FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Philippine stories you need to know this Tuesday
News Briefs: February 21, 2017
Ex-Catbalogan city councilor nabbed for extortion
SAMAR, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested a former Catbalogan City councilor in an entrapment operation for allegedly extorting P1 million from Mayor Step Uy and some city councilors.
Lawyer Bernard Dela Cruz of the NBI said the arrest of former councilor Rodrigo Perez stemmed from the extortion complaint of Councilor Coefredo Uy against Bernard Jake Ramos.
Ramos had filed a plunder case against him and others before the Office of the Ombudsman, and his accomplices. Ramos allegedly threatened the respondents to settle with him for P20 million in exchange for the withdrawal of his complaint, but later reduced this to P10 million.
Councilor Uy cooperated with the NBI on an entrapment operation on February 17, where Perez was caught accepting the P1-million “advance payment” that Ramos demanded from the group.
On Monday, February 20, Perez underwent inquest proceedings at the city prosecutors’ office for two counts of consummated robbery and one count of frustrated robbery, filed by the NBI. Ramos remains at large. – Jazmin Bonifacio
Ghost of Jonas Burgos abduction haunts Año at Ateneo talk
MANILA – Students of the Ateneo de Manila University used a forum on Tuesday, February 21, to confront Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año on allegations that he had a hand in the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos a decade ago.
The case was raised twice during the open forum of the Talakayang Alay sa Bayan, the university’s alternative class program, where Año’s daughter was part of the audience. The military chief is invited by the political science department.
Año, who was AFP Intelligence Security Group (ISG) head in 2007, told Ateneo students on Monday that his inclusion in a complaint by Burgos’ mother, Edita, took him by surprise.
“I don't have any case in the Commission of Human Rights because as a matter fact, in all investigations: NBI, the PNP, and the CHR, my name was never mentioned,” Año said. “I do not know Jonas Burgos. I only happened to know this when I read the newspaper.”
At the time of Burgos’ abduction, “the ISG…[was] actually doing a different mandate,” he clarified.
In 2013, the Commission on Appointments approved Año’s promotion as chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines despite Edita’s opposition. – Rambo Talabong