16 September 2016

Davao rising 2: A fortnight after the blast
DAVAO CITY — As the city rises from the ashes of the deadly Roxas Night Market blast, a relative of one of the victims thanked Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for the city government’s assistance and raising the reward money from P2 million to P3 million for information leading to the arrest and capture of the bombers in the September 2 terrorist act.

Myrna Templanza Sobrecarey, sister-in-law of Evelyn Sobrecarey who died on the spot that fateful night, posted in the Davao City Government’s official Facebook page expressing gratitude to the Duterte-Carpio leadership.

“From the first day of the wake on Sept. 3 until the burial on Sept. 10, the City Government of Davao under the leadership of our Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio did not leave the victims’ families at the hanging situations. You did all your very best,” she said, also thanking other institutions and associations for financial and moral support.

Myrna also wrote a note to President Rodrigo R. Duterte: “To our Pres. Rody Duterte who was there at the Cosmopolitan morgue seeing all those cadavers inside the cadaver bag, I know that the spirit of our Almighty God will give us the comfort and strength.”

Nine suspects have already been identified and charged in relation to the bombing. The names of the prime suspects, five other men, and three other women have yet to be released pending investigation.

Additional CCTVs, barangay profiling

The Davao City Government is considering to install additional closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in key areas as well as implement a profiling system to monitor the movement of local residents and people coming in or going out of the city.

According to the chief of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) Ivan Cortez, this move is an alternative to the proposed National ID System.

Under the CPDO’s proposed system, owners of apartments and hospitality industry establishments will be obliged to record profiles of their tenants and submit the information to their respective barangays.

Cortez said the data can be shared with the police and military if necessary, as this is a good way to track lawless elements and criminals. The proposed system has already been submitted to Mayor Duterte-Carpio for approval.

Security beefed up

The city’s Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) has partnered with Interpol, an intergovernmental organization facilitating police cooperation, to beef up security measures in the wake of the Roxas Night Market bombing.

This tie-up makes Davao City the first local government unit in the country to have a partnership with Interpol, according to PSSCC chief Retired General Benito de Leon. Interpol is an organization based in France and is composed of 190 member countries.

De Leon said the partnership will strengthen intelligence monitoring of lawless groups and their activities. “We are using other means, particularly through the Interpol database and the fusion of all the intelligence networks in the city and outside to better monitor any international threat.”

However, the PSSCC’s move raised speculations that the Night Market bombing was perpetrated by an international group, which De Leon denied: “There is no international group behind the incident.” (AAA/FAG/JAG/PND)

PRRD unfazed by Senate probe
The Duterte administration is committed to a platform of a peaceful, crime-free, corruption-free nation that is not affected by any controversy, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Thursday.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Spokesperson Abella said the vision for the country will never change as President Rodrigo R. Duterte continues to exercise political will to achieve this vision.

“I believe we should, we all need to continue rallying around the desire to have a nation that is a nation for everyone, and that there’s space for everyone,” he said.

This while the Senate holds an investigation in aid of legislation on the alleged extrajudicial killings.

“Antayin ho natin muna ‘yung kabuuan, ‘yung buod ng sasabihin ng testigo po ng Senadora bago po tayo magre-react,” Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said.

“Hindi po tayo sasagot ng basta-basta. Sasagot po tayo ng isang komprehensibong sagot,” the PCO chief said.

Both Palace officials want the Senate probe to be completed before giving comments and reactions.

“I believe, as in all cases, all citizens should maintain a sense of sobriety, and maintain the sense of objectivity,” Spokesperson Abella added.

The Palace spokesman said people do make statements everyday. “While this person may sound credible, it is imperative that each and everyone of us properly weigh whatever he said and respond right.” (LMG/FAG/JAG/PND)

PRRD: My job is to protect our country and make it peaceful for everybody
SAN MIGUEL, BULACAN — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday rallied the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to protect the people and maintain the country’s integrity.

“The most important thing, we are workers of government, paid by the people because we are supposed to maintain the integrity of this Republic,” President Duterte announced here in Camp Tecson during his meeting with AFP officers and enlisted men of the elite First Scout Ranger Regiment.

PRRD said, “While I build a strong army, my job is not really na hanggang tingin lang diyan. It goes beyond higher and higher and that is to protect my country and make it peaceful for everybody.”

On the government peace efforts, the President said, “My job under the Constitution is to look for a peaceful way of settling disputes so we can live together, I can cross the ideological border.”

He was referring to peace talks with communist and Muslim rebels, saying that “my job is to look for peace, not for me, not for us but for our children. Hindi naman lahat ng mga anak natin, mag-army, capable of doing, just studying and doing war until kingdom come. Somehow, in our generation, we have to look for peace or reckoning.”

The Commander-in-Chief recognized the gallantry of the Scout Rangers in the battle fronts and their contributions to the fight against illegal drugs. He was impressed at their firing skills when he personally witnessed a capability demonstration at the camp. (PPA/JAG/PND)