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Category Archives: CRIME

Treñas’ foes try to link him to illegal drugs  

“Politics have no relation to morals.”

 — Niccolo Machiavelli

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY –– Some of the possible rivals of Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas for city mayor have started to sharpen their knives now that the congressman has declared his intention to run again in 2019.

In order to stymie his candidacy, some of Treñas’ prospective opponents have begun “establishing” his supposed links with the slain drug lord, Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr.

The disgraced drug kingpin, who was slain together with his wife, Merriam, in Caticlan, Aklan on August 28, 2016, reportedly cemented his narcotics fiefdom when Treñas was city mayor in 2001-2010.

It did not mean, however, that William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson was in cahoots with the mobsters only because he was the mayor of Chicago when Al Capone terrorized the Windy City.

True or not, Treñas can’t remain silent on the issue.

Sooner or later, he will be forced to answer the accusation lock, stock, and barrel, especially when the election campaign officially starts.

He can afford shrug off the issue today and consider it as a mere “mosquito bite” since it is not yet certain whether he is really running for city mayor or just trying to bluff certain characters.

-o0o-

It was the issue on illegal drugs that prematurely put an exclamation point to the city hall stint of dismissed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, although many of his supporters maintain until today he was innocent and only a victim of political vendetta.

We have been warned always that if we ignore the danger signs, they could spell our ignominy when we least expect it.

Mabilog, confident of his innocence, and his supporters could not believe that a mere “mosquito bite” would turn into a poisonous wound inflicted by a deadly Python when no less than the misinformed Presiden Duterte swallowed the canard hook, line, and sinker.

A lie repeated several times becomes the truth, according to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

But even the truth in politics, more often than not, can’t save any politician from the pit of destruction.

And the rest is history.

-o0o-

Even without a resolution from the Iloilo Provincial Board calling for a speedy investigation of the murder of STL operator Samuel Aguilar, the Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) must pursue all angles and run after the perpetrators.

It doesn’t matter whether the victim was a VIP or an ordinary person. Murder is murder; a crime has been committed in broad daylight when unidentified gun men ambushed Aguilar’s vehicle in Barangay Buyuan, Tigbauan, Iloilo on March 13, 2018.

If a prominent personality can be killed despite the presence of his bodyguards, there is no guarantee that an ordinary victim who walks alone or rides in any vehicle won’t be waylaid and shot fatally by any criminal.

Aguilar was not the first “big name” in the gambling business killed in Iloilo.

Five years ago, Jimmy Punzalan, a retired Philippine Constabulary sergeant and believed to be also engaged in numbers game, was also murdered in cold blood by unknown assailants while resting in his restaurant in Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Punzalan’s killing was never solved.

Let’s hope the twin murders were not connected.

 

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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in CRIME, ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Sleeping cops shouldn’t be shamed

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

–Stephen Covey

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEWARK, New Jersey — I agree that some cops in the Philippines caught sleeping while on duty be meted with disciplinary action, but I don’t agree that they should be berated like kids in front of a national TV.

Sleeping while on duty is indeed a serious offense amid threats from the communist rebels to attack police stations anywhere in the country.

It constitutes negligence and lack of discipline especially if those caught dozing off were not in proper uniform and in terrible shape physically.

They could be disarmed by bad elements and even killed while in dreamland.

They can’t also respond to calls for police assistance from victims of crimes at night time.

Sleeping precinct commanders should be sacked and replaced with those energetic and strong enough to withstand drowsiness on night shift.

-o0o-

I have misgivings though with some police officials who give their junior officers the dressing down in front of TV cameras.

Not all the sleeping beauties are useless or bad cops.

Sleeping is a human foible. Even Hercules and Don Juan fall asleep.

Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson had also been caught sleeping in cowboy and crime movies, but they always emerged as outstanding lawmen and ten feet taller than the bad guys they had killed.

Police officials can always conduct a surprise visit in various precincts even without the media coverage and fanfare.

They can always throw the books on erring subordinates without the need to insult and embarrass them in media.

While most of these police officials are motivated by call for duty, protocol and professionalism and their wrath seem to be valid, some of them have hidden agenda.

When they retire several months or years later, they don’t only become civilians, they become candidates in elections for a public office.

If they can shame subordinates for the sin of sleeping, they must, first and foremost, do the same to the rogue cops, the real bad eggs in uniform notoriously engaged in illegal drugs and illegal gambling.

-o0o-

When Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) committed crimes, some of them were sentenced to death in foreign courts even if their guilt wasn’t established beyond reasonable doubt.

In most cases, the Philippine government wasn’t able to save wrongly convicted OFWs from the death row.

