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President Aquino’s decision to adopt the findings of a special inquiry by the National Bureau of Investigation into the Jan. 6 killing of 13 men in Atimonan, Quezon, should make a dent on the culture of impunity that has been fostered by the wider culture of violence and human rights abuse in the country. Agreeing with the report that the deaths were a result of summary execution and not a shootout, the President ordered the filing of multiple-murder charges against the police and military personnel involved.
The Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) condemns the violent dispersal by the Davao City police of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors who massed up at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office in Davao City, to demand the immediate release of relief goods due them. The excessive use of force on the disaster victims, which included the use of snipers and high-powered rifles, defies legal and moral justification.
Fort Knox, a US bullion depository, is perhaps the safest place on earth where loads of precious metals and gold reserves are being kept, and with its impenetrable 22-ton door, one can have complete peace of mind about its safety.
By Neal H. Cruz
Importers of used vehicles at Port Irene and the chief of the Manila Police District (MPD) were at the Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel last Monday to air their sides on recent controversies hounding them, the vehicle importers on the alleged smuggling of used vehicles in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZF), and the MPD on the arrest of Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and his supporters for holding an alleged prohibited bingo game in Manila. Jaime Vicente, president of the Automotive Rebuilding Industries in Cagayan Valley, was accompanied by lawyer Kate Modesto, while MPD chief Alejandro Gutierrez was accompanied by the MPD legal officer, Maj. Dennis Wagas.
Crimes these days have become much more rampant and in-your-face compared to how it was before. In the past, criminals were feared only at night, when it was dark and when most people were already home.
By Amando Doronila
Since the killing of 13 people at a police-military checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon, on Jan. 6, not a single day has passed without the media reporting a rising tide of robberies and break-ins into shops and homes in Metro Manila. In the Atimonan carnage, the National Bureau of Investigation has determined that the victims died not as a result of a shootout between the police-military team and a criminal group, but, rather, an extralegal execution by state law enforcement authorities.
By John Nery
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ initiative to ban the presentation of suspects without their consent has largely gone unremarked. I happen to think, however, that it is a genuine advance in civil liberties, and may even help improve police performance.
By Carlos Isagani T. Zarate
The recent filing of criminal charges by the police authorities in Compostela Valley province against some survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” and leaders of people’s organizations who protested the lethargic relief operations in the devastated areas of Mindanao is nothing but a shameless, insensitive attempt to cover up sheer government incompetence. Worse, it is tantamount to criminalizing the hunger and misery of typhoon survivors.
This refers to Ramon Tulfo’s Jan. 12 column (“Disciplining policemen”).
I am writing this on my own initiative and although I am a graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), my views in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of my classmates, the PNPA or the alumni association.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Here are some recollections and caveats that came to mind after the Jan. 6 encounter/shootout/rubout (?) at a police checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon, that claimed the lives of 13 people, among them policemen and soldiers, who were traveling together in a convoy. Of the police officers and men, plus the backup members of the Armed Forces that lay in wait at the checkpoint that fateful night, only their leader sustained gunshot wounds.
Philippine National Police’s Director General Alan Purisima, when asked by reporters whether the shooting that occurred in Atimonan, Quezon, was a rubout or shootout, replied: “What rubout? The leader of the PNP team was injured and critically wounded in that incident. They (the casualties) were the ones who fired at the policemen and soldiers manning the checkpoint!”
Apparently, for the good director general, when an encounter between bad elements and policemen happens and a policeman is injured critically, there’s no way the incident could be a summary execution.
But—are we ready for it? That’s the question that comes to mind once the sense of pride and joy one gets at the news that a slew of international travel publications has highlighted the Philippines as a top travel destination this year washes over. There is, of course, no denying the significance or impact [...]