Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Over alleged extort letters…
Authorities say
Do not give in

Tagbilaran City, April 20 (PIA)---DO not give in to their demands.

Thus advised army special forces battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner to Boholanos who may have been recipients of extortion letters allegedly from members of the National Democratic Front who also claim as the people’s democratic government.

“How could a group that has been reduced to criminal elements collect taxes when they have been accordingly chased off Bohol?” asked a member of the local peace council.

In his briefing at the Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting Tuesday, Col. Brawner revealed that the army is now checking the veracity of extortion letters which may be in circulation, not only in Bohol but all over the Visayas.

Also admitting that they have received two kinds of extortion letters, once handwritten and the other one computerized, Brawner told members that the handwritten ones are clearly fakes.

In his briefing and presentation, Col Brawner showed a copy of the letter which was essentially asking the recipient revolutionary taxes.

The letter was signed by an alleged member of the Regional Council for Central Visayas: Claro S. Montañeza.

The letter reads: “The people’s democratic government at its present level implements its revolutionary policies within and in the periphery of its various guerilla fronts, including those pertaining to the dispensation of justice and the collection of taxes from foreign monopoly bourgeoisie, big comprador-bourgeoisie, landlords and the national bourgeoisie.”

“By doing so, it is able to help deliver basic social services to the peasant masses and sustain the financial and logistical requirements of the entire revolutionary movement,” the demand not continued.

And like any demand notice, the extortion letter also came with a threat.

“It mandates the New People’s Army (NPA) to appropriately act on those uncooperative to such and similar policies of the people’s democratic government.”

As to the mode of collection and for the recipient to send the money, the letter instructs: “the NDF invites you to meet our liaison within two weeks upon receipt of this letter in order to facilitate a later interface with an official representative of the people’s democratic government regarding the above-mentioned issues.”

The letter also said “details of the date, time and venue of said interface will be communicated to you by our liaison immediately after the preliminary meeting.”

According to army intelligence, the Taxation Bureau; which uses the code: PAGCOR, is the sole branch of the Komiteng Rehiyon – Sentral Bisayas (KR-SB) which imposes and implements the Revolutionary Taxation in Central Visayas, particularly in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental.

The CPP-NPA-NDF (CNN) Revolutionary Taxation is imposed and implemented by the KR-SB in order to support and sustain both armed and legal struggles in the region, intelligence operatives said.

Other than asking people not to give in, Col Brawner also asked to report similar incidents to the army through hotline 0908 268 2695, police hotline 0917 305-1833 or to TaRSIER hotline 117.

Meanwhile, Governor Edgar Chatto asserted that the extortion letters may be a way of testing the waters if Boholanos are ready to embrace back the fleeing rebels.

He said if people do not give in and report instead to the authorities, the threat could be neutralized.

The element of fear must not at all be present in a community, Chatto stressed while urging people to report anything unusual, especially when relating to Bohol peace and order. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

To evade raids….
Swertres operators adopt
Mobile base of operations

Tagbilaran City, April 20, (PIA) ---ILLEGAL gambling may have reared its ugly head again but police authorities assert there is no let-up in operations  even as gambling operators adopted guerilla tactics to keep their illegal operations up and about.

Owing to the raids on safe-houses of illegal numbers game operators which netted positive victories for the law enforcers, operators have made their operations base mobile, revealed police senior superintendent Constantino Barot.

He said the operators do not anymore stay on one house as a base of their illegal number’s game operations.

Barot added that the operators who use one house as center for operations on the 11:00 AM draw, transfer to another house for the 4 PM draw operations and pick another house for the 9:00 evening draw. 

With this, police authorities find it difficult to obtain proper search warrants because it would take time for the courts to issue one and when the warrants have been released, the operations have transferred to another location.

The public has been vocally complaining over radio airlanes and through text messages the clear resurgence of the illegal number’s game, which has waned in the last quarter, or upon the assumption of the new provincial police chief.

In a presentation he showed at the provincial Peace and Order Council meeting yesterday, Superintendent Barot said they did 61 operations against illegal numbers game in the last quarter.

Seom 89 persons were arrested and 58 cases have been filed, he added.

In the first quarter however, he said the provincial police notes some 59 police operations, 51 persons arrested and 26 cases have been filed.

On the lesser number of persons arrested, Barot said bet collectors and coordinators have become so elusive also that, he said, operators may have warned these men collecting bets to elude arrest for operators are not going to bail them out.

To prove his point, Barot shared data from police operations in April which showed the arrest of Benjamin Mendez on April 7, 2011 at Pobacion Ubay by virtue of search warrant conducted by joint operations of Provincial Intelligence Bureau and Ubay Police station.

Police also scored in the arrest of Pedro Minion on who was caught in the act of collecting bets April 7, 2011 at the Cogon Public Market, Tagbilaran City.

Ulysses Gaid was also nabbed on April 11, 2011 at corner Hontanosas and JS Torralba Sts., Tagbilaran City while Edwin Imboy was pounced by authorities on April 15, 2011 at Brgy Agape, Loboc. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Police bares of “rob-me”
Claims in blotter entries

Mabini, Bohol. April 20, (PIA)----POLICE are public documents all right, but some of those in these files are still up for investigation to establish its veracity.

Unluckilly, these are also the same crime records that get culled for your daily news reports and thus project the impression that there is alarming criminality problem brewing in Bohol.

Not necessarily, says Police Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot who also cautions the people and wants them to be critical listeners who hear about the news broadcasts.

At the out of town Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting (PPOC) held in San Roque Mabini town April 19, the provincial police commander said police have also noticed that several blotters contain doubtful crime entries, which are getting into news broadcasts.

Barot was particularly citing a blotter entry about a reported kidnapping and hold-up involving P45,000 for tuition fee payments.

Subsequent police investigations however show that there are several points in the victim’s claims that do not logically fall in.

In fact, police investigators have formulated a theory which contradicts the claims of the supposed victim.

At the meeting, the police top chief also bared that police crime analysts have found out that the resurgence of hold-ups among lending collectors tend to victimize only one particular company.

Barot shared that at one time, it would seem to be improbable that the hold-uppers only took the collection money in the victim’s backpack leaving his money in his wallet, cell phone and a wristwatch.

The top cop also bared that they are considering some of the crimes in the blotters as “hold-up me” cases.

Barot explained that “some people want to be relieved of the responsibility from obligation” and thus would rather use the blotter as a means to that end.

[Some of] these are not legitimate claims, stressed Barot.

Moreover, on cases like this when it is apparent that there should be follow up investigations, he told police desk officers “not to divulge [the information] as yet” to curb on the perception. (Rey Anthony H. Chiu) 

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