Either news of the sentencing in court reached late in Malacanang, or there was lack of coordination and miscommunication among labor attaches and other concerned officials.

If the OFWs are the victims of crimes perpetrated by their employers, the chances that they can get support from Malacanang through our embassy are also sometimes nil.

Especially if embassy officials face a blank wall like in the case of 29-yar-old Joanna Demafiles of Sara, Iloilo whose body was found inside a freezer in a Kuwait apartment recently.

As of this writing, efforts by Lebanese authorities have been undertaken to capture the suspects, a couple and Demafiles’ former employers, who fled to Lebanon after abandoning the apartment in 2016.

Demafiles had been identified through her fingerprints, according to RP officials in Kuwait. Her family is demanding justice. They wanted her body back in Sara, Iloilo.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2018 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Duterte appoints new Iloilo, Negros judges

“I love judges, and I love courts. They are my ideals, that typify on earth what we shall meet hereafter in heaven under a just God.”
–William Howard Taft

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If I were House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, I would refrain from further humiliating detained Senator Leila De Lima.
In his most recent media conference, the former cabinet official of then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo lambasted De Lima calling her as the “No. 1 drug lord in the Philippines.”
True or not, in our culture we don’t kick somebody who is already down. Especially a woman.
We never heard the same level of vitriol and angry words from past speakers like Nicanor Yñiguez, Ramon Mitra Jr., Jose De Venecia, Arnulfo Fuentebella, and Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

.-o0o-

President Duterte has appointed the following judges for the islands of Panay and Negros:
-Daniel Antonio Gerardo S. Amular (RTC Branch 35, Iloilo City);
-Oscar Leo S. Billena (RTC Branch 70 Barotac Viejo, Iloilo);
-Jose E. Mauricio E. Gomez (RTC Branch 71 Barotac Viejo, Iloilo);
-Nelita Jesusa Arboleda-Bacaling (RTC Branch 72 Guimbal, Iloilo);
-Gemalyn Faunillo-Tarol (RTC Branch 76, Janiuay, Iloilo);
-Ernesto L. Abijay, Jr. (RTC Branch 10 San Jose, Antique);
-Josefina Fulo-Muego (RTC Branch 13 Culasi, Antique);
-Phoebe A. Gargantiel-Balbin (RTC Branch 45 Bacolod City, Negros Occidental);
-Edwin B. Gomez (RTC Branch 77 Sipalay City, Negros Occidental);
-Gwendolyn I. Jimenea-Tiu (RTC Branch 60 Cadiz City, Negros Occidental);
-Reginald M. Fuentebella (RTC Branch 73 Sagay City, Negros Occidental);
-Mila D. Yap-Camiso (RTC Branch 74 La Carlota City, Negros Occidental);
-Gertrude Belgica Jiro (MTC Dumangas, Iloilo);
-Kathryn Rose A. Hitalia-Baliatan (MTC Miag-ao, Iloilo);
-Meliza Joan Berano Robite (MTCC Branch 2 Iloilo City);
-Larnie Fleur B. Palma-Kim (MTCC Branch 6, Iloilo City);
-Mark Anthony D.R. Polonan (MTCC Branch 8, Iloilo City);
-Rysty Ann C. Espinosa-Borja (MTCC Branch 9, Iloilo City);
-Joan Marie B. Bargas-Betita (3rd MCTC Malinao-Lezo-Numancia, Aklan);
-Maria Fe Macabales-Taal (3rd MCTC Patnongon-Bugasong-Valderrama, Antique);
-Joevy Paclibar Velnzuela (5th MCTC Sigma-Sapian-Jamindan, Capiz);
-Kathleen Gigante Delantar (MTCC Branch 2 Roxas City, Capiz);
-Jeeli Panaguiton Espinosa (2nd MCTC Buenavista-San Lorenzo, Guimaras);
-Bienvenido B. Llanes Jr. (MTC Pontevedra, Negros Occidental);
-Jose Meno C. Ruiz (MTCC Escalante City, Negros Occidental);
-Jose Manuel A. Lopez (MTCC Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental); and
-Maria Concepcion Elumba Rivera (MTCC, La Carlota City, Negros Occidental).

-o0o-

WE can’t blame Mayor Alex Centena of Calinog, Iloilo if his presence has been sorely missed in important gatherings like the League of Municipalities.
Ever since President Duterte mentioned Centena’s name as among those allegedly included in narco-politics, the dashing former chair of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) during the Marcos years has reportedly refused to join in various social and political events in Iloilo.
“He has become security conscious,” noticed a former broadcaster from Cabatuan, Iloilo, who is familiar with Centena’s activities during the halcyon years.
“The mayor stays in his safe house most of the time and his whereabouts can’t be ascertained even by some of his municipal staff in regular days and during weekend.”

