30 August 2016

Hero cop’s widow says ‘husband did it for everybody
CATBALOGAN CITY —Like many women, Abigail Macaspag Cabaguing never wanted to be a cop’s wife. She knew long before her late husband, PO1 Gary Cabaguing entered the police force that life as a cop meant one foot in the grave.

“I always remind other cops’ wives to always be prepared. Policemen and soldiers always risk their lives in the performance of their duties,” Abigail said in an interview with the Presidential News Desk.

She related, “It is such a big factor that these men and women in uniform have the backing and support of no less than their Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte himself.”

Seating near the casket of her deceased husband, Abigail said “I am ready and you should be ready.”

PO1 Cabaguing was shot in the head while in an operation to implement a search warrant at the house of Ernesto Gonzales in Barangay Logero, Marabut, Samar on August 24 in relation to the government’s war against illegal drugs.

Mrs. Cabaguing also agrees and supports the President’s stand on the war against illegal drugs.

Abigail said her late husband was always amazed with the President’s programs and that his husband was well aware of the sacrifice he might have to make. “What my husband did was for everybody. It is a painful experience for me but he always told me to be ready. He sacrificed himself not only for his family but for future generations as well.”

For years, the country only talks about he heroism of the soldiers and the military for the services they give, at times even to the point of giving their lives in the performance of their duties as defenders of the country. “I am thankful that people consider my husband a hero but we should always treat our police and soldiers as heroes while they are still alive,” Abigail added.

More than the financial assistance, Cabaguing’s widow also expressed her deep gratitude to President Duterte for taking time to visit grieving families of police and military men killed in the line of duty. “Nakaka-boost ng morale na kahit PO1 lang ang asawa ko ay dadalawin at dadamayan ng Presidente ng Pilipinas. Now more than ever, our police need an uplifting of their morale.” Abigail said. (AAA/PLTA/ PND)

15 soldiers killed in war vs ASG – Abella
A total of 15 soldiers have already been killed in the government’s heightened campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Tuesday.

This developed after President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the military troops to destroy the ASG.

In a press briefing with Palace reporters, Spokesperson Abella said the number of military men who were killed in the battle against the ASG was based on reports released by the Department of National Defense (DND).

He said the government is going full force in its operations, and the DND is adding five battalions or about 2,500 soldiers for the anti-ASG offensive.

These troops will only be assigned in Sulu with a mission of destroying the ASG and rescuing its hostages. (LMG/JAG/PND)

PRRD places P2M on the head of ‘ninja’ cops
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday offered a reward of P2 million for the arrest of “ninja” cops involved in drug trafficking.

“Today, I might be inclined to place a reward on their head, members of the police who are protecting the drug syndicates in this country,” said President Duterte during the National Heroes’ Day ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

“We have a drug crisis that some of our fellow citizens consider just a police problem,” PRRD said, adding that “it has infected every nook and corner of this country involving generals, mayors, governors, barangay captains and so many of the ninjas, they call them. These are the police who are into it.”

The President said, “This is a war, this is a crisis that faces the government, eye to eye dito. It stares at us. Talagang scary. Kaya ako, maski ‘yan lang naman ang magawa ko, okay na ako. But this drug industry and these idiots must stop, or else they will die.”

In spite of the criticisms hurled against him, President Duterte said this drug war is something very personal to him. “Basta itong away sa droga, akin ‘to personal. Ang sinasabi ko time and again that I put at stake my honor, my life, and the presidency itself,” he said.

Defending his campaign, the President said the “big fish” have already flown out of the country, and only the “lieutenants” are left which the government has to deal with. (PPA/LMG/JAG/PND)

Palace looks into Poe suggestions on FOI restriction
The Office of the President will take into consideration the request of Senator Grace Poe to remove the “restrictive rules” on the release of statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN) of government officials before the implementation of the Executive Order on the Freedom of Information (FOI), Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said on Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Abella told reporters in Malacañang that the draft version of the FOI is still undergoing review by the Office of the Executive Secretary.

He however said that the Senator’s concerns and suggestions will considered in the final copy.

Under the Draft FOI Manual, SALNs of government officials may not be disclosed if the purpose is contrary to morals or public policy or if they are intended for any commercial purpose other than for public dissemination by news media.

“I think basically, it’s a safeguard against the malicious use of the information,” he said.

The restrictions on SALNs were among the 166 listed in the draft FOI manual released recently by Malacañang.

Abella said the numerous exceptions listed are standard exemptions. “It’s all self-explanatory. There are certain items there that cannot be revealed because of confidentiality, because of personal – that sort of thing,” he said.

Although the FOI as an Executive Order is designed to be a transparency measure, the details, however, are still being worked out and clarified before its full implementation, he said.

Abella further explained that when it comes to some exemptions that includes restrictions on access to court documents and pleadings, he said the exemptions in each particular branch of the government will have its own issues, and these are part of the things being dovetailed.

“They’re working out, they’re making sure that everything dovetails so that it does not conflict with one another,” he said.

Abella said the Executive Secretary may see it fit to restudy the matter, and address particular situation of the agencies.(LMG/LTA/ PND)

Duterte to Sereno: No anarchy under my watch
Speaking during the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCon) at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that police officers may effect an arrest even without a warrant. This was in response to Sereno’s statement to the contrary.

“Madame Chief Justice, you are again wrong when you said, ‘Do not allow yourself to be arrested without a warrant,” Duterte said.

Duterte added that it will be because of this line of thinking that the country will indeed fall into a state of anarchy. “I will not allow this to happen. There will be no anarchy under my watch!”

President Duterte who is also a lawyer and former prosecutor cited several instances when an arrest can be made even without a warrant such as when a person is committing a crime in his presence; when a crime is about to be committed or when a crime is in fact has been committed and he has direct knowledge that the person to be arrested has committed the criminal act.

The Duterte administration’s campaign has drawn much criticism not only from the Chief Justice but also from a few senators and other personalities. The so-called, extra-judicial killings have also been the subject of a protest held in front of the Philippine Embassy in New York.

Since the time he was mayor of Davao City, Duterte has always been vocal about his stand on illegal drugs. Now that he is the President, he warns the public that the war against illegal drugs will persist up to his last day in office.

Despite the negative view of some local and foreign observers, a large majority of the public have not spoken against the violence upon suspected drug syndicate members, pushers and protectors. For the first time in decades, the extent of the damage wrought by the drug cartels are being revealed and acted upon. “At no other time have the streets of Manila been free of crime.” Duterte proudly declared.

Duterte also dispelled rumors that he will impose martial law or use the military and police to enforce a dictatorship. “They (police and military) are loyal to the Constitution and not to me. Sila ang unang papatay sa akin (They will be the first ones to kill me) if I don’t do my job well.” (AAA/LTA/ PND)