Corruption

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Three Philippine police linked to kidnap and murder

A Philippine policeman has been detained in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a woman after he was caught on camera driving the victim's vehicle, an official said on Tuesday.
Authorities are also searching for two other officers in what is the latest embarrassment for the country's law enforcers, struggling to fight off widespread perceptions of corruption.
The trio were caught on camera driving the sports utility vehicle of Lea Angeles Ng, wife of a shopping mall executive, into a secured parking lot near Manila on the day she vanished, national police spokesman Agrimero Cruz said.
"We beg the bereaved family to bear with the often tedious process of criminal investigation and police procedures that are being conducted to establish an airtight case against those responsible for this crime," he said.
A fourth suspect, a civilian, has also been arrested and confessed to the crime, which led police to the woman's already decomposing remains last week, Cruz told reporters.
The footage shows Superintendent Rommel Miranda, deputy police chief in the central Philippines, and two lower-ranked officers, Otelio Santos and Jifford Signap, leaving Ng's vehicle in the parking lot, Cruz said.
Santos and Signap are both listed as having gone on unauthorised leave while Miranda has been detained, Cruz added.
Earlier this month, Philippine authorities ordered the arrest of 10 Manila policemen who went into hiding after being accused of kidnapping four South Korean tourists. Officials said the victims were freed after a ransom was paid.
In January, the head of the justice department's National Bureau of Investigation was sacked for allegedly covering up the kidnapping for ransom of a Japanese woman by his aides.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GMA pleads not guilty to poll fraud

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday pleaded not guilty to the crime of electoral sabotage, and vowed to clear her name during her arraignment at the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative, wore a neck brace and an all-white ensemble as she arrived at around 8:30 a.m. for the proceedings in the courtroom of Pasay RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas.
She was accompanied by her husband Jose Miguel, son Juan Miguel and a medical team from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center where she is currently detained due to her spine ailment.
The arraignment lasted less than an hour.
Arroyo’s lawyer Benjamin Santos said his client waived the reading of information on the charges against her since she fully understood the indictment.
After the case number was announced, Arroyo said, “Not guilty.”
Pre-trial was set on April 19.
Arrested in November, Arroyo is facing electoral sabotage charges filed by a joint panel of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly manipulating the results of the 2007 midterm polls in Maguindanao to favor the senatorial bets of the then administration party.
She faces life in prison if convicted.
Charged along with Arroyo were former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol.
In a statement issued prior to her arraignment, Arroyo vowed to clear her name and that of her family and abide by the rule of law.
Arroyo also called on the Aquino administration to respect the rule of law in prosecuting cases against officials of the previous government and other perceived enemies.
“Despite the continuous and massive vilification campaign against me and my family, I have always said that I will dispute all charges in the proper forum,” Arroyo said.
“I am submitting myself to this process not only to clear my name but also as part of my commitment to respect and abide by the rules and orders of our courts,” she said.
“It is my fervent hope that our leaders uphold and our people have faith in the Constitution and the rule of law,” she said.
Arroyo was seen smiling as she entered the Pasay City courtroom but her husband said the former president is frustrated over the case.
“She feel it’s an injustice… there is no case, she is frustrated,” Mr. Arroyo said.
Hundreds of Arroyo’s supporters, who also wore white, converged in front of the city hall to show their support for the former leader.
“We will not abandon you,” their streamers read.
Speedy trial
Santos told the court his client waived her right to appear in the next hearings of her case.
He also said they are requesting a speedy trial – at least three hearings a week.
But clerk of court Joel Pelicano said the court can only handle two trials per week because of their tight schedule.
The arraignment of Arroyo had earlier been moved from Feb. 20 to March 19 but Santos filed a motion to proceed with the arraignment for security and health reasons of his client.
Plea expected
With Arroyo’s not guilty plea, the Comelec yesterday said it is prepared for a court battle with the former leader.
In an interview, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they had expected Arroyo not to admit the offense during her arraignment yesterday.
“That was expected. That’s why we have been preparing hard because we know it is not going to be handed to us on a silver platter. We expected this ‘not guilty’ plea and we are ready to prove that she is, in fact, guilty,” he said.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares also said he expected the not guilty plea.
“After all, she had been covering up all accountability issues raised against her during her nine-year presidency,” he said.
He said he expects Arroyo to deny any and all charges filed or to be filed against her.
He said the former president’s arraignment would not have taken place had impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona succeeded in allowing her and her husband to leave the country last Nov. 15.
The Arroyos went to the airport and tried to board planes for Singapore and Hong Kong, but immigration officers prevented them from leaving.
Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, for her part, said the administration should not forget to prosecute Arroyo for plunder and violation of human rights.
One step closer
MalacaƱang, meanwhile, welcomed the arraignment of Arroyo on electoral sabotage charges – to whuch she pleaded not guilty – and hoped that a ruling would come out within the current administration’s term.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Arroyo’s arraignment “brings us one step closer towards attaining closure to the many controversies that have hounded our country during the previous administration.”
“Accountability escapes no one. This is the very foundation of the rule of law: The scales of justice should tip towards no one; her blindfold must continue to shield the system from being susceptible to the temptations of pandering to those with power and influence,” Lacierda said.
He said the Comelec-DOJ task force that investigated the alleged role of Arroyo in the cheating during the 2007 senatorial elections would not press any charges if there was no prima facie case of electoral sabotage.
“Now that she has been arraigned, she is now under the jurisdiction of the court, so we can expect the trial to move on. Arraignment is the very first step towards trial on the merits,” Lacierda said. – With Paolo Romero, Sheila Crisostomo, Jess Diaz, Reinir Padua, Aurea Calica - By Perseus Echeminada (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Philippines' Arroyo pleads not guilty to vote fraud

