Marwan, who is wanted by the U.S. government, had indeed been killed in the SAF raid as earlier field reports indicated.


Despite their toned-down stance, Roxas and Espina vowed to give “justice” to the slain SAF members.

“‘Yung pagbibigay ng katarungan ay sa dalawang paraan – filing ng kaso versus sa mga pumatay sa SAF heroes, kabahagi na nito ‘yung kung may lapses at pananagutin kung meron man, and honors and benefits,” Roxas said.

Espina said full honors, awards, and promotion will be given to the slain police commandos while benefits will be extended to their families.

“I will recommend the highest possible medals to be given — equivalent to a Gold Cross medal — to our fallen heroes. I will also recommend spot promotion of those who died in this operation. Full state honors, benefits will be given,” he said.

Director Rolando Purugganan, head of the Directorate for Comptollership, was tasked to facilitate and ensure the distribution of awards and benefits to the slain policemen and their families, Espina said.

Central Mindanao police take strong stance

While the DILG and PNP leadership kept statements at a low key, the Central Mindanao regional police outrightly condemned the killing of SAF members in Mamasapano.

“The bloodbath brought about by the brutal and cowardly doing of heartless rebel groups was such inimical and condemnable act,” Chief Superintendent Lester Camba, director of the Region 12 police said in a statement.

Camba’s statement came along with one from North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza.

“The incident is condemnable, we must not forget the series of bombings that occurred in the province of North Cotabato… Our elite special forces were going after two notorious bomb makers,” the police statement quoted Mendoza as saying.

Marwan and Usman, along with members of the BIFF, are blamed for the recent bombings in North Cotabato and other parts of Central Mindanao.

North Cotabato and Maguindanao share a vast, marshy border where bombing suspects and rebels who conducted attacks in previous years are said to be hiding.

“While we support our peace initiatives, our government troops who set law and maintain order in this civilized society should be respected and not killed,” Mendoza added.

Blast kills 2

As Tuesday wound to a close, a still unidentified type of explosive went off in Pikit, North Cotabato, killing two people.

The explosion occurred near a convenience store along Manuel L. Quezon st., Brgy. Poblacion, around 6:11 p.m., said Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, public affairs officer of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Two persons on a motorcycle died on the spot because of the blast, Petinglay said in a text message.

The two are “suspected bombers killed by the premature explosion of the IED (improvised explosive device) they were carrying,” Senior Superintendent Danilo Peralta, director of the North Cotabato provincial police, said in a separate message.

Local police are still trying to identify the fatalities and the type of IED that went off, Peralta said. (John Roson)

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The Northern Mindanao regional police leadership has relieved Senior Supt. Gerardo Rosales as director of the Cagayan de Oro City Police following the grenade explosion at a money-lending firm which left eight people injured.

Chief Supt. Gil Hitosis, Northern Mindanao regional police director, said he ordered Rosales’ “administrative relief” over the latter’s failure to prevent Wednesday’s explosion, the second to hit the city in just a little over a month.

“Kinausap ko na sila (Cagayan de Oro City Police) noon na galingan ang pagbabantay para ma-prevent ‘yung mga ganitong klaseng incident at ang binigay ko sa kanilang directive is that the chief PNP wouldn’t want to hear another explosion,” Hitosis said in a phone interview.

“He (Rosales) is not yet relieved per se, but he can no longer function as the city director… we are just applying uniformity of law,” the regional police chief added.

Last Oct. 11, a bomb exploded outside the Maxandria Hotel at the corner of J.R. Borja st. and Aguinaldo st. in the city proper.

Two civilians were killed and two policemen were wounded in the blast. Another improvised explosive device was found under a news crew’s pick-up in the city the same day.

Meanwhile, Hitosis said investigators have yet to determine the motive for Wednesday’s explosion at the Golden Sun Finance Corp. branch along C.M. Recto Ave., Brgy. Lapasan.

The blast came from an MK-2 grenade that was set up like a “booby-trap” on the establishment’s accordion door. (John Roson)

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The Philippine National Police has relieved its provincial director in Zamboanga del Sur for failing to stop an investment scam that duped thousands of people of about P12 billion.

Senior Supt. William Marzan’s relief as head of the provincial command took effect Thursday, Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Zamboaga Peninsula regional police director, said.

“Inutusan kasi siya (Marzan) na itigil ‘yun, pigilan. Ang daming biktima, pati ‘yung mga tauhan niya nag-ivest doon,” Estilles said in a phone interview.

Marzan was replaced by Senior Supt. Romeo Uy, Estilles said.

Estilles earlier relieved Pagadian City Police chief Supt. Kenneth Mission and nine personnel of the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Police’s intelligence section for their failure to stop and alleged involvement in the scam by Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc.

In a press briefing, PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo said Aman Futures duped at least 53 policemen, who invested salaries, savings, and even loans.

“Maraming nag-loan sa mga lending institutions, ‘yung iba utang sa kamag-anak,” Cerbo said.

Most of the victims, however, are low-income civilians who invested hard-earned money, just to avail of profits that reportedly go as high as 80 percent of the investment in 20 to 30 days.

In a press statement, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said 80 percent of the about 15,000 victims are from Pagadian City, while the others are from Marawi City, Ozamis City, Iligan City, and even Cebu.

Aman took the hard-earned money from retirees, teachers, police, farmers, and even pastors, Roxas said.

“This scam was perpetrated starting as early as February and there have been very loud indicators that this scam was happening. People were lining up as early as 2 in the morning to try to get in the premises of Aman,” he said.

“The fact that there was no report that filtered up from the [Pagadian] City PNP to the province, to the region, all the way to headquarters indicates, at the very least, negligence or laziness,” Roxas added.

Cerbo for his part, said the PNP will not “segregate” complaints by its personnel from that of civilians.

“Ang objective namin dito ay makuhanan statement lahat at matukoy kung sino ang nabiktima para makagawa tayo ng isang malakas na kaso,” he said.

The PNP will coordinate closely with the Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation in filing the case, Cerbo said.

The NBI, as of Wednesday, was already processing 8,000 complaints against Aman Futures, Cerbo said.

He said the investment company’s founder, Manuel Amalilio, has reportedly been traced in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. (John Roson)

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