Items filtered by date: Sunday, 09 July 2017

Marijuana in candies: 2 arrested in school

By: Maricar Cinco - Correspondent / @maricarcincoINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer

Photo:Some of the ingredients being used for marijuana candies. —PHOTO COURTESY OF LAGUNA PNP

SAN PEDRO CITY — Police arrested two persons for allegedly producing candies laced with marijuana, which authorities feared could end up in schools and taken by children.

Supt. Vicente Cabatingan, chief of the Laguna police intelligence unit, on Monday said mixing marijuana in candies seemed to be a new way for dealers to conceal the drugs.

The suspects said they had learned how to spike candies with marijuana in YouTube.


On Saturday, police arrested Bobby Albert Bobcock, a 32-year-old Filipino-American, from his apartment at Park Spring Subdivision in the village of San Antonio here.

Police were armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Agripino Morga of the regional trial court in San Pablo City, Laguna.

Cabatingan said police had discovered a small room equipped with an oven, baking molds, glass and wooden pipes and marijuana seeds, that served as Bobcock’s “growing room.”

“They would mix the drugs into chocolates or gelatin and make small candies out of it,” Cabatingan said in a phone interview.

Each piece of candy costed P100 to P500 depending on how much marijuana it contained.

The raid on Bobcock’s apartment also led to the arrest of his accomplice, Jan Allen Ledesma, 23, a computer engineering student at Malayan Colleges Laguna.

Police set up a buy-bust operation inside the school compound in Cabuyao City, Laguna on Saturday.

Cabatingan said Ledesma had acted as the “chemist” and sold the tainted candies to college students.

“Say, you bring them home and put them in the fridge to keep them from melting, you put other people, like children, in danger as they could easily pass off as normal chocolate candies,” Cabatingan added.



Attack drug supply, Pampanga governor tells cops

By: Tonette Orejas - @ttorejasINQInquirer Central Luzon 


Photo:Lilia Pineda
Pampanga governor

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda on Monday asked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police to prioritize the arrest of illegal drug suppliers to stop street-level pushing and to address the overcrowding of jails.

“What we have caught in our antidrug campaign are small pushers,” Pineda said during a meeting at the capitol building with Ismael Fajardo Jr., PDEA Central Luzon director, and Senior Supt. Josel Consulta, Pampanga chief of police.

President Rodrigo Duterte had spoken about cracking down on drug syndicates in the course of his administration’s war on drugs, which had been attacked due to the vigilante-style killings of drug suspects, many of them from poor communities.

Duterte EO

In March, Mr. Duterte issued Executive Order No. 15, creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), to oversee and synchronize government efforts to combat the proliferation of drugs in the country.

One of its tasks was to oversee anti-illegal drug operations and arrest high-value drug personalities and street-level peddlers and users. ICAD includes the military.

Consulta said police had needed “the cooperation of the community to give us information about the identities of drug personalities.”

So Pineda committed to use more of her office’s intelligence funds, as well as money from her own pockets, to help PDEA and the police refocus the local campaign on suppliers.

Swelling jails

While the drive to arrest street-level pushers has made headway, their arrests have more than tripled the number of detainees who were expected to clog the prisons as the justice system rolls so slowly, Pineda argued.

“The problem is that these suspects are all thrown at the provincial jail. They stay longer in jail because hearings are reset when witnesses or complainants among the police do not appear in court,” the governor said.

The provincial government spends around P2 million a month to feed about 2,300 inmates at the provincial jail. At least 70 percent of them have been locked up due to drug cases.

“The money should have been spent instead on education and health. We spend also on conferences but the illegal drug problem is not completely solved,” Pineda complained.



AFP: Kids forced to fight with terrorists

By: Christine O. Avendaño - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer 

Photo: A Maute gunman is seen taking a nap while another fighter rests in between fighting in Marawi City in this undated photo taken from a smartphone of a a slain suspected Maute terrorist. The military released photographs of Maute militants in candid moments on July 9, 2017. (Photo released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines)

Children, including those taken as hostages, are being forced to fight alongside Islamic State-inspired terrorists battling government forces for control of Marawi City, the military said on Monday.

The terrorists seized Marawi on May 23 in a bid to establish an enclave for the Middle East-based Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Southeast Asia, and about 80-100 remained holed up in the city despite intense military efforts to oust them.

Some of the terrorists are teenagers who may have been recruited and trained to use guns when they were still children, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told reporters in Malacañang.


“We continuously get disturbing narratives from [escaped residents] that children as well as hostages are being employed in the firefight,” Padilla said.

He said the military did not know exactly how many children had been taken by the terrorists as hostages.

Casualties among children and adult hostages forced to take up arms could not be ruled out, Padilla said.