A smiling ex-Philippine president Gloria Arroyo pleaded not guilty on Thursday to rigging an election, denouncing the charge that could see her jailed for life as part a vilification campaign against her.
Arroyo is accused of conspiring with a feared political warlord to rig the 2007 senatorial elections, one of many corrupt acts her successor, Benigno Aquino, alleges she committed during her near-decade in power.
"Not guilty," Arroyo, 64, told the judge after standing up in a tiny Manila courthouse wearing a neck brace to support her spine that she says is weakened from a rare disease.
Arroyo smiled and waved to a crowd of journalists after she arrived at the court from a military hospital where she had been detained for nearly three months.
She smiled repeatedly again after the brief arraignment hearing ended and headed back into a police vehicle for the return trip to hospital, then issued a statement insisting that Aquino was unfairly harassing her.
"Despite the continuous and massive vilification campaign against me and my family, I have always said that I will dispute all charges in the proper forum," Arroyo said.
"I am submitting myself to this process not only to clear my name but also as part of my commitment to respect and abide by the rules and orders of our courts."
Prosecutors allege Arroyo ordered that ballots in 2007 elections be switched in the southern province of Maguindanao so that one of her allies won the final position available in the nation's Senate.
Arroyo is alleged to have conspired with then-Maguindanao governor and close political ally Andal Ampatuan Snr to tamper with the ballots.
Ampatuan Snr, who had a reputation as a ruthless political warlord, is a co-defendant in the vote-rigging case.
He is also facing multiple murder charges for allegedly organising with his relatives the massacre in 2009 of 57 people in Maguindanao to stop a rival's election challenge, an event that forced Arroyo to end their alliance.
Aquino, the son of democracy heroes, won a landslide election victory in 2010 on a vow to fight corruption that has plagued Philippine society for decades but he said worsened dramatically during Arroyo's reign.
Arroyo has been the top target of his anti-graft campaign.
She was hit in December with a second criminal charge in relation to a $330-million telecom deal with a Chinese firm, in which her husband and a political ally allegedly received kickbacks.
Three weeks after Arroyo's arrest for alleged vote-rigging, Aquino's allies in the lower house of parliament also impeached Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona on charges of corruption and protecting the ex-president.
The Senate is now conducting a lengthy trial to determine if the impeachment was valid and whether Corona, appointed by Arroyo just before she stepped down in 2010, should be sacked.
In a speech on Tuesday, Aquino warned his anti-corruption efforts hinged on successful prosecutions of Arroyo and Corona.
"We want to send a stern yet simple message: justice evades no one. There are no exceptions in our campaign against corruption," he said.
Arroyo was arrested at an exclusive hospital in November shortly after immigration authorities stopped her at Manila's airport from leaving the country.
Arroyo's lawyer said then her spinal disease was life-threatening, and the Supreme Court under Corona issued an order saying she was allowed to leave the country for treatment.
But Aquino insisted Arroyo was trying flee to evade prosecution and that she was not allowed to leave.
Arroyo, who is now a congresswoman after winning a parliamentary seat in the 2010 elections, was transferred to the military hospital shortly after her arrest.
No date has been set for Arroyo's trial, which could take years to complete. Arroyo applied to spend the intervening time under house arrest, but the government denied her request.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Philippine police wanted for S.Korean kidnap

