The President’s Day: July 9, 2002

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09 JULY 2002

  • GMA orders all-out war against 21 kidnap syndicates
  • PNP vows stepped-up war against drugs
  • Gov’t prepared to fund contingency measures in calamity-stricken areas, says Boncodin
  • GMA gets briefing on policies on command responsibility
  • GMA visits flooded areas in 2 Pampanga towns
  • Explosives supplier of Metro bombing suspect arrested, presented to GMA

GMA orders all-out war against 21 kidnap syndicates

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today ordered an all-out war against 21 kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) syndicates operating in the country.

“We target 21 KFR syndicates… It is all-out war against the 21 KFR syndicates,” the President told the top police commanders of the country, from the newly-installed Philippine National Police chief, Deputy Director General Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr., down to the regional and provincial commanders gathered at the Manila Hotel for the Summit on Illegal Drugs, Kidnapping and Command Responsibility.

Three of these 21, which are considered the most active, will be the biggest target, the President told the audience, which included not only the nation’s top police commanders but also leaders of non-government organizations actively involved in anti-crime campaigns.

Intelligence efforts will be concentrated on these syndicates, she said.

Earlier, the President asked Ebdane what the government is up against and how many KFR syndicates are now operating in the country.

Ebdane replied: “As of this time, we have 21 kidnap-for-ransom syndicates. Compared to last year, we had 26. So we actually neutralized five for year 2001 up to the middle of this year.”

The President ordered the all-out war against kidnapping syndicates in an effort to ensure peace and order in the country, attract more investments, particularly from abroad, generate more jobs for the people and, ultimately, win the war against poverty.

The President stressed that the effort will not be limited to the 21 identified KFR rings. If there is new information on other syndicates, these gangs will also be targeted, she added.

In his briefing on the kidnapping situation in the country, Ebdane vowed that the PNP will work harder to improve on the 63-percent solution rate of kidnapping cases in 2001.

“The first six months of 2002 reflect the results of our hard work: a 33-percent decrease in reported KFR incidents and 63 percent less victims from the Chinese-Filipino sector,” he said.

Ebdane stressed that the overall directions against kidnappers are contained in the National Anti-KFR Campaign Plan which, he said, provides comprehensive action parameters for key operational areas.

He also said that information on KFR groups and their members have been inputted into what is now a growing KFR Database.

On the need for modern surveillance and operational equipment, Ebdane said that part of the allocation from the President of P200 million for anti-kidnapping operations has been utilized for this purpose.

Ebdane likewise thanked the Chinese-Filipino community for the generous support they have extended in the form of new equipment.

In Washington, United States President George W. Bush expressed anew his appreciation for efforts of the Philippine government led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to take action and get results in the international war against terrorism.

“There’s a lot of action that take place that you’ll never see,” Bush told White House correspondents during a press conference Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

“Some of it will continue to take place as a result of the actions of our friends, such as that which took place in the Philippines – Abu Sayyaf, the leader evidently was killed by Philippine troops. And that’s positive. That’s a positive development,” the US President said.

PNP vows stepped-up war against drugs

The Philippine National Police (PNP) today vowed to step up its campaign against illicit drugs as it vigorously implements Presidential Letter of Instructions No. 1 or the National Anti-Drug Program of Action (NADPA) issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on July 4, 2001.

“The government may be waging an uphill battle against the drug menace. But with the full and sustained implementation of the National Anti-Drug Program of Action, we are optimistic that we shall realize our vision of a drug-free Philippines earlier than 2010,” police Chief Superintendent Ruben Cabagnot said in his report to the President during the Summit on Illegal Drugs and Kidnapping and Command Responsibility held this morning at Manila Hotel’s Centennial Hall along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Cabagnot, who is officer-in-charge of the PNP Anti-Narcotics Group, said the year 2001 and the first semester of 2002, which marks the salvo of NADPA, “is characterized by large seizures of illicit drugs.”

NADPA is a unification of efforts of the different national government agencies, local government units and non-government organizations. It provides for a holistic approach in combating and eradicating the drug menace.

Cabagnot said Presidential LOI No. 1 proved its importance in the campaign against illicit drugs.

“This was realized with a greater arrest rate in the year 2001 as compared to the preceding year,” he said.

He noted that the Anti-Drug Enforcement Units nationwide, with the PNP Narcotics Group in the forefront, conducted a total of 36,070 positive narcotics operations.

According to Cabagnot, a total of 32,227 people were likewise arrested and 22,012 cases filed.

“The total confiscation and seizure of illegal drugs are 1,561,145 grams of shabu; 22 pieces of Nubain ampules; 263 kilograms of Ephedrine; 39 tablets of ecstacy; 2,184 tablets of Bangkok pills; 2,050 grams of cocaine; 706,418 grams of dried marijuana leaves; 2,684,413 pieces of fully-grown marijuana plants; 73,023 grams of marijuana seeds; 5,607,646 pieces of marijuana seedlings, 10 grams of hashish and 10 grams of heroine or a total market value of P3.9 billion,” he said.