“As disturbing as it is, our troops are doing their best to avoid any casualty among these children that are being employed,” he said.

“But in the event that they are armed and they bear arms and are involved in the fighting, there’s nothing much that we can do. Similarly with the hostages being forced [to fight],” he added.

Shortly after seizing Marawi, the terrorists from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups took at least a dozen hostages, including a Catholic priest.

Some of the estimated 300 other civilians still trapped in the battle zone may have also been taken captive, Padilla said.

The military earlier said civilians had been forced to help the terrorists by carrying supplies and ammunition, bearing their wounded, helping them loot the city and fighting government forces.

Escaped hostages, the military said, reported that the terrorists executed at least six hostages for refusing to take up arms against the security forces.

Asked how the military would engage the child warriors, Padilla said soldiers, while allowed to take defensive action when their lives are at risk, would endeavor to rescue “a child or an individual who is being forced into the fight.”

“During engagements, if there are wounded and [we] see they are children, we help them right away. We are not in a rush to shoot a child who is running even if they are armed. If we could disable them, but we will not kill them,” he said.

More than 500 killed
More than 500 people have been killed in the fighting, including 379 terrorists, 89 soldiers and police, and 39 civilians, according to figures released by the government on Monday.

Most of Marawi’s more than 200,000 residents have fled their homes.

Daily airstrikes and artillery barrages against terrorist snipers who control tall buildings have left the city’s central business district a ghost town.

Padilla expressed hope that the fighting would soon be concluded.

“We continue to gain headway with our operations on the ground,” he said. —With a report from Agence France-Presse



5.4-magnitude tremor ‘strongest’ aftershock from Leyte quake—Phivolcs 

FILE PHOTO – Phivolcs director Renato Solidum

The tremor felt in Ormoc City on Monday morning was the “strongest” aftershock so far from last week’s quake, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Monday.

Many aftershocks are normal to occur, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said in an interview with DZMM TeleRadyo.

“Ito po ay inaasahan naman natin (We are expecting this),” he said.

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake which rocked Leyte province in the morning was recorded at Intensity VI, causing the people in Ormoc City to panic in fear.

The aftershock occurred only four days after the powerful 6.5-magnitude tremor rattled the same city.

The Phivolcs chief also reminded the public how to protect themselves during an earthquake.

“Every time na merong malakas na pagyanig, dapat protektahan ang sarili, duck cover, and hold. ‘Pag tapos na ang pagyanig, saka tumakbo (Protect yourself, duck, cover, and hold, every time there are strong quakes. Only run once the shaking is done),” Solidum said.

When asked about connection between the Leyte quakes and “The Big One,” an earthquake with a magnitude of no less than 7.2 that could strike at the West Valley Fault in Metro Manila, Solidum said that they are not related.

“Kung faults sa Metro Manila ang ating pag-uusapan, wala ring koneksyon ang mga faults na kumilos dito sa Leyte. Ang isipin po natin, ang mga fault ay may sariling kilos, sariling paggalaw (If we’re talking about the faults in Metro Manila, they have no connections with those that moved in Leyte. We have to think that fault have their own movements),” he said.

Asked about the intensity of “The Big One,” Solidum said they are expecting Intensity VIII.

“Intensity VIII po ang ating estimate, ‘yong hindi ka na makatayo. Kaya po hindi po ina-advise na tumakbo o maglakad (We are expecting Intensity VIII, when you can no longer stand. That’s why we don’t advise to run or walk),” he said. Rogelio Nato, Jr., trainee/JE



Lagman: Why talk about extending martial law without President’s initiative?

By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab - Reporter /

Photo: Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman. FILE PHOTO/RYAN LEAGOGO

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the lead petitioner who assailed President Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao, was baffled why there are discussions in Congress about extending martial law when the chief executive has not even asked for it yet.

In a statement on Monday, Lagman said according to the 1987 Constitution, it should be the President who should have the initiative to ask Congress to extend martial law.

According to Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, “Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”

“Why are some senators and representatives talking about extending martial law in Mindanao when the President has not even officially initiated such extension?” Lagman said.

“Under the Constitution, while an extension needs the concurrence of the absolute majority of the members of the Congress voting in joint session, any such extension shall be upon the initiative of the President,” he added.

Lagman made the statement in relation to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’ proposal to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of Duterte’s term in 2022, to enable the government to end the communist insurgency and the threat of the Islamic State-inspired militants in Mindanao.

Lagman said it is only reasonable that “any extension should not exceed the original maximum period of 60 days as provided for in the Constitution.


“The guiding constitutional safeguard is the limited duration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,” Lagman said, referring to the 60-day period allowed for by the Constitution on the imposition of martial law unless Congress votes to extend it.

