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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A LETTER purportedly written by a transport group asked the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, to help the victims of alleged graft and corruption inside the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

In an open letter addressed to the Coronacion Chiva “Waling-Waling” Command of the NPA, the Independent Alliance of Transport Operators (IATO) asked the rebels to bring justice to the complainants who sued Atty. Rommel Duron, LTFRB hearing officer, and Henry Mamon, former LTFRB driver for corruption at the government office.

The IATO said the transport sector has lost hope and trust in LTFRB Chairman Alberto Suansing and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) whom the group accused of protecting Duron and company.

The transport group said only the revolutionary movement can help the transport sector achieve justice.

Duron and Mamon are facing extortion and graft cases filed by the Alliance of Panay Taxi Operators and Drivers Association and Association of Taxi Operators in Panay.

The complaints stemmed from the allegations of taxi operators Salvacion Ruiz and Tony Caram that Duron and Mamon made them pay P30,000 to P40,000 for their taxi franchise when the regular fee is only P810.

Operators of vans for hire and other public utility vehicles are reportedly preparing to come out and dump more cases against Duron and Mamon.

Duron and Mamon had denied the accusations saying the issue stemmed from his insistence to implement the installation of receipt issuing taxi meters.

Duron said taxi operators, in connivance with LTFRB regional director Porfirio Clavel, opposed the use of the digital meters.

Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Police Regional Office (PRO-6) director, said they will first verify the existence of the letter before reacting on the issue.

“We cannot react on this because we have procedures to follow. And we have to cross check the information with other intelligence units,” Cuevas said.

Cuevas said complaints against any person, be it in the public or private sector, should be lodged with the proper forum.

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE New People’s Army (NPA) bombed a cellsite of Globe Telecom in Negros Occidental over the weekend to force the firm to pay P88 million in “back revolutionary taxes.”

 

The latest bombing happened at Brgy. Mabini, Escalante City Saturday afternoon which destroyed P2-million cellsite tower of Globe.

 

Based on police reports from Escalante City, the NPA has threatened to bomb the Escalante cellsite if the telecom giant fails to pay revolutionary taxes. The threats came true over the weekend.

 

Escalante police chief Santiago Rapiz said the rebels used an improvised explosive device on the cellsite.

 

The blast wrecked the power room and the perimeter fence of the cellsite, investigators said.

 

This is the second time that the Escalante City cellsite was bombed, the first one was in 2003.

 

Capt. Lowen Gil Marquez, chief of the AFP Civil Relations Service in Western Visayas, confirmed the P88-million demanded by the NPA from Globe.

 

Marquez said the bombing is also part of rebel operations relative to the upcoming anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front December 26.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

ARE the bullets issued to the PNP Regional Mobile Group (RMG-6) based in Victorias City, Negros Occidental substandard?

 

This question will be answered once the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) has finished evaluating the live M-16 bullets issued to RMG-6 members found in the ambush site at Brgy. Estado, Victorias City Wednesday afternoon.

 

The ambush mounted by the New People’s Army resulted in the death of PO1 Jean Tacadao of San Lorenzo, Guimaras and wounded Police Officers 1 Annie Lou Patricio, Jocelyn Tibar, Marife Cantomayor and Melanie Tupas.

 

Reports from Bacolod City said Supt. Remus Zacharias Canieso, RMG-6 director, only had magazine left in his M-16 Armalite rifle when reinforcements arrived at the ambush scene.

 

Canieso and the surviving RMG-6 members said most of their bullets did not fire as they fought back the rebels.

 

But Chief Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Police Regional Office-6 director, said they cannot conclude yet if the bullets issued to the RMG-6 were substandard amidst reports these were manufactured in China.

 

Cuevas said they are evaluating the ammunitions and other possible factors why the bullets did not fire.

 

The PRO-6 chief said suppliers of bullets and firearms comply with the standards set by the PNP national command.

 

“Everything is being looked into right now. There are many factors that might have resulted in the dud bullets. We can’t conclude that these ammunitions are substandard. We are evaluating all possible causes,” he added.

 

Cuevas yesterday awarded the PNP Wounded Personnel Medals to the four injured RMG members for their bravery during ambush.

 

The awarding was held at the Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Bacolod City where the wounded police officers are recuperating.

 

Cuevas also ordered the whole PRO-6 to stay alert for future rebel attacks as the Communist Party of the Philippines is set to celebrate its anniversary December 26.

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