Philippine authorities have ordered the arrest of ten policemen accused of kidnapping four South Korean tourists in a plot involving their countrymen tour guides, the Manila City government said Monday.
The capital's mayor, Alfredo Lim, also ordered that the 10 be dropped from police rolls after they went into hiding on February 14, around the time the kidnapping incident occurred.
"The incident is a tremendous and serious flaw on the good name of the police department," a statement issued by Mayor Lim's office said.
The order came after a South Korean tourist guide was arrested in his home country last week for allegedly conspiring with the Filipino police officers in the abduction.
The guide, identified by Lim's office as Choi Jang Tae, arrived in Manila with 12 South Korean tourists for a four-day vacation and enticed four of them to go shopping with him last week.
As they were walking to a popular mall, the four tourists were accosted by armed men who forced them into a van, the statement from the mayor's office said.
The four were then told by their captors they would be charged with illegal possession of drugs unless they paid $30,000. Another South Korean tourist guide later facilitated the transfer of the money, the statement added.
This South Korean has since been arrested in the Philippines, the mayor's office added.
Law-enforcement officials have assured that all the policemen involved in the crime will be charged and the money they extorted will be returned to its owners.
Lim, a former Manila police chief, also ordered a revamp of Manila police anti-narcotics units to prevent further incidents.
The Philippines has long struggled with corruption and abuse among the police which has sometimes led to foreign tourists being victimised.
In 2011, five Philippine policemen were sacked after they forced a German tourist to buy laptops for them by threatening to charge him with terrorism.

Three killed in failed Philippine jailbreak

Three people including a local Red Cross volunteer were killed when dozens of armed men tried to free an Islamic militant from jail in the southern Philippines, authorities said Monday.
About 50 men wearing black military-style fatigues attacked the jail in the trading city of Kidapawan late Sunday, with one launching a rocket-propelled grenade at the main gate, said deputy police chief Inspector Rolando Tillera.
"They fired an RPG but it misfired. It failed to hit the jail's gate which was securely locked," Tillera told AFP.
The gunmen then opened fire on the jail with assault rifles but they fled when guards shot back, according to Tillera.
He said the gunmen sprayed bystanders with bullets as they retreated and left two bombs to stop security forces from pursuing them.
The fighting lasted only about five minutes but three civilians, including a Red Cross volunteer, were killed, Tillera said. Fifteen other people, most of them civilians, were also wounded by bomb shrapnel and bullets, he said.
Philippine Red Cross spokeswoman Gwendolyn Pang told AFP the volunteer was an ambulance driver who had gone to the scene to help victims after the fighting had ended, then died in one of the ensuing bomb blasts.
The gunmen were trying to rescue Datukan Samad, a fighter from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who is awaiting trial on kidnapping charges, said local military spokesman Colonel Leopoldo Galon.
However MILF spokesman Von al-Haq denied that the group was involved in the incident. He insisted Samad was not a member of the organisation, describing him as just "a notorious criminal".
The 12,000-strong MILF has been waging an armed struggle to create an independent or autonomous Islamic state in the southern Philippines since the 1970s.
More than 150,000 people have died in the conflict, according to military estimates.
The MILF has been involved in peace talks with the government for about a decade, and a ceasefire has been in place for much of that time, but dozens of people still die each year in violence related to the MILF's campaign.
In 2009 armed men broke 31 inmates out of a jail on the southern island of Basilan, including at least one MILF figure and several members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militant group.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

GMA can stay at Veterans

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) dropped its motion yesterday to transfer former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) to a regular jail after doctors testified that the patient still needs close supervision for her therapy.
“We will not insist on the transfer, provided a regular medical report is submitted to the court,” Comelec lead prosecutor Esmeralda Ladra said.

The Comelec lawyer made the manifestation after defense lawyer Benjamin Santos asked for clarification of a press statement made by Comelec that they are no longer pursuing the transfer of the former president.

“We want to know if the Comelec is withdrawing its motion,” Santos said.

Ladra clarified that they are leaving it up to the court to decide on the motion but as far as they are concerned they are no longer interested in pursuing the issue.

Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas ordered the prosecution and the defense to submit their respective memorandum on the issue.

Santos reiterated their earlier motion for the house arrest of Arroyo, adding that the request cannot be considered special treatment because of her unique status as a former head of state.

In his supplemental motion, Santos cited the case of former President Joseph Estrada, who was placed under house arrest while the trial of his plunder case was ongoing at the Sandiganbayan.

Santos added that under the law, former presidents are entitled to security in his or her lifetime.

“Former president (Arroyo) thus belongs to a unique class, and the accused is among the select few,” he said.

Arroyo, along with former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former election officer Lintang Bedol, is facing electoral sabotage charges in relation to the May 2007 midterm election.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 supporters of Arroyo converged yesterday in front of the Pasay City Hall of Justice, where the hearing on the electoral sabotage charge was being held.

Pasay City deputy police chief Superintendent Samuel Turla told The STAR that the group arrived at about 8 a.m. waving pictures of Arroyo and posters seeking house arrest for the former president.

Turla said there was no visible leader of the group and after they held Mass, he requested them to leave the premises since they were already causing traffic.

“I told them if they will not voluntarily leave, we will disperse them with water,” he said.

The police official added the group did not have a permit to hold a rally so they could be charged with illegal assembly.

The group peacefully dispersed after the hearing ended.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vehicle Impound offenses.

                                                 Impoundable Violations
DOTC-LTO (MC 89-105)
The following violations shall cause the impounding of a motor vehicle:
(Sec. 73, MC 89-105)
  • Unregistered/Improperly registered/delinquent or invalid registration
  • Unregistered substitute or replacement motor, vehicle engine, engine block or chassis
  • Unauthorized change of color or configuration
  • Operating, allowing the operation of a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked Certificate of Registration
  • Using license plates different from the body number
  • Illegal Transfer of plates, tags, or stickers
  • Violations involving absence of required parts, accessories or devices or defective parts, accessories or devices which pose danger to the public
  • Authorized route not properly painted
  • Unauthorized/improvised number plates
  • Failure to paint on vehicle business or trade name
  • Failure to paint required markings
  • No body number (for PUV)
  • Using radio or stereo in violation of existing regulation or without the necessary permit, or in breach of the condition in permit regulation.
  • Installation of jalousies, curtains, dim colored lights, strobe lights, dancing lights or similar lights, colored tinted or painted windshield on window glass on "for hire" vehicles
In addition, the following violations shall also cause the impounding of the motor vehicle:
  • Driving without a license plate
  • Fake drivers license/TVR
  • Fake sticker
  • Fake license plate
  • Fake Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration
  • Tampered documents pertaining to franchising, registration and licensing
  • Failure to present any document regarding motor vehicle ATTA
  • Breach of Franchise Conditions
  • Improper use of drivers license
  • Expired drivers license
  • Expired Traffic Violation Receipt

MMDA Enforcers

10 Things That Drivers Should Know (Updated May 25, 2011)
  1. MMDA Enforcers are not allowed to group together while apprehending a motorist. They are not even allowed to stand together in groups of two (2) or more, except in actual times of special operations (e.g. apprehending groups of smoke-belching/colorum buses).
  2. Swerving is not a traffic violation per se. It is defined as a movement wherein vehicles shift from a lane to another. However, it can constitute the offense of reckless driving if it is done without precautions (e.g. swerving in an abrupt and careless manner, swerving without the use of signals, swerving across solid lines).

    Swerving can also constitute the offense of Disregarding Traffic Signs if there are signs present that explicitly prohibit swerving in the area.
  3. A driver's license cannot be confiscated by a Traffic Enforcer during traffic apprehensions except on the following situations:
    1. The driver was involved in a traffic accident
    2. The driver has accumulated three (3) or more unsettled violations
    3. The driver has been apprehended for the following violations:
    • Allowing another person to use driver's license
    • Broken sealing wire
    • Broken taximeter seal
    • Colorum operation (cargo/passenger vehicle)
    • Driving against traffic
    • Fake driver's license
    • Fake/altered taximeter seal
    • Fake/altered sealing wire
    • Fast/defective/non-operational/tampered taxi meter
    • Flagged up meter
    • Illegal or unauthorized counter-flow
    • Illegal transfer of plates/tags/stickers
    • Joined/reconnected sealing wire
    • No driver's ID
    • Ignoring Organized Bus Route (OBR) interval timers (for 2nd offense)
    • Skipping or bypassing designated OBR terminals or loading bays (for 2nd offense)
    • Operating on contractual basis
    • Out of line operation
    • Overcharging (with or without conductor) (for the 2nd offense)
    • Overspeeding
    • Refusal to convey passengers to destination/trip-cutting (Taxis and Public Utility Vehicles)
    • Refusal to render service to public (Taxis and Public Utility Vehicles)
    • Tampered sealing wire
    • Tampered taximeter seal
    • Tampering of OR/CR/CPC & other documents (spurious documents)
    • Undue preference/unjust discrimination
    • Using motor vehicle in commission of crime
    The above-mentioned administrative violations also require a minimum of 2 hours seminar (for the drivers) at the Traffic Academy.