In a separate statement, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said the extension of martial law would defeat the safeguards in the 1987 Constitution, which were in place to prevent a repeat of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, who cemented his two-decade regime through martial rule.

“Extending the martial law to 2022, as some have recommended, will practically render the constitutional safeguards useless, which was envisioned by the framers of the 1987 Constitution to avoid the repeat of a Marcos-type martial law,” Alejano said.

Alejano said the administration must justify any extension by first submitting a report to Congress on the need to extend martial law beyond the 60-day period.

“Though I disagree with the extension of martial law, the Executive must be able to report what has occurred and what it has done within the 60-day period of martial law and the reasons or basis why it has to be extended. I believe such report would serve as basis of the duration of any extension of martial law,” Alejano said.

Alejano said extending martial law should also comply with the constitutional requirement of the existence of invasion or rebellion or when the public safety requires it.

Alejano lamented that the country has not learned from its bitter experiences during Marcos’ martial law, which was marred with human rights violations, torture, and enforced disappearances of critics, journalists and activists.

“Bumabalik tayo sa nakaraan at tila hindi tayo natuto sa ating mapait na karanasan sa ilalim ng martial law bilang isang bansa,” Alejano said.

In a separate comment, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should first justify why there is a need to extend martial law.

“Let AFP justify first before the President and then to Congress that martial law is necessary before they ask for extension. Five years? They should think of long term repercussions of extending martial law for five years,” Baguilat said

Lagman, Alejano and Baguilat belong to the seven-member independent minority bloc called “Magnificent Seven” who assailed the factual basis of Duterte’s martial law proclamation before the Supreme Court.

But the magistrates found the martial law valid for government to curb the threat of terrorism in the south.

With the allowable 60-day period since Duterte declared martial law on May 23, the proclamation is set to expire on July 23, before Duterte is expected to deliver his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 24.

There were views that the President may ask Congress to extend martial law during his Sona, although the chief executive has said he has no plans of lifting martial law in the Mindanao region unless the military tells him to.

Duterte may even take the opportunity of the joint session during Sona to ask Congress to extend his martial law declaration because there is no prohibition against it, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque has said.

Both Houses of Congress convene to listen to the President’s Sona. According to the 1987 Constitution, Congress voting jointly may decide to extend martial law but only upon the initiative of the President, and if the invasion or rebellion persists and if public safety requires it./ac



Shock over US tourist killed in Greek bar

Photo: Bakari Henderson, 22, was working on a photo shoot for a new clothing line in Greece, his family says
The loved ones of a US graduate who was killed on the Greek island of Zakynthos have expressed shock over his death.
Texas native Bakari Henderson, 22, was beaten to death after at least 10 people followed him out of a bar after a dispute, police said.
Witnesses reportedly told police he angered one of the bouncers when he and his friends tried to take a selfie with a waitress.
Eight people have been arrested in connection to the killing, police said.
Six Serbian nationals, a 34-year-old Greek and a 32-year-old British national of Serbian descent were among those arrested.
The suspects, who face voluntary manslaughter charges, are accused of beating him and leaving him unconscious in the street.
Police said Mr Henderson died from severe head injuries after the incident.
Mr Henderson's friend, Travis Jenkins, said it was unlike him to get into a street brawl.
"Bakari was not one to act aggressively like that," Mr Jenkins told ABC News. "He was always the one who was the peacemaker."
"I think everybody feels the same way," said Blake McCray, a family friend. "That everybody just misses Bakari. He was the life of the party."
Mr Henderson graduated last month from the University of Arizona with a degree in business finance and entrepreneurship.
His family said they were "devastated" by his death.
"Bakari loved spending time with family and friends, travelling and meeting new people," a family statement said.
Suspects, with their heads covered, are escorted to the prosecutor's office by Greek police on the island of Zakyntho, Greece.Image copyrightEPA
Image caption:
Police arrest at least eight people over the American's death
"He was a big thinker and enjoyed coming up with new business ventures. Bakari was an inspiration to all he met."
The recent graduate was in Greece working on a photo shoot for a new clothing line, according to his family.
Mr Henderson's neighbour, Bill Norton, also said the account was uncharacteristic of Mr Henderson.
"He didn't have any of those characteristics that you would think about in terms of bar-room brawls," Mr Norton said. "You know, it just didn't fit Bakari's nature. So I'm just puzzled."
Mr Henderson's family is working with the US Department of State to recover his body while a GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 (£23,295) to cover funeral costs.



  • Published in U.S.
Subscribe to this RSS feed


Sign up to keep in touch!

Be the first to hear about special offers and exclusive deals from TechNews and our partners.

Check out our Privacy Policy & Terms of use
You can unsubscribe from email list at any time