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Cop killed in shootout with armed men in Libertad, Misamis Oriental

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A police officer was killed when law enforcers engaged a group of armed men in Libertad town, Misamsi Oriental last Monday night, police said. Based on police report, five men were on board a white Mitsubishi Mirage on the way to Iligan City from Cagayan de Oro when they were flagged down by a group of police officers along the national highway in Barangay Poblacion, Libertad town at 8:20 in the evening. Police said the suspects inside the car fired at the officers conducting a checkpoint that resulted to the death of Staff Sgt. Ronald Caayupan. Wounded was Chief Master Sgt. Fernando Maestrado. Also killed was Jephone Tinamisan, from Ozamiz City, and said to be the vehicle’s driver. Recovered were four pieces caliber .45 handgun, two pieces KG 9 semi-automatic firearms, a 9mm pistol, four pieces hand grenade, and five plastic packets containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu. Bahian said they are in the possession of cellphones retrieved from the crime scene. Following the conduct of a pursuit operation, one of the suspects was arrested near the bridge where he jumped off after running away from the law enforcers. Police identified the suspect, who sustained broken bones, as Richard Perez, although in an interview with reporters he introduced himself as “Richard Manda,” from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. The suspect said they were on their way to Tubod, Lanao del Norte when the vehicle they were riding in was flagged down in Libertad. Lt. Col. Mardy Hortillosa, the regional police spokesperson, said pursuit operation has been launched to go after the three suspects who managed to escape. Hortillosa said Brig. Gen. Rolando Anduyan, regional police director, has directed police units from nearby towns to help in searching for the fleeing persons. He said a team from Cagayan de Oro City Police Office’s Special Weapons and Tactics was even deployed to assist in the search efforts.

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Probe on checkpoint shooting in Misamis Oriental asks

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The owner of the vehicle used by the suspects in a shootout on a police outpost in Misamis Oriental that killed a police officer and a person with disability (PWD) has called a deeper probe of the incident. Killed were P/Sgt. Ronald “Boboy” Caayupan, 41, and the car driver Jepone Fabrigas Tinamisa, a person with disability. Wounded were P/Sgt. Fernando Maestrado, Gemma Patlunag, and Richardson Perez, 31, (not Richard Soncerez as reported earlier), one of the arrested suspects. The shootout took place when Tinamisan and four other companions on board a white Mitsubishi Mirage was flagged down in a police checkpoint in Libertad, a town west of Misamis Oriental. Recovered from the car were four caliber .45 pistols, two 9 mm pistols, four fragmentation grenades and personal belongings that include backpacks and mobile phones. The police also impounded the vehicle in Libertad as the investigation roll. Police also reported that the Scene of the Crime Officers allegedly recovered five sachets containing white substances believed to be “shabu” in pockets of Tinamisan. Lawyer Angel Lim, the legal counsel of the owner of the car, said that the car owner-businessman (the lawyer withheld the name) want to know what exactly happened because the vehicle used by the suspects was a “family car.” Lim said that the owner alleged that the car was primarily used by the kids in going to school and that the owner allowed Tinamisan to use vehicle whenever he (Tinamisan) asked for it. An initial police report said that Tinamisan reportedly went out of the car and approached Caayupan where the two had a “talk” when the shooting suddenly took place killing Tinamisan and Caayupan. “It is unusual for Tinamisan to come out of the car and talk to Caapuyan because in a police checkpoint the driver does not come out and the police only gets near to inspect the passengers,” Lim said. He said Tinamisan was a person with disability (PWD) that it could impossible for him to get out and engaged in a shootout with the police. Lim said that the car owner wants a thorough probe to determine whether Tinamisan was a “hostage” and that the vehicle was taken by the suspects by force. “Nobody knows what Tinamisan told the police and Caayupan could not also say about their conversation because both of them died,” Lim said. He said a ballistic examination would possibly unlocked the question on who “fired first” or was bullets killing Tinamisan and Caayupan came from the passengers on board the vehicle. Perez, one of the suspects who was cornered and captured under the bridge in Libertad, confessed to the media that they were on their way to Tubod, Iligan City for a planned a robbery. He said that he lives in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental although he came from Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu. Police are still hunting the three other suspects, one of them was reportedly wounded, who escaped and remained at large.

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DILG orders LGUs to strictly implement ban on trikes, pedicabs, and motorized pedicabs on national highways

February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines (MDN National News Service) - The Philippine Government is now stricter than ever as far as laws on the country, with the Department of Interior and Local Government leading the charge for the total implementation of a memorandum circular, prohibiting the entry of pedicabs, motorized pedicabs and tricycles in national highways. To signal a stricter implementation, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año urged the local government units (LGUs) to form a tricycle taskforce that will design effective ideas especially on drawing route plans for pedicabs and tricycles in their localities. Based on the DILG memo #2020-036, Secretary Año hereby directed the tricycle taskforce should be separate from regulatory boards in every city and municipality. The municipal mayor will act as chairman and the town's chief of police shall act as the vice-chairman of the taskforce that will be created. The taskforce membership, according to Año, shall compose the following: Sanggunian's committee chair on transportation or public safety, the planning and development officer, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, the head of the Department of Public Order and Safety, the local government operations officers, the head of the tricyle regulatory board and the traffic management office.  The memo circular also mandated that repesentatives of the local transportations departments, including its attached agencies, will function as the taskforce's focal persons, while the head of the city or the municipal legal office is required to provide secretarial support.

