Items filtered by date: Monday, 31 July 2017

Abueva slot hangs

Photo:Calvin Abueva showed up at Alaska and Gilas Pilipinas’ practices on Monday but still stands to be fined heavily by his mother PBA ballclub for missing more than a week in practice without informing the coaching staff or management.
Citing “family matters,” Abueva, before working out with the Aces, talked to coach Alex Compton and team manager Dickie Bachmann.
He also apologized to his teammates, whom he left hanging in a game against Star over the weekend.
Alaska is reeling from three straight defeats in the Governors’ Cup elimination round and the Aces don’t need distractions of this sort as they try to end the season on a high note and salvage their tournament with eight games left in their schedule.
But talking to team members will not spare Abueva from being fined heavily as he violated team policy by not informing anyone of his absence.
“We will talk about it,” Bachmann told the Inquirer when asked what kind of penalties Abueva will be facing from the team.
“Definitely, he violated team rules and we are very strict with those at Alaska.”
Bachmann also said “The Beast” will meet with team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu on Tuesday.
“We’re here to guide him and all of our players, actually, with whatever problems they are having—whether that is about basketball or family,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann said Abueva assured them that he was going to attend the practice of Gilas, which is preparing for the Fiba Asia Championship scheduled in Lebanon from Aug. 8 to 20.
Showing up on Monday night would save his spot in the national five and possibly give coach Chot Reyes the benefit of a full roster at practice with just over a week remaining for the regional showcase.
Abueva, who saw action for Gilas in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) championship in Manila three months ago, is seen as a vital cog in the squad because of his versatility. He can play big despite his size and defend against smaller players because of his speed.

On Sunday night, Reyes issued an ultimatum to Abueva that he would be dropped from the team if he fails to show up on Monday for practice.

 

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Customs chief slams circulation of photo

Photo: INQUIRER PHOTO/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon denounced the circulation of a photo on social media that showed him in the company of the owner of the warehouse where P6.4 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) was seized.
In a statement, Faeldon said the photo maliciously implied that it was taken before the raid was conducted by Bureau of Customs operatives on May 26.
“Raw photos of the raid from the Office of the Commissioner indicated that a similar photo was indeed taken on the day Hongfei Logistics warehouse in Valenzuela was raided,” he said.

Faeldon said he reluctantly agreed to the request of Richard Chen, the warehouse owner, to have a photo with him out of courtesy.
“This attempt to link me [to] the apprehended shabu is outrageous. The photos themselves will prove that I met Mr. Chen only on the day of the raid itself,” he said.

“The people behind this malicious attack only proved that I had crossed big names in the illegal drug trade. However, this will not slow down our fight against drugs,” he said. —Tina G. Santos

 

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Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido recounts operation vs Parojinogs

‘We wanted them alive . . . and await reckoning of the law’


Photo: Ozamiz City Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espinido. RICHEL V. UMEL/INQUIRER MINDANAO

OZAMIZ CITY — “We wanted them alive and to show the people how they are being subjected to the grind of justice. It is better to have them in prison and await the reckoning of the law.”

That was the objective, according to Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, of the police raid on Sunday that left Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as a drug lord, dead, along with 14 others, including his wife.

Espenido, the Ozamiz City police chief, recounted to reporters that the Philippine National Police team moved before dawn to avoid more casualties, as the mayor’s compound was under heavy guard for 24 hours.


“There were children and women inside their house because the food was free. It looked like they were there as human shields if something happens,” he said.

“And we observed that at 2:30 a.m. there were fewer people. So if we carried out the raid that time, there would be fewer casualties,” he added.

Espenido was the police commander of Albuera, Leyte, in 2016 when Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in an alleged shootout inside the subprovincial jail in Baybay City.

Bloodbath

“I was not the one who presided over the operation that killed him inside the prison,” he said, in stressing his desire to avoid a bloodbath in Ozamiz.

Espinosa was killed inside his detention cell on Nov. 5, 2016, a month after Espenido caused his surrender to authorities after the mayor was accused by President Duterte of being a drug lord.

Sunday’s predawn raid in Ozamiz, done amid a brownout, killed Parojinog Sr. and 13 others. One more was killed in a raid on Parojinog’s farm house in a hinterland barangay later in the day.

It was the bloodiest police operation in the recent history of the city, which has been at the forefront of the government’s counterinsurgency war since 1986. The campaign used civilian militias, the main one being the Kuratong Baleleng that counted Parojinog as among its members.


