PNP forms task force to nab ‘under the radar’ criminals
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has formed a special task force to pursue suspects behind media killings and organized crime, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said on Friday, June 13.
The announcement came the same day the CIDG’s unit in northern Mindanao nabbed Dionesio Daulong, who is suspected to be involved in the killing of Joas Dignos, a Bukidnon broadcaster. Roxas, as Department of the Interior and Local Government chief, manages the PNP through the National Police Commission.
“Napakahaba ng listahan ng may mga outstanding warrants of arrest. Kadalasan, alam ng komunidad na ang mga salarin ay andiyan lang so malaking bagay ang tulong ng ating mga kababayan na iparating sa ating mga kapulisan,” said Roxas at a press conference in Camp Crame.
(The list of people with outstanding warrants of arrest is long. Usually, local communities know of the presence of a wanted person which makes it vital that our citizenry help out the police.)
Daulong, who was arrested earlier in the day, is an escapee from jail. Two months after his escape, Dignos was gunned down by 4 men.
Media killings continue to plague the Philippines. Since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office, at least 33 journalists have been killed.
Cleaning PNP ranks
CIDG head Police Director Benjamin Magalong said during the press conference that the group will also be going after PNP personnel found to have been involved in criminal activity. Without going into details, Magalong said they have already started the process, as ordered by PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima.
It’s not the only task force in the police force created to go after the country’s most wanted. Directly under Purisima’s supervision is Task Force Tugis, dedicated to nabbing the PNP’s Top 5 – now Top 4 – most wanted.
Tugis was recently in the spotlight after the task force arrested its first high-profile person on it list, Delfin Lee. The capture, however, was controversial, following accusations of “powerful people” protecting Lee and after the eventual reassignment of its former head, Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa.
“Ang Tugis, ang focus nila yung 5 na high-profile na mga hinahabol ng PNP. Yung task force na ito, yung mga so-called below the radar na hindi masyadong kilala ang kanyang kaso pero [nakapatay] pa rin,” explained Roxas.
(Task Force Tugis is focused on the Top 5 high-profile persons wanted by the PNP. This task force will chase the criminals who are “below the radar,” who aren’t that well-known.)
Teams from Manila, provinces
Dualong is the first successful arrest of the newly-formed group. Top PNP officials, including Magalong, were summoned by Roxas to discuss the capture of wanted persons.
Roxas added the task force, which already has an allocated budget and necessary personnel, will go after persons with standing warrants, no matter which part of the Philippines they are suspected to be hiding in. The CIDG has units in different parts of the country.
The PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) will augment CIDG personnel when necessary. Deploying police detached from a town or province’s local police force may also be an advantage in the PNP’s pursuit, said Roxas.
“Kung hindi niyo pinagkakatiwalaan ang local na police, iparating niyo po dito sa Crame at sigurado po magpapadala tayo ng special team mula sa Manila upang hulihin ang mga salarin,” he added.
(If you don’t trust your local police, let officials in Camp Crame know and we will spend a special team from Manila to arrest wanted persons.) – Rappler.com