WEIGHT

He became reclusive and lost weight, the former broadcaster added.
Centena have reportedly cancelled all his out-of-town commitments and refused interviews with reporters who come to Calinog.
Duterte has threatened to kill those involved in trafficking and manufacturing of illegal drugs, including some local government executives.
More than 7,000 have been killed nationwide since the Duterte administration launched the “Oplan Tokhang” against known drug pushers and users.
Centena has repeatedly denied links to any drug lord, but admitted slain Iloilo City-based drug lord Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr. once visited his house where he maintains a mini-zoo.

 
 

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Iloilo police ‘task force’ once linked to EJK

“Even in killing men, observe the rules of propriety.”
–CONFUCIUS

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Even before the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) terrorized criminals in Davao City, the territory of President Rodrigo Duterte, a police “task force” in Iloilo City was already making headlines in the late 80’s and early 90’s for links to the now infamous tagline “extra-judicial killing” or EJK.
The dreaded “Task Force Iron Eagle” led by one Colonel Rolando Maclang, operated under the tutelage of the Metrodistrict Police Command (Metrodiscom), now Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).
Maclang had been convicted for the kidnapping and murder of a woman Filipino-Chinese cockfighting habitue, Obing Cocjin, and is now serving a jail term in the New Bilibid Prison.
Bodies of EJK victims were mostly dumped in the now Sen. Benigno Aquino Avenue, formerly known as Iloilo Diversion Road when it was still grassy, muddy and dark.
Under the watch of the late former city councilor Achilles Plagata, Metrodiscom earned notoriety for alleged involvement in EJKs where the victims were mostly thieves, rapists, drug pushers, and members of the underworld.

COUNCILOR

Plagata was a former police colonel who became a city councilor in the 90’s after his retirement. He was swashbuckling and tough-talking and had no mercy for criminals.
Well-loved and feared by police scalawags, he could have been “Iloilo City’s Rodrigo Duterte” had he ran and won for city mayor.
Like Duterte, Plagata also used cuss words and diatribes to torment bad elements in society.
His mere presence in police offices would strike fear in the hearts of lousy policemen who got dressed down like kindergarten pupils.
Task Force Iron Eagle crossed my mind when I leaned that alleged former executioner, retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas, corroborated the testimony of fellow hitman Edgar Matobato linking President Duterte to the so-called DDS.
When Plagata retired in police service until his stint as elected city official, nobody from among his former henchmen ratted against their former operations.
In other words, Plagata took good care all his minions even during his civilian life.
The likes of Lascañas and Matobato were unheard of during Plagata’s “reign of terror.”

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Duterte might clear some but not all Iloilo ‘narco-mayors’

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
— Plato

By Alex P. Vidal

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NEW YORK CITY –– Some Filipino-Americans here said Pinoy illegal immigrants in the United States should stop worrying “because the Trump administration will never touch them with a ten-foot pole unless they commit a crime and violate federal laws.”
There are so many important things to be prioritized in the White House, according to them.
President Trump’s executive order banning entry of Muslims from seven countries for 90 days was part of his campaign promise that he needed to implement or his supporters would rib him, they added.
The controversial executive order has been temporarily suspended after being torpedoed by a state judge.
“Only those with criminal records will be the first to go,” Merlinda, wife of a federal official, told me in a birthday party in Manhattan recently.
“Filipinos are not criminals. They have contributed a lot in the labor and economy of the United State. They are not targets of the threat of mass deportation.”

-o0o-

Misinformation, not miscommunication, will be the king-sized obstacle of the four Iloilo “narco-mayors” in their quest to clear themselves and convince President Rodrigo Duterte that they’re not the illegal drug trade’s Real McCoys.
Miscommunication can be remedied because of mass media’s active involvement in the issue.
Misinformation will further exacerbate the mayors’ woes because of false hopes and false alarm like the recent report that the mayors’ names have already been removed from the “Dutertelist.”
To “confirm” that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been tasked to exonerate the mayors is both miscommunication and misinformation.
President Duterte merely asked the DILG to investigate the allegations against the 160 local government executives on the “Dutertelist.”

AUTHORIZE

He never authorized the DILG to decide who should be declared innocent and who should remain in the shame list.
The accusation that the 160 local government executives were involved in illegal drug trade came from the president’s mouth based on tips provided by his intelligence network and field investigators.
The president regularly airs his diatribes against wrongdoers in police and government–including his cussing- through the media.
If President Duterte will decide to clear anyone, he will even apologize if necessary.
The grapevine said the president might remove the names of some but not all.