    However, any driver who has committed three (3) or more unpaid violations, whether administrative or moving, shall also be subject to attending seminars, whose length shall be based on the results of the diagnostic exam (exam that will determine the contents of the seminar progress), which will be administered by the Agency.

    *Note: If the license is to be confiscated, the Traffic Enforcer should inform the driver of the reason/s for the confiscation and the ticket validity.

    If the driver refuses to surrender his driver's license, his plate may be detached pursuant to Section 74 & 75, MC 89-105.
  4. Private Vehicles are not allowed to use the yellow lane except when they are about to turn - provided that they start shifting lanes upon seeing the transition lane (broken white lines painted diagonally), that you can see around 50 meters away from an intersection. However, selective apprehension of private vehicles using the yellow lane is highly prohibited.
    The yellow lanes (1st and 2nd lanes in EDSA) are only for City Buses. City Buses are not allowed to go beyond the yellow lanes. If they do so, they will be apprehended for violating the yellow lane policy.
    Provincial buses are also not allowed to use the yellow lane. Instead, they are encouraged to use the third lane.
  5. Each Traffic Enforcer has his/her own written mission order issued by the MMDA Central Admin. Apprehended drivers are free to ask for the apprehending officer's mission order, which includes his area of responsibility, time of duty, official function. It also indicates whether or not the enforcer is authorized to issue tickets.
  6. Traffic Enforcers should issue TVR in complete uniform, with visible nameplates. Traffic Enforcers are instructed to accomplish the TVR (Traffic Violation Receipt) without any delay or argument on the road, so as to avoid traffic congestion.
  7. The Apprehending Enforcer is allowed to issue another TVR for Towing Fee. If the owner of the impounded vehicle fails to release his vehicle after payment of fine in the stipulated date, the impounding officer shall issue a separate TVR indicating no. of days it has remained at the impounding area.
  8. Before apprehending, the Traffic Enforcer should flag down the vehicle and lead it to the roadside where it will not obstruct the flow of traffic. Traffic Enforcers should courteously inform the driver of his violation.
  9. Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to ask drivers to alight from their vehicles while the apprehension is taking place. Most importantly, Traffic Enforcers are not allowed to ask or receive bribe money.
  10. During traffic apprehensions, the following can be considered as a valid driver's license:
  • ID Plastic Card
  • DLR / Temporary Driver's License
  • TOP (Temporary Operator's Permit)
  • International Driver's License
  • Foreign License
The Traffic Enforcer should exercise extra diligence in verifying the veracity of the data or documents presented.
If you encounter any Traffic Enforcer violating any of these, get the name of the Traffic Enforcer indicated on his/her name plate, and submit a letter of complaint addressed to the Traffic Adjudication Board (TAB), MMDA Bldg. EDSA cor. Orense St. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City, within 5 days after the apprehension.
In case you are involved in an argument with a Traffic Enforcer, call the MMDA Hotline 136, or the Metrobase at 0917-561-8711. Ask the Metrobase to send inspectors to go to the place where the argument is taking place for proper investigation.
You may also e-mail complaints against erring Traffic Enforcers to the MMDA thru email@mmda.gov.ph. Include full details of the incident (attach photos or videos if possible), so that they will be able to act promptly on the matter.

Lost License Plates in the Philippines

  • LOST PLATE

  • The MMDA and the LTO implement a "NO PLATE, NO TRAVEL" policy.

    If your plate was lost, file for an affidavit of loss and submit it to the LTO, and apply to get or use an improvised plate.