Cabagnot also reported that from January to May 31 this year, the Anti-Narcotics nationwide conducted a total of 9,940 positive narcotics operations. He added that 12,276 people were arrested and 8,127 cases filed in court

A total of 28,430 grams of shabu; 2,977,371 marijuana plants; 625,446 marijuana seedlings; 1,009,119 dried marijuana leaves; 265,000 grams of hashish; 15,331 grams of marijuana seeds; 6,308 kilograms of cocaine; and 465 liters of Ephedrine were seized. All these have an estimate value of P801.5 million.

He told the President that the strategy being adapted by the PNP in the war against illicit drugs is prescribed in the Master Plan SANGBANAT: BANAT (Barangay Against Narcotics Abusers and Traffickers).

Cabanot defined BANAT as a sustained campaigned against the use, distribution/trafficking and manufacture of illicit drugs, and the rehabilitation of drug dependents.

“The strategy empowers the barangay as a self-policing entity in clearing itself of drug affectation,” he stressed.

Records show that as of May this year, 4,006 or 9.5 percent of the 42,061 barangays nationwide are affected by drugs involving 1.8 million regular users and 1.6 million occasional users.

He also said that while the emergence and discovery of clandestine laboratories indicate a daring shift in strategy by drug traders to expand local production, shabu supply suffered a major setback during the months of February and March after the interdiction of 853 kilograms in Quezon City and Zambales and the dismantling of the San Juan clandestine laboratory.

Cabagnot said that based on intelligence reports, there is a lull in illegal drug trade which is “attributed to the anticipation and fear of the new drug law.”

“The PNP foresees a drastic downtrend of the illegal drug market in the coming months due to Republic Act No. 9165 and the imposition of stringent responsibility and public accountability check on drug enforcers,” he said.

Gov’t prepared to fund contingency measures in calamity-stricken areas, says Boncodin

The government is prepared to finance contingency measures to speed up the relief and rehabilitation of areas in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon hit by continuous rains brought about by monsoon rains and typhoon “Gloria.”

In a radio interview, Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin noted that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had already alerted various government agencies to use, if necessary, their individual Quick Response Fund (QRF).

At kung kukulangin ay magsabi lang sa amin sa DBM (And if it’s not sufficient, they need to only inform the Department of Budget and Management),” Boncodin said.

To date, Boncodin said, she considers the government’s calamity fund as very much adequate.

“So far, ang nakikita ko, yung calamity fund natin ay sapat na sapat pa (I deem that the calamity fund is very much sufficient),” she said.

On Monday, the President ordered the release of P300 million to various national government agencies engaged in relief and rehabilitation activities in calamity-stricken areas.

Boncodin said that out of the P300 million QRF, P100 million will go to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P80 million to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), P60 million to the Office of Civil Defense, and P60 million to the Department of National Defense.

According to Boncodin, arrangements are now being made to formally transfer funds for flood control projects in the National Capital Region (NCR) from the DPWH to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) as ordered by the President.

She said that funds for flood control projects in Metro Manila are adequate.

In a related development, the DSWD said that as of Tuesday, it has released, through local government units, non-government and government organizations, the amount of P3,073,887.23 in their efforts to help those affected by the typhoon.

The DSWD also attended to a total of 58,276 families of which 4,667 families or 20,651 individuals were accommodated in 96 evacuation centers.

Relief operations are continuously being conducted through the concerted efforts of the member-agencies of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

GMA gets briefing on policies on command responsibility

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was presented today with the situation briefing on the policies on Command Responsibility in the Philippine National Police.

PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management Virtus Gil gave the lecture during the Summit on Kidnapping, Illegal Drugs and Command Responsibility at the Manila Hotel.

During the briefing, Gil recounted the background of command responsibility through the series of executive orders and memorandum circulars.

Gil defined the doctrine of command responsibility as the accountability of every police commissioned officer (PCO) to closely supervise, coordinate, control and monitor the discharge of duties by subordinates as well as the responsibility to control and monitor the activities of others who are operating within his area of jurisdiction and to take preventive or corrective measures as may be warranted.

Gil also underlined the accountability of any government official and supervisor, or officer of the PNP or that of any other law enforcement agency in the principle of “neglect of duty” in the doctrine.

He said this official shall be held accountable if “he has knowledge that a crime or offense shall be committed, or has been committed by his subordinates, or by others within his area of responsibility; and, despite such knowledge, he did not take preventive or corrective action either before, during or immediately after its commission.”

Gil also stated the principle of “presumption of knowledge” under the doctrine, which defines that a government official or supervisor or PNP commander, is presumed to have knowledge of the commission of irregularities or criminal offenses in any of the following circumstances:

  • When the irregularities or illegal acts are widespread within his area of jurisdiction;
  • When the irregularities or illegal acts have been repeatedly or regularly committed within his area of responsibility;
  • When members of his immediate staff or office personnel are involved.

