todays top stories

BIR destroys seized cigarettes, machines worth billions of pesos

August 23, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has vowed to go after those involved in the illegal manufacturing of tobacco products and other consumer goods as cigarette-making machines and various counterfeit cigarettes estimated to be worth more than a billion pesos were destroyed Thursday. BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa said the destruction of equipment and cigarettes was a message to those who are engaging in illicit activities that the government will not hesitate to make necessary arrests and confiscations. “We want to send the message to our taxpayers who are not registering with the BIR that they are doing this illicit manufacturing of cigarettes. The government is really bent on running against these illegal activities of people who are manufacturing cigarettes without paying excise tax,” said BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa. He said: “”This is to show the perpetrators that the government is not sleeping on its job to really curb this manufacturing of illegal [cigarettes] because with this we can stop the production and therefore we can collect the right taxes, because we need these taxes for our Build Build Build project.” Guballa said it was the first time that the destruction of the equipment and cigarettes was conducted in Mindanao. During the destruction, the boxes of cigarettes were shredded while the various cigarette-making equipment were smashed using a heavy-duty jackhammer. BIR Strike Team chief Remedios Advincula said the tobacco products were estimated to be worth more than a billion pesos, which would include penalties. The machines’ total worth was pegged at P120 million. BIR regional director for Northern Mindanao Nuzar Balatero said the destroyed products and equipment were confiscated in three separate raids at various locations on May 26, 2018, on the strength of mission orders that allowed bureau operatives to conduct raids. The cigarette factories were located at the Alwana Business Park in Barangay Cugman and in Barangay Poblacion, Villanueva town, Misamis Oriental. “The destruction of these machineries is mandated by law to ensure that these devices can never be used in pursuing illegal manufacturing of cigarettes,” Balatero said. Advincula said various charges for violation of tax law, particularly unlawful possession of fake stamps, were already filed at the Department of Justice against the people behind the production of counterfeit tobacco products. He, however, did not name the respondents only saying that there foreign nationals as well as Filipinos involved.

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Convicted murderer, rapist of UP students maybe released soon

August 22, 2019

MANILA (MDN National News digital, August 21) - Convicted murderer and rapist of 2 UP students, former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, maybe released from prison, a top official of the Department of Justice said. This, if his good conduct time allowance would pass the computation according to Department of Justic Secretary Menardo Guevarra. He said  “Mayor Sanchez’s good conduct time allowance is being recomputed pursuant to the new law and a recent Supreme Court ruling.” Guevarra said that aside from Sanchez, there are also 10,000 inmates who may also qualify said commutation of sentence, based on Republic Act 10592, the law that increase GCTA given as privilege to inmates who have been changed while inside the prison. The GCTA gives additional time to be deducted from the inmate's sentence as his award for conducting good behavior. “Hindi lang prospective but retroactive ang application so that benefits lahat ng nakakulong na preso kasama si Mayor Sanchez na matagal na ring nakakulong mae entitle doon sa recomputation kaya baka makalabas na sya,” the Justice Secretary pointed out. The DOJ secretary said they are now computing the prisoner's GCTA in close coordination with the Bureau of Corrections. “Libu-libo yan. So marami ang kino-compute na GCTA…So I guess madami ang makaka-labas. Ang tingin namin within the next two months, thousands of persons under detention would be released,” Guevarra claimed. Meanwhile, the mother of the UP student who was raped and murdered in an interview with abs cbn said she was sad upon hearing the news that the rapist and murderer of her daughter would be given a chance by the government. She claimed the justice system in the Philippines is very unfair. "Bakit pa makakalabas ang isang taong convicted of murder and rape? she asked. 

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Police kill 2 in shootout; seize P6.8-M shabu in Pasig

August 22, 2019

MANILA (National News digital, August 22) - Anti-drug police operatives killed two alleged drug dealer and seized P6.8 Million worth of illegal drugs known as shabu during a drug buy-bust Thursday morning in Pasig City. Police operatives identified the slain drug dealers as Sampuano Rason and Jalal Salamoden and they also seized illegal drugs during the raid. Investigation disclosed that joint operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), together with the members of Pasig City Police office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - National Capital Region (PDEA-NCR) conducted a drug buy-bust along Felix Avenue in Barangay Dela Paz around 2 a.m. The suspects reportedly sensed the presence of police operatives during the buy-bust and fired at an undercover agent which also resulted in a brief exchange of gun fires. The drug suspects, Rason and Salamoden died on the spot, the police reported. The joint team recovered from the slain suspects a motorcycle, two guns, ammos, marked money and one kilo of shabu.  General Guillermo Eleazer, NCRPO chief, said the slain suspects belong to a drug syndicated headed by a certain Amim Imam Boratong, who is currently detained at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).     