 
 

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Retired Iloilo top cop caught ‘sleeping on the job’

“Let me be clear about this. I don’t have a drug problem. I have a police problem.”

Keith Richards

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If ever the four Iloilo “narco-mayors” will be cleared, it should be President Rodrigo Duterte who will announce it because he was the one who made the accusation in August 2016.
People, particularly the Ilonggos, will only believe and listen to what the president will say next.
Not to any of his subalterns. Not to any agency under the Office of the President.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will have no credibility “clearing” the embattled mayors unless explicitly ordered by the president.
The DILG was supposed to protect the four mayors and other local chief executives implicated in illegal drug trade before their names landed on the “Dutertelist” in presumption that they could only be victims of political harassment and vendetta.
The DILG also can’t declare with absolute certainty that the names of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones, Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, and Carles Mayor Sigfriedo Betita have been removed from the “Dutertelist” if the president hasn’t made a latest pronouncement regarding the hullabaloo.
Even if the DILG will “clear” the four mayors but President Duterte didn’t confirm it, people will remain suspicious and pessimistic.

-o0o-

THIS retired police superintendent, formerly assigned in the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) or Camp Delgado in Port San Pedro, Iloilo City, is lucky he is no longer in service when President Duterte assumed power.
The retired police official would have joined the more than 200 rogue Metro Manila cops recently insulted and ordered by President Duterte to be assigned in Basilan.
President Duterte would have been embarrassed by the offense made by the now retired police official albeit he can’t dismiss him from police service.
Not all of the 200 rogue cops were implicated in crimes that would warrant their outright dismissal.

CASES

Either they were facing administrative cases for being AWOL (absent without official leave), or were caught moonlighting or doing “extra jobs” not related to their mandate as law enforcers.
This retired police official, who is now a top adviser of a prominent Iloilo City executive, was once spotted in a downtown gay bar when a city hall task force on anti-drugs, pornography and prostitution conducted a surprise raid.
He was not there to moonlight as bouncer. The retired police official, who was then active in police service, was literally snoring near the dance floor when members of the task force barged in.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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‘Small Time Lottery’

“Forget the lottery. Bet on yourself instead.”
— Brian Koslow

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By Alex P. VIdal

NEW YORK CITY — If security guards will check all the cabs that enter the drive-in motels, pension and lodging houses for possible presence of minors in Iloilo City in the Philippines as mandated by a city ordinance, only few customers will have the guts to enter in these premises especially during the Valentine’s Day.
Most customers checking in via taxis will never compromise their privacy for obvious reasons, thus they will resist any attempt from security guards to check them and their companions at the risk of being denied entry.
Drive-in motels, pension and lodging houses, however, are mandated by the ordinance to reject minors or be penalized.
Good for the campaign of the Iloilo City Task Force on Morals and Values Formation (TFMVF) to protect our minors from sexual predators.
Bad for motel and pension house business.
Let’s hope that this campaign by the TFMVF won’t be another case of ningas cogon.
Task force head George Duron specifically mentioned Valentine’s Day as the specific day they would strictly monitor these establishments.
We hope that before and after the Valentine’s Day, TFMVF will continue to implement the ordinance.
Those who bring minors inside motels and lodging houses are not only sexual predators. Some are “normal” characters who happen to have partners not yet of legal age but are either sexually active or victims of blackmail, exploitation and deception.
TFMVF will fill in the blank left by negligent parents.

-o0o-

Unless the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) increases the share of the local government units and the police under its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Small Town Lottery (STL) will be dismissed as Small Time Lottery.
Under the new IRR, it was reported that the city or municipal government gets three percent of the revenue; congressional district, 0.25 percent; provincial government, 0.75 percent; and the Philippine National Police (PNP), 2.50 percent.
Because of the “small share”, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has expressed worries that both the police and municipal mayors might not be able exert strong efforts to clamp down on “jueteng” to protect STL’s interest in their areas.
Defensor’s warning has a solid basis. Both STL and “jueteng” had similar mechanics when STL was first launched in 1987 under the Cory Aquino administration.

FRONT

Unknown to authorities, “jueteng” operators used STL as a front.
To add insult, it was found out in a Congressional hearing following the end of STL operations in 1990 that franchises for STL had been awarded to the same people behind “jueteng.”
It may be recalled that it was Defensor’s cousin, the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who exposed in September 2012 that money from “jueteng” amounted to P30 billion annually.
“Jueteng” operated openly in at least six cities in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces.
If STL will continue as “small time lottery”, illegal gambling operators could “buy” the loyalty of corrupt law enforcers and municipal mayors.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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