    Once authorized, make sure that the original copy of your Authority to Operate with the use of Improvised Plate is always carried by the driver on all his travels.                                            

    Littering law in the Philippines

                                                     Anti-Littering Law: 10 Things You Should Know
    1. What is the Anti-Littering Law?
    2. The Anti-Littering Law is MMDA Regulation No. 96-009 entitled, "PROHIBITING LITTERING/DUMPING/THROWING OF GARBAGE, RUBBISH OR ANY KIND OF WASTE IN OPEN OR PUBLIC PLACES, AND REQUIRING ALL OWNER'S, LESSEES, OCCUPANTS OF RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS, WHETHER PRIVATE OR PUBLIC TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN THE CLEANLINESS OF THEIR FRONTAGE AND IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF", which was enacted into law by the Metro Manila Council on the 22nd Day of August, 1996. The regulation was amended on May 6, 1999 by MMDA Regulation No. 99-006.
    3. When did the Anti-Littering Law take effect?
    4. The law originally took effect on September 15, 1996. The implementation of the law was suspended last August 2002. The law will again be implemented in Metro Manila starting September 16, 2010.
    5. What acts are prohibited by the Anti-Littering Law?
    6. The Anti-Littering Law prohibits the following acts:
      • Littering, Illegal dumping, Illegal disposal of garbage;
      • Urinating, defecating, spitting in a public place;
      • Dirty frontage and immediate surroundings for establishment owners;
      • Improper and untimely stacking of garbage outside residence or establishment;
      • Obstruction (any dilapidated appliance, vehicle, and etc., display of merchandise, illegal structure along sidewalk);
      • Dirty public utility vehicles, or no trash can or receptacle;
      • Spilling, scattering, littering of wastes by public utility vehicles; and
      • Illegal posting or installed signage, billboards, posters, streamers and movie ads., etc.
    7. Who has authority to apprehend violators of this law?
    8. The MMDA will have deputized Environmental Enforcers monitoring the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. These Environmental Enforcers (EE) will initially be in their mint green polo-shirt uniform (with MMDA logo), with identification cards (both employee ID and Deputation ID) clearly visible and displayed. They will be in charge of issuing Environmental Violation Receipts (EVR) to persons caught violating the Anti-Littering Law. The EE's ID shall contain a written Deputation Order, stating the name and deputation number of the EE, his authority to issue EVRs, and until when the order is effective.
    9. How much is the fine if you violate this law?
    10. The penalties for violating the provisions of the Anti-Littering law, according to the nature of offenses, are as follows:
      Code Nature of Offense Option 1 (Payment of Fines) Option 2 (Render Community Service)
      01 Littering, Illegal dumping, Illegal disposal of garbage P500.00 8 hours (1 day)
      02 Urinating, defecating, spitting in a public place P500.00 8 hours (1 day)
      03 Dirty frontage and immediate surroundings for establishment owners P1000.00 16 hours (2 days)
      04 Improper and untimely stacking of garbage outside residence or establishment P500.00 8 hours (1 day)
      05 Obstruction (any dilapidated appliance, vehicle, and etc., display of merchandise, illegal structure along sidewalk) P1000.00 16 hours (2 days)
      06 Dirty public utility vehicles, or no trash can or receptacle P500.00 8 hours (1 day)
      07 Spilling, scattering, littering of wastes by public utility vehicles P500.00 8 hours (1 day)
      08 Illegal posting or installed signage, billboards, posters, streamers and movie ads., etc. P1000.00 16 hours (2 days)
    11. What is the MMDA's protocol in deploying Environmental Enforcers?
    12. Environmental Enforcers will be deployed in teams. Each team will have a team leader and an assistant team leader, who will both have the exclusive authority to issue EVRs. These two will be assisted by one photographer and one recorder to document each apprehension made by their team leader or assistant team leader. A spotter shall be deployed by the MMDA for each team to monitor possible violators of the agency's regulations. It is the spotter's duty to bring the violator to the Environmental Enforcer for issuance of ticket. The Environmental Officer should tell the violator of the details of his/her violation, and the proper payment process.
    13. What are the procedures for payment of administrative fines?
    14. Upon apprehension, a violator will be given an option to either pay the fine, or to render community service. For payment of fines or rendering of Community Service, the following procedures should be observed: Option 1 (Payment)
      1. Report to MMDA HPSEPO for Order of Payment of the charged Administrative Fine according to the nature of offense committed.
      2. Go to the MMDA Treasury Operations Service for the payment of fine
      3. Submit the initial receipt to HPSEPO for clearance and documentation
      Option 2 (Community Service)
      1. Report to MMDA HPSEPO for proper orientation on the Environmental Regulations Schedule and Instruction
      2. Render Community Service
      3. Go to HPSEPO for clearance and issuance of Certificate of Compliance
    15. What if I don't pay the fine nor render Community Service?
    16. If you do not show-up within 3-days after the receipt of the apprehension, you will be given the 1st summon which will only be valid for 15 days. If you still don't settle your violation within 15 days, you will be given the 2nd summon which is also valid for 15 days. If you still don't settle your violation after 15 days, the final summon, which is valid for 1 (one) month, will be given to you. If you still ignore the final summon, your case will be filed at the Metropolitan Trial Court of the city where you were apprehended. If you do not show up to the scheduled hearings, you will be given a Warrant of Arrest. In addition, your violation will be forwarded to the NBI. Failure to pay the administrative fine of P500 or render 8 hours Community Services shall be penalized, after conviction, by a fine of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00), or imprisonment of three (3) to seven (7) days, or both, at the discretion of the court. Failure to pay the administrative fine of P1,000 or render 16 hours of Community Service shall be penalized, after conviction, by a fine of Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) or imprisonment of seven (7) days to one (1) month, or both, at the discretion of the court.
    17. If I have a pending violation of the Anti-littering law, will it be possible for me to obtain an NBI clearance? If not, what is the procedure for getting myself cleared from the violation?
    18. No, you will not be able to get an NBI clearance. To clear your record, you need to go to the MMDA and pay your fine. After paying, go to the HPSEPO and get your "Motion to Withdraw Information" certificate signed by the Senior Prosecutor of the DOJ. After this, bring the "Motion to Withdraw Information" certificate to the concerned Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC). After submitting, the MTC will give you the "Certificate of No Case." Finally, bring your "Certificate of No Case" so that you'll be allowed to obtain an NBI Clearance.
    19. What do I do if I want to protest my EVR or file a complaint against an Environmental Enforcer?
    20. If you feel your EVR was issued without any legal basis or in violation of the protocol, you may contest by going to the MMDA-HPSEPO Adjudication Office (7th floor MMDA Main Bldg. EDSA cor. Orense St. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City) to fill-up the protest form indicating all relevant details regarding your complaint, within 1 week (7 days) after the receipt of the apprehension.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    HR group: AFP men aiding Palparan

