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Monday, March 23, 2009

Background Information on the PNP Operations that caused the death of De Vera father and daughter

For those of you who are not familiar with the United Paranaque Subdivision shootout where 16 people were killed including civilians, here are some of the news stories on the incident.

So, no one shot dead Jun de Vera?
January 08, 2009 04:55:00
Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—For the widow Lilia de Vera, nothing of consequence was emerging from Wednesday’s resumption of the public hearing being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to determine accountability for the deaths of Alfonso “Jun” de Vera, their 7-year-old daughter and four other civilians.

Not one of the leaders of the police units would admit to having been assigned in the area where her loved ones were found dead.

“So no one killed my husband and child,” she said, dismay in her voice and tears in her eyes.

De Vera was killed in a police operation in Parañaque City last Dec. 5 while crouching beside a parked jeepney by a man who could only be a cop, according to an eyewitness.

Hilario Indiana, a resident of United Parañaque Subdivision and a former vice mayor of a Nueva Ecija town, recounted the killing of De Vera.

Indiana testified that he had asked the police operatives for the identity of the dead man on the street.

“They told me it was one of the robbers. But I couldn’t keep still, so I asked my household help to check the plate number of the vehicle that was shot at. When I heard the plate number, I knew it was Jun and his daughter,” Indiana said in Filipino.

He added that earlier that night, he, De Vera and some of their friends had played “tong-its,” a popular card game.

But police officials practically cleared their men of responsibility for the civilian deaths.

Cooperative

But for CHR Chair Leila de Lima, the police units were being “cooperative” despite the disturbing points raised at the hearing.

“We have no reason to complain except that insofar as the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) is concerned, it seems there’s some ‘dribbling’ going on,” she said.

De Lima noted that among the police units involved in the operation, it was the HPG that was nearest to the scene where De Vera’s body and vehicle, an Isuzu Crosswind, were found.

Chief Supt. Leocadio Santiago Jr., director of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF), testified that all 18 SAF officers were stationed only on Sampaguita Street near the office that the Waray-Waray and Ozamiz groups had purportedly planned to rob that night.

Senior Supt. Jaime Calungsod, the director of the Southern Police District, also said his men were not assigned in the area.

Capt. Christopher Ciubal, who represented Capt. Antonio Habulan, the commander of the Naval Intelligence and Security Force (NISF), said that while the NISF had fielded agents for the operation, they only covertly monitored the events.
‘May bata pala!’

This was how Indiana recounted the turn of events in his testimony:

He was at a store when the shooting broke out, and as he ducked, he saw an Isuzu Crosswind turning back from the scene.

He heard men’s voices shouting in Filipino, “It’s turning back! Flatten the tires!”
A hail of bullets followed.

Indiana saw a man carrying a child get out of the vehicle and crawl toward a parked jeepney, apparently to seek cover.

Shouting again erupted in Filipino: “He’s trying to get away!”
Then he saw two to three men in black uniforms and bonnets appear from Waling-Waling Street and rush toward the crouching man.

One of them shot the man.

Shouting erupted again, this time about a child that had to be taken to hospital: “May bata pala! Dalhin sa ospital ang bata!”

A white vehicle appeared and the child was loaded into it.

Crucial point
Indiana said that while he “clearly saw” how the man was shot by uniformed agents, he had no idea it was his friend De Vera because it was dark.
But he said he was certain that only policemen were in the area because he saw some of them earlier that night.

Indiana also said he did not see a white Toyota Revo in the area before, during and after the shooting. This was a crucial point for the CHR because a police after-battle report submitted to the commission said it was the purported robbers aboard this vehicle who had shot at the De Veras.

“Maybe we’re close to determining the group that shot the De Veras, but not the individual who shot Mr. De Vera. The big, big question is: Where did the white Toyota Revo in the after-battle report come from?” De Lima said.

Also at the hearing, a doctor of the National Bureau of Investigation testified that the body of civilian Bernard Tuncab bore blunt-force injuries and bruises on the face as well as signs of brain hemorrhage, but no gunshot wounds.

Maritess Tuncab had asked the CHR in a letter to look into her husband’s death.
She expressed the belief that he was picked up, tortured, killed, dumped in the area, and was not, as the police had claimed, hit by the robbers’ speeding getaway vehicle.

Bullets in 2 areas
Chief Supt. Arturo Cacdac Jr., director of the PNP Crime Laboratory, also testified that a ballistics test showed that bullets from the .45 cal. service pistol of PO1 Elybeer Cayaban was found in the area where the De Veras’ bodies lay and in the portion of the South Superhighway where another civilian and a suspected robber were shot dead.

Cayaban is among the nine HPG members recommended by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) for administrative charges, including grave misconduct, neglect of duty and “possible violation of human rights,” for failing to protect civilians during the operation.

But De Lima noted that Cayaban’s name was not among the list submitted to the CHR of policemen present at the scene.

