Police chief, jail guard cousins of escapee

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat, Philippines – Former Maguindanao provincial police director Superintendent Piang Adam, who escaped from the provincial jail here Tuesday, is cousin to both the police director of Sultan Kudarat and the jail guard who allegedly helped him escape.

Sources pointed out Adam is a cousin of provincial police director Senior Superintendent Suharto Teng Tocao and jail guard Taha Kadalum, Adam’s custodian at the provincial jail.

Adam, implicated but not formally indicted in the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao in November last year, escaped from the supposedly well-guarded facility, with officials at a loss on how he managed to bolt jail.

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Ampatuan Jr. Back in Camp Crame for Bail Hearing

MANILA, Philippines – Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., prime suspect in the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao, was brought back Wednesday morning to the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) main camp in Quezon City for a hearing on his petition for bail.

Ampatuan Jr.’s convoy from his detention at the National Bureau of Investigation’s main office in Manila arrived at the PNP’s national headquarters in Camp Crame around 6:20 a.m..

The bail hearing was scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m..

The member of one of the most political clan in Mindanao was brought straight to the makeshift courtroom at the Police Non-Commissioned Officers’ Clubhouse.

Before his trip back to the police camp, Ampatuan Jr. requested to be checked by his doctors at his detention after his blood pressure shot up. The massacre suspect had the same experience before the first hearing last week, where he pleaded not guilty to 46 counts of murder cases filed against him by the government.

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Double murder raps filed vs Senator Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) Senator Panfilo Lacson is facing double murder charges before a local court in a case filed by the Department of Justice Thursday.

Lacson has been linked to the 2000 murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

The case has been raffled off to Manila regional trial court Branch 32 Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina, said Peter Ong, the panel prosecution chairman.

“His [Lacson’s] defense hinges on persecution which we did not give weight [to],” Ong said.

Ong said they also asked the Manila RTC to consolidate the case with Branch 18 where several police officers were also being tried for the murders of Dacer and Corbito, including former Senior Superintendent Cesar Mancao, a key witness who implicated Lacson, the former chief of the Philippine National Police, to the crime.

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Raped or robbed in Ampatuan? The tale of the slain women’s unzipped pants

Most if not all of the women’s pants were unzipped, but this wasn’t the case among the males victimized in the massacre, observes police Chief. Supt. Felicisimo Khu Jr., the head of a group of authorities that investigated the November 23 crime scene in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

“It therefore gives you the impression that the women were raped,” says Khu, deputy director general for administration of the Philippine National Police in Region 12.

But vaginal smear tests conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation yielded negative results. Not one of the 15 women examined had traces of human sperm, Floresto Arizala, chief of the NBI’s Medico-Legal Division said on Monday.

If they were not raped, why then were their pants unzipped, and some even almost pulled down?

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Blue Ribbon seeks graft raps vs FG, others in ZTE mess

The Senate blue ribbon committee has recommended the filing of graft charges against First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo and other personalities involved in the alleged bribery surrounding the $329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) project the government entered with China’s ZTE Corp. in April 2007.

In a press conference Tuesday, committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said there is no doubt that Mr. Arroyo had dipped his hands on the government project. “He was where people who are participants to the project converged,” he said.

GMANews.TV tried contacting Mr. Arroyo’s lawyer, Ruy Rondain, but he could not be reached.

No charges however were recommended for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, but Gordon said she should explain why she did not immediately act on the alleged bribery when it was brought to her attention.

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Bombs found in Metro Manila; destabilization on?

MANILA, Philippines – Is there an ongoing destabilization operation? Yesterday, a bomb was found at the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Quezon City, a day after the Office of the Ombudsman, also in Quezon City, was bombed.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap told reporters the DA incident might be part of a concerted effort to sow destabilization or confusion.

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Murder raps filed vs killers of Peñas

MANILA, Philippines – Murder and double frustrated murder complaints have been filed against the three suspects in the killing of peasant leader Renato “Ka Rene” Peñas and the wounding of his two companions last Friday night.

Police Chief Superintendent Danilo Empedrad, regional director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region 10, said the complaints against Alipio Tumanday and two unidentified suspects had been lodged with the Bukidnon provincial prosecutor’s office.

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Slay target Berroya to bare all in Dacer case

Philippine National Police Col. Reynaldo Berroya (retired) has surfaced and offered to testify in the reopened investigation by the prosecutors into the 2000 killing of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Berroya’s testimony is seen as timely as the two former police officials and suspects in the double-murder case, Cesar Mancao and Glen Dumlao, are due to arrive anytime this weekend or early next week from the United States, being subjects of extradition.

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Gonzalez says Mancao affidavit now in his hands

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on Monday said he now has a copy of the affidavit of former Philippine National Police (PNP) officer Cezar Mancao,

Gonzalez said he is the only one in the country who has the document, and it is currently kept in a bank safe.

“No one has this document except me…I had to place it in a bank vault, baka mawala o ma-ransack sa office. The sensitivity of the affidavit and the implication it can have for some people, I don’t think I can be forgiven if it will be lost,” Gonzalez told journalists.

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Palace: Antique case will not revive death penalty

MANILA, Philippines – As it braced for new calls to revive the death penalty over the gruesome rape-slay case of a 16-year-old girl in Antique province, Malacañang stood firm Friday on its “pro-life” stand.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will remain a “good daughter of the (Catholic) Church” and will reject calls to bring back capital punishment.

“Expected natin na mangyayari yan. Pero we stick by our stand, lalo na si Pangulong Gloria, isang good daughter of the Church [We expect such calls to come. But we stick by our stand, especially Mrs. Arroyo, who is a good daughter of the Church],” he said in an interview on dzXL radio.

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