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Bambi urges party mates to serve people honestly

August 22, 2019

MISAMIS Oriental--Provincial governor Yevgeny Vincente “Bambi” Emano urged Padayon Pilipino party mates to serve honestly while reminding them that “political mudslinging” and “intrigues” are destructive and anti-development. Emano issued the statement in reaction to reports reaching his office about the resurgence of various unfounded intrigues [not coming from Padayon], which are politically motivated. “We [Padayon] must be conscious of what we say and be careful of the things that we interpret, especially if these accusations border on truth and hearsay,” Emano said during the flag raising ceremony one Monday morning. He said that his administration always adheres to the principle of the Padayon Pilipino political party, which is always receptive to complaints and is willing to rectify its shortcomings. In consonance with the Padayon Pilipino’s avowed political teachings, “I am encouraging all members of the Padayon to get rid of politicking, especially if doing so would insinsuate political conflict and misunderstanding,” Emano said. He said that the Padayon, as a respected political party, never thrive on political actions that intend to mock and besmirch the dignity of the political adversary. The Padayon Pilipino has been an object of black propaganda during the midterm election in May this year, the bulk of the mudslinging was directed to the programs of the Emano administration. In spite of the endless political attacks that went down to the gutter level, the Padayon party mates have taken the political affront and rudeness with humility while explaining the party’s program of the government to the people. “Our [Padayon] commitment to the people is to serve them with honesty and pride that we must now allow ourselves to succumb to the pitfall of political aggrandizement and destruction,” Emano said. -0- [Cris Diaz with a report from Louie Maliza]

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Rebel defector discloses arms cache in Agusan Sur

August 22, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A rebel, who defected and surrendered to the military, guided the military to a hidden arms cache of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur, the military said. An army report reaching here said that three caliber 30 Garand Rifles were unearthed in the hinterlands of Hugmakan, a mountain village of San Juan, Bayugan City. Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, the spokesperson of the army’s Special Forces Battalion in Bayugan, said that a rebel, a tribal member, who defected to the military disclosed the exact of the arms cache. He said that the recovered firearms were buried on February 2019, two days after the terrorist NPAs released 14 hostages - the two Army Enlisted Personnel and 12 CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAAs). Punsalan said that the rebel defector disclosed the exact location because he was the rebel who was ordered to hide the firearms. He said that the rebel identified only as a.k.a. Sion defected on August 13, 2019, and surrendered to the military after experiencing the continuous exploitation and abuses committed by NPA terrorists to the tribal community. Punsalan said that “Sion” could avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government where a rebel is extended financial assistance for livelihood and payment of firearms. In Bukidnon, the military also recovered several high powered firearms believed to be owned by the communist NPA rebels. -0-

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Barangay official, wife nabbed for illegal drugs in Cotabato City

August 21, 2019

COTABATO CITY (MDN Mindanao News digital, August 21) - A barangay official and his wife was arrested Tuesday by joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the soldiers in the area and confiscated big sachets of illegal drugs with an estimated market value of P340,000. Arrested by the army and PDEA were identified as Abdulbayan Diocolano Kamsa alias Abdulbayan Diocolano, 46, incumbent barangay councilor of Tamontaka and his wife Zuraiba Diocolano, 46. The arrest came after several weeks of surveillance, the police reported. Juvenal Azurin, PDEA Bangsamoro director said the arrested couple were listed as high valued target and believed to be supplying the illegal drugs demand in barangay Tamontaka. Juvenal said seized during the joint operations of government operatives include two large sachets of suspected shabu, three mobile phones believed used during drug distribution in the market, unlicensed 45 caliber pistol, a wallet with various identification cards, bullets and documents which can be used during the filing of charges and gathering of evidence. The PDEA official in ARMM said the successful raid was jointly supported by the Army's 5th Special  Forces Battalion and the Cotabato City police force. Last year, PDEA-ARMM also raided the house of a former councilor identified as Josephine Mangindalat  and her husband Elmer, a former village chief. The couple's arrest also yielded several sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” in the suspects’ home along Quezon Ave., this city.  

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