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Suspect in shooting falls, 2 more hunted

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--Another suspect in the shooting to death of a police in Misamis Oriental fell as the police stepped up the hunt for two more suspects who remained at large. The suspect was identified as Vic Abellana, of Tangub City. Abellana, disguised as a farmer, was captured on the outskirts of Poblacion, Libertad in Misamis Oriental, Wednesday afternoon. The arrest of Abellana brought to two suspects in the custody of the police while two others, one of them known only as “Junjun,” is reportedly wounded, remained at large. Abellana told the police that it was their companion from Pagadian, the reported leader of the group, who fired the first shot at the police checkpoint, which resulted in the shooting. The police did not identify the alleged leader, now an object of a police manhunt, together with another suspect who is reportedly wounded. Another suspect, Richardson Perez, 31, of Bangkal, Mahayahay, Lapu-Lapu City, who resides in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental, was captured shortly after the shooting at a police checkpoint. Pursuing police cornered Perez under the bridge in Libertad with a broken leg when he jumped over the bridge not knowing that the creek below has dried up. Jepone Fabrigas Tinamisan, the driver of the car, was killed along with P/Sgt. Ronald “Boboy” Caayupan, 41, in the ensuing firefight at the police checkpoint in Libertad, Misamis Oriental Monday evening. Wounded in the shooting were P/Sgt. Fernando Maestrado, and Gemma Patlunag, a civilian living near the checkpoint, who was caught in the crossfire. Both Maestrado and Patlunag were already out of danger. The shooting took place when the five suspects, on board a white Mitsubishi Mirage, driven by Tinamisan, reportedly fired at the policemen who were manning the checkpoint. Four of the suspects scampered and escaped as Tinamisan lay dead, leaving the vehicle in the vicinity of the checkpoint, which is now in the custody of the police. Police recovered four caliber .45 pistols, two 9mm pistols, four hand grenades, mobile phones and personal belongings in the disabled vehicle. Lawyer Angel Lim, the legal counsel of the owner of the Mitsubishi vehicle, has asked for a deeper probe of the incident on suspicion that Tinamisan, a person with disability (PWD), could not be part of the criminal group. “There is the suspicion that Tinamisan was threatened by the armed group to drive the car before the shooting at the police checkpoint in Libertad took place,” Lim said.

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Traffic exec in Oro vows to implement DILG order

February 20, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A top-ranking official of the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) has vowed to implement the recent memo circular of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Manila, banning all pedicabs, motorized pedicabs and tricycles along the National Highways. RTA operations chief Engr Nonito Oclarit said the government of Cagayan de Oro is mandated by the DILG to implement memo circular 2020-036, or else face sanctions from DILG Manila, "The City Government cannot afford to ignore a circular issued by the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) mandating all local governments in the country to prohibit pedicab drivers from plying the national highway," the RTA official claimed.  For his part, City Councilor Teodulfo "Bong" Lao also assured assistance to trisikad drivers and operators, who will be displaced, as soon as the government will strictly implement the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) in June this year.  The trisikad operators, during a meeting conducted, has asked the committee that a certification be given to them by the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) so they won’t be apprehended by traffic enforcers. But Antonio Resma of the City Legal Office clarified that trisikad drivers and operators can still operate from ferrying passengers to their place of destinations, in interior routes and areas which cannot be accessed by passenger jeepneys and other modern mode of transportation, so long as they don't ply the National Highways. Engr Oclarit, however added, that with the Local Public Route Plan (LPTRP) to strictly enforce laws come June 2020, all trisikad drivers and operators will be given assistance by the City Government. ‘(Hatagan sa mo og) another alternative livelihood. Kung dili na gyod mo mo-drive ug sikad sa dalan, pangitaan mo namo og laing pamaagi," Engr Oclarit explained. 

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Covid-19 death toll reaches 2004

February 19, 2020

The National Health Commission of China yesterday claimed the death toll of the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19) has now reached 2004. As of February 18, NHC reported 1,749 confirmed new cases of the disease that originated in Wuhan City early December of 2019. One of the latest victims of the virus was a Wuhan City hospital director, Chinese authorities reported. The director was identified as Liu Zhiming, 51, had been very active in preventing the spread of the virus until he was infected in doing so and later he died. Zhiming is believed the seventh medical professionals who succumbed to the deadly coronavirus which began in Wuhan, Hubei Province in late December 2019. Meanwhile, health experts in China has announced to have discovered a new and effective methods of properly treating the covid-19 which has now claimed 2004 deaths according to the National Health Commission in China. Guo Yanhong, deputy director of NHC's medical administration bureau, said that starting February 16, more than 10,000 Chinese people infected with the virus had been carefully medicated and now discharged from different hospitals in China. Chinese health experts found anti-malarial drug known as Chloroquine Phoshate having certain curative effects against the virus, according to Chinese doctors in China who had tried it. Patients in China have been receiving antiviral drugs. In the latest count, there are now around 73,332 patients who have been infected with the virus worldwide - 72,528 patients are from China. Avoid stigmatising people Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned people to refrain from "stigmatising people" as this would only result to chaos and more panic from those with only a little knowledge of the coronavirus.

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