    MANILA, Philippines - A US-based human rights group yesterday urged President Aquino to order the military to cooperate with civilian authorities in arresting retired general Jovito Palparan and others charged with the enforced disappearance of two activists in 2006.
    Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said they have information that some sympathetic military personnel were thwarting attempts by civilian authorities to capture Palparan.
    “President Aquino should get the message to the military that the years of protecting Palparan for grievous abuses are over. Officers and soldiers alike should be on notice that if they block civilian authorities in arresting Palparan, they, too, will face legal consequences,” Pearson said.
    The military, however, yesterday challenged Human Rights Watch to name the soldiers providing protection to Palparan.
    Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said they are ready to work with agencies that would probe the supposed coddlers of the retired general.
    “We challenge them (Human Rights Watch) to submit names. You file a complaint and this will be addressed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Burgos said in a press briefing.
    “We are willing to cooperate with any agency to help us also in further protection and promotion of human rights,” he added.
    Burgos said they will not tolerate any soldier providing safe haven or sanctuary to wanted personalities.
    He, however, said sanctions can only be slapped on active soldiers and not the retired ones.
    “We don’t have any jurisdiction anymore for those who are retired in the Armed Forces but provide us with the names of those in the active service then we would initiate action,” Burgos said.
    Palparan has been on the run since he was charged in December with kidnapping University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen EmpeƱo in 2006. The two activists remain missing.
    Apart from Palparan, the Department of Justice also filed charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention against Sgt. Rizal Hilario, who is also on the run, while Lt. Col. Felipe Antado and S/Sgt. Edgardo Osorio have surrendered and transferred to military custody.
    For her part, Cadapan’s mother Erlinda said efforts of the government in hunting down Palparan are not enough, adding that it should have issued a shoot-to-kill order for the retired general instead of just offering P1-million reward for his capture.
    “I don’t think the government is serious in helping us get justice for our children,” Mrs. Cadapan said in Filipino.   – With Alexis Romero, Dino Balabo, AP - By Rhodina Villanueva (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)