The raid on Parojinog’s house was done simultaneously with those on the houses of his daughter, Vice Mayor Nova Echaves, and son Reynaldo Jr. Each raiding team consisted of 16 officers.

Parojinog’s house is located in a corner; some 25 meters to the northwest is Nova Echaves’ house, and about 200 meters to the east is Reynaldo Jr.’s house.

Espenido said that the raid in the house of Reynaldo Jr. went well, “meaning no one was hurt because they showed no resistance.”

“The bodyguard in the house [of Reynaldo Jr.] opened the gate and the door to authorities,” Espenido related.

Authorities claimed to have recovered some firearms and crystalline substance suspected to be “shabu” (crystal meth) from the house, leading them to arrest Reynaldo Jr.

But this was not the case in the houses of Parojinog and Nova Echaves, Espenido stressed. “The raiders have to force their entry into these houses.”

Espenido related that when they arrived at the vicinity of Parojinog’s house, they were immediately met with a volley of gunfire.

Echaves was flown to Manila on Monday to face inquest proceedings.

The PNP identified 15 fatalities in the operation: Reynaldo O. Parojinog Sr., Susan E. Parojinog, Octavio Parojinog Jr., Mona Parojinog, Edwin Rusiana, Corlito Ayaay, L. Millanar, alias “Lando,” alias “Iting,” Eldred Requiron, Nestor Cabalan, Miguel de la Victoria, Daniel Vasquez, Jennirey Manon and Ryan Reguera. —Reports from Richel V. Umel, Allan Nawal, and Inquirer Mindanao

 

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‘Why were warrants served in darkness?’

Photo: SCHEDULED FOR INQUEST TODAY Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog-Echaves (center) arrives at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 from Ozamiz City. Behind her in a Nike jacket is her brother, Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. Both of them will face inquest today at Camp Crame. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ


Two senators on Monday raised this question as they expressed willingness to conduct an investigation into the police raids in Ozamiz City on Sunday that killed Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and 14 others, drawing parallels with the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in November last year.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon wondered why the search warrants against the Parojinogs, as in the case of Espinosa, were “served in darkness.”
“Both are tagged as drug lords. Too much of a coincidence?” he said.

“The Senate has been doing a lot of investigations because a lot of things are happening. I don’t like it but it is made necessary by what is happening,” Drilon told reporters.
“Generally, a search warrant should be served in the daytime. While it may also be served anytime of the night, the issuing judge must so expressly specify in the search warrant,” Drilon said, referring to Section 9, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.

This is also the general rule under the Philippine National Police manual, Sen. Francis Escudero said.
“In fact, there is a separate provision on searches and seizures alone in the Constitution to put a premium on how important this issue or this thing is,” Escudero said in a television interview.
The senator said the police had a lot of explaining to do. “The police cannot just say that ‘we were met by a volley of fire and everyone is killed and nobody is killed on our side,’” he said.
“I won’t be surprised if one of my colleagues will file a resolution to investigate what happened and given that both cases in the Albuera mayor and the Ozamiz mayor, they were both suspected of having drug links,” Escudero said.
“But that often by itself doesn’t merit a death warrant. Search warrant, maybe yes. Arrest warrant, maybe yes but not a death warrant,” the senator added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said: “I don’t see the need to investigate unless there is a development later and there are signs that [Mayor Parojinog and the others] were summarily executed, which as of now we don’t see.”

The PNP chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, scoffed at remarks that search warrants should indicate a time.
“Every time is a legal time to serve a search warrant. There is nothing in the search warrant that says you serve it at a particular time, like during office hours,” Dela Rosa said, defending the raid that he said was carried out “to gain maximum advantage.”
“We have to be able to dictate the tempo of the operation,” he said.
Although he called the Parojinogs “big fishes” in the war on drugs, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said Sunday’s raid could have “long-term implications on our democracy way beyond the term of President Duterte.”
“While it may look like a success on the surface like the thousands killed [in] the war on drugs, its impact [on] due process of law, human rights and professionalism of the PNP cannot be underestimated,” Alejano said.
“I strongly support the elimination of illicit drugs in the country as much as I strongly advocate for the strengthening of our democratic institutions and democratic processes in the country,” he said. —With reports from Nikko Dizon and Vince F. Nonato

 

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