Cacdac said it had yet to be explained how bullets from one firearm were found in crime scenes hundreds of meters apart.

De Lima said the request of the SAF and the HPG for a closed-door session might be granted.

Rules of engagement
With IAS inspectors finding that lapses were committed on Dec. 5, the PNP reiterated its call for strict compliance with rules of engagement.

Director Leopoldo Bataoil, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, raised four rules for anticrime units to faithfully follow to prevent civilian deaths during police operations.

“[The rules are] actually there in our police operational procedure, but just the same, we need to improve on those concerns,” Bataoil said at a briefing.
He also called for the strengthening of the PNP’s crime scene investigation, and said operation areas must be preserved for complete collection of evidence.
With a report from Tarra Quismundo

Policemen in shoot-out case grounded

12/12/2008 | 06:09 AM

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MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) Thursday grounded policemen involved in a bloody shoot-out last week, and at the same time cleared a slain civilian suspect.

Director Jaime L Tagaca, chief of the Internal Administrative Services, told a press conference in the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City that 49 policemen in the Parañaque operation against two robbery groups have been grounded pending an ongoing investigation.

"We have already directed the director of Special Action Force, Highway Patrol Group and Southern Police District to place all personnel who are involved in the operations on restricted status," Mr. Tagaca said.

Involved police officers may face criminal and administrative charges once proven guilty of reckless imprudence, Mr. Tagaca said.

He said they have cleared Ronaldo R. Eusebio of involvement. Eusebio was among the 16 people killed during the encounter between the police and Waray-Waray Gang and Ozamis robbery groups in United Parañaque Subdivision 4 on Dec. 5.

The other civilians killed during the incident include a seven-year-old girl and her father, a security guard and two other civilians sleeping in a parked truck near the encounter scene.

"The groups neutralized by our operatives were two of the most dreaded syndicates which the PNP has neutralized so far. We cannot yet ascertain the number of robbery incidents, which they have perpetrated. Let us not make premature conclusions that our police force is not professional," Mr. Tagaca said. - BusinessWorld

Napolcom says police operatives erred in Parañaque shootout
December 11, 2008 6:46 pm by pna

MANILA, Dec. 11 — The National Police Commission (Napolcom) said on Thursday that police operatives made a mistake when they failed to cordon off the scene of the bloody shootout with armed robbers in Parañaque City last week.

Citing initial findings by its eight-man fact-finding task force, Napolcom Vice Chairman Eduardo Escueta said that the police did not set up a barricade or "blocking force" at the rear gate of United Parañaque Subdivision (UPS) 4 that could have prevented the robbers from entering.

"We went to the site and interviewed witnesses and it turned out that the blocking force was only at the entrance of the subdivision, but there was none at the back," Escueta said.

The Napolcom official said that had the scene been isolated, innocent civilians would not have gone astray and unnecessarily harmed. Among those caught in the crossfire were a father and his seven-year-old daughter who were killed while passing in the area in their van.

Escueta pointed out that ground commanders should have anticipated all the possible problems and ensure that their men knew what to do, come what may.

"It should have been part of their operational plans, to make sure that all measures are in place to prevent civilian casualties," he stressed.

But Escueta clarified that they would still have to wait for the Philippine National Police's (PNP) initial report on the incident before making their official findings by next week.

When asked to comment on the police's supposed lapses, Chief Supt. Leopoldo Bataoil, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, said they respected the statement of the fact-finding team.

Bataoil also attributed the lack of an effective blocking force to the fall of the ground commander, Supt. Eleuterio Gutierrez of PNP-Highway Patrol Group, during the gun battle. Gutierrez was shot in head and is still fighting for his life.

"In any operation, it is the responsibility of the commanders on the ground to make sure that innocent civilians are first taken out of harm's way. In this particular case, Superintendent Gutierrez was hit," Bataoil told reporters at the Makati City Hall.

"Whatever happened there, whatever the commanders' judgement calls were, it should be investigated and explained. But right now Superintendent Gutierrez, who is in the position to explain everything, is in the hospital," Bataoil said.

The shootout in UPS 4 last Friday night left 12 suspected robbers, three civilians, and a policeman dead. The high civilian casualty rate led to the creation of the Napolcom fact-finding team, as well as investigations from other bodies, including the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). (PNA)



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Friday, March 20, 2009

A Letter from Lilian de Vera (wife and mother of the father and daughter killed in the PNP "operations ")

A friend sent me this email, which I am re-printing here because I believe in her cause. Please take time to read and pass this on to your friends.

------------------

Two months ago I considered myself as one of those blessed and happiest people on earth. Why not? I married a guy who was an epitome of kindness. A guy who worshipped even the footsteps I made. More importantly, our union blessed us with a daughter who not only became the main source of our happiness….more so; she was the center of our lives.