Also under the doctrine, the director or commander of a unit or chief of office in general shall have command responsibility over personnel under his direct supervision and control.

“He shall assume the responsibility for all that his unit accomplishes and fails to accomplish. This principle shall apply down to the supervisor of the smallest functional unit of the PNP. He is also responsible for every breach of discipline, lapse in security, abuse of authority or violation of human rights or law committed by the mend under him,” Gil stated.

In a situation where a police commissioned officer of a higher echelon is present in the area and has knowledge of a commission of misconduct or its imminent act but fails to take appropriate action, he is administratively liable and accountable for the said misdemeanor or unlawful act.

Likewise under the doctrine, responsibility for an improper act of a PNP officer ends at the level of a director/commander having found responsible according to the rule as specified and to the extent of effect of consequence of the improper act to the police organization or particular area of jurisdiction.

“If the outcome affected the whole PNP or the whole country, two or more regions or an area more than the limit span of one region, the responsibility and liability may be determined through the conduct of investigation up to the level of the director general,” Gil said.

If the affected organization is a regional officer or a national support unit, the PNP chief shall determine the responsibility.

If the consequence affected a region, responsibility may be determined through investigation up to the level of the regional director and in case of the lowest units, responsibility may be determined through the conduct of investigation up to the level of chief of police as the chain of command starts with him, Gil added.

Based on Memorandum Circular No. 95-03 of the National Police Commission, the rules in determining the level of command responsibility are as such:

The commander shall be held responsible not only for the misconduct, abuse of authority, or criminal offense committed by his subordinates but also for gross inefficiency and vicious or immoral habits of the officers and personnel under him.

He would also be held liable and responsible in such instances: when the commander cooperated in the commission of abuse of authority, improper or unlawful act by subordinates;

When the commander used his command authority or position to force or induce his subordinates to perform the improper or unlawful act; and

When the commander has previous knowledge of his subordinate’s improper or unlawful act but tolerated or failed to do anything to prevent the occurrence of the same.

GMA visits flooded areas in 2 Pampanga towns

GUAGUA, Pampanga–President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today visited the evacuation centers in this town and nearby Sasmuan to personally assess the damage wrought by monsoon rains and typhoon “Gloria” in her home province of Pampanga.

From the Manila Hotel where she attended the Summit on Illegal Drugs, Kidnapping and Command Responsibility organized by the Philippine National Police, the President motored directly to Barangay San Pablo of this town.

Then the President and her party proceeded to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Sasmuan.

The President waded through floodwaters in going to the public school buildings in the two barangays that served as evacuation centers.

Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), who accompanied the President, distributed relief goods to families housed in the two evacuation centers.

Aside from Soliman, those who accompanied the President in her visit to evacuation centers here included Executive Director Melchor Rosales of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), Northern Luzon Command chief Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Garcia, and provincial officials led by Pampanga Gov. Lito Lapid and Vice Governor Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo.

On Monday, the President also made a surprise visit to flooded areas and evacuation center in Barangay Catmon, Malabon City and in Valenzuela City.

Late Saturday night, at the height of the heavy downpour, the President also visited the Tatalon Estate in Quezon City.

The President has earlier ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the initial amount of P300 million for relief and rehabilitation efforts in calamity-stricken areas in Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon.

Explosives supplier of Metro bombing suspect arrested, presented to GMA

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today congratulated newly designated Philippine National Police chief Deputy Director General Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. and Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Dionisio Santiago for the arrest of the alleged supplier of explosives of an Indonesian who claimed responsibility for the series of bombings in Metro Manila on December 30, 2000.

The suspected explosives supplier, Hussain Ramos, 35, alias Ali Ramos/Abu Ali, of Barangay Caloocan, Marawi City, was presented to the President in Malacañang by Ebdane and Santiago.

During the presentation of the bombing suspect, the President said it is a “buena mano” (a first) for the new chief of PNP who officially took over as the officer in charge of the PNP only last July 4.

According to the President, joint Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police personnel arrested Abu Ali by virtue of Warrant of Arrest No. 15859 issued by Judge Marivic Trabajo Daray on July 8 for violation of Section 1 of Republic Act 8294.

Abu Ali was implicated by Rohman Fathur Al-Ghozi alyas Abu Saad as his source of more than one ton of explosives and accessories stashed in Gen. Santos City.

The explosives were to be transported to Singapore when recovered by the elements of the AFP and the PNP last January 2002 at the house of a certain Datu Malagat.

Al Ghozi is the Indonesian member of the Jima’ah Islamiah arrested last January 2002 in Manila. He admitted in a signed sworn statement his participation in the December 30 bombings and the procurement of more than one tons of explosives and accessories.

During the initial tactical interrogation, Abu Ali admitted his participation in the procurement of boxes of explosives sometime during the recent Ramadan (November 15-November 17 2001) to be transported to Singapore.

Source: Office of the Press Secretary

Office of the Press Secretary. (2002). [The President’s Day: July 9, 2002]. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20100514032833/http://www.news.ops.gov.ph/archives2002/july9.htm