We're simple folks who led a simple life. We felt the happiest even about mundane things and inconsequential ones that most people would only take for granted. Our joy mostly revolved on simple pleasures like a sudden trip to Jollibee or a late night marauding of the fridge for any leftovers. A perfect family with simple delights, dreams and aspirations………until that fateful night on December 5, 2008.The day my husband and daughter were taken away from me in a very violent way. That Friday night on December 5, 2008 marked the beginning of all the terror, anguish and misery in my life.

In keeping with my ritual or "panata" on every first Friday of every month, I went to Quiapo Church on the above mentioned date to pay homage and respect to the Almighty One. My husband and daughter were supposed to pick me up in Pasay City after which we planned on giving our daughter a treat to Jollibee. While riding the jeep, I tried to call my husband to tell him that I was on my way to our meeting place. But despite all the calls I made, my husband remained silent. A very unusual occurrence inasmuch as he seldom missed my calls. Despite my trepidation and wonder, I took the next jeep going home and prayed that everything was alright. I even promised to myself that I would forgive my husband for not answering my calls and for forgetting to pick me up.

I felt relieved when near our place my phone rung. Such relief was somehow only momentary….in fact the phone call I got was the bearer of the worst news in my entire life. My helper called, only to tell me that my husband and daughter were shot to death by "men in uniform". The same men who were sworn to protect innocent people from bad guys brutally slew the two most important persons in my life. They were the same men whose sacred duty was to preserve the lives of the public against all harm and danger. Yet…….they were the same men who murdered my loved ones in the most cruel, savage and inhuman way.

My husband's face was unrecognizable because he was shot in the head at close range while he was kneeling with his head bowed down. My daughter's young body was riddled with bullets, one hit her head, blowing her brains out.., all from too powerful guns and ammunitions fired by the "men in uniform" on two innocent and defenseless persons.

The "men in uniform" were allegedly on a mission to take some gang of robbers victimizing people at large. The police shot the crosswind van my husband and daughter were riding Based on some witnesses' narration, the police sprayed bullets into the van despite the lack of provocation or shots coming from the van. In his last effort to save their lives, my husband grabbed my bloodied daughter and shielded her with his body while trying to run away from the police and tried to get cover from a parked jeepney My husband and daughter were so defenseless. How can you mistake a child for a robber? How can you shoot at someone who was already kneeling with head bowed, an indication of helplessness.

My husband and daughter are gone…….forever. The pain I feel for their loss is too much too bear. And the only thing that motivates me to go on with life is the mission to seek justice for their senseless killing. If the people who are responsible for their death will be punished, if I could bring them the justice they so richly deserve, my pain would be alleviated. The misery I will live by will be lessened. My husband and daughter will be vindicated and I will learn to live the remaining years of my life in peace..

Thus: I'm asking and begging everyone who will come across this letter/e-mail to forward the same to all your relatives, friends, and acquaintances. . Help me bring my cause to the eyes of the people capable of steering the wheel of justice to the right direction. Help me make the loudest cry worthy of attention by those people in-charge in rendering justice to those who deserve it.

Strength comes in numbers; it is where the impossible becomes possible. It is also where the unattainable becomes achievable.

My heartfelt gratitude for everyone who will take a moment in their too busy lives and forward this letter/e-mail to everyone they know. May God always protect you and your love ones from all harm.


Lilian de Vera

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Lola Madre's Birthday Celebration













As early as February, Ate Marynat already reminded us of the forthcoming 99th birthday of Sor Victorina on March 10, 2009. She was determined to visit her, with or without the rest of DPS Class 67. March 10 was, however, a Tuesday, so it would be difficult for those of us who are working to find time to go to Our Lady of Consolation Convent in San Juan.

So we decided on a Sunday visit in the afternoon of March 8, two days ahead of her birthday. Ate Marynat coordinated with Sister Terry. Several couldn’t make it like Bert, Ed, and Rudy, who were all out of the country. Those who finally made it were Ate Marynat accompanied by her niece, Angelica, Alot, Tess, Lina with her husband and youngest child, and me.

We brought some food for a simple feast with Mother Superior. Tess brought the birthday cake. There was also lumpiang sariwa (Rudy’s specialty), litson manok, Pancit Malabon, halayang ube (courtesy of Bert), and drinks.

It turned out that Sor Victorina’s clan from Iriga were also there to celebrate her birthday. There was a streamer greeting Lola Madre, and there were balloons too. Sor Victorina had to blow candles in two birthday cakes. But there had to be a take three because blowing of candle in the second cake (our cake) was not initially captured by the camera. Now, the third time was an ordeal for her. It took a while before she could blow it.

The pictures show that Lola Madre was genuinely happy. On Sis. Terry’s prodding, she welcomed us, she sang happy birthday, stood up and danced a little. She was not only smiling, she was laughing. She must have enjoyed being in the company of her loving relatives and former wards.

Next year , with God’s will, Sor Victorina will be marking her centennial birthday. Since our class is having a reunion next year, wouldn’t it be appropriate to have a visit to her as one of the activities, either before or after the Daet affair? Sis. Terry said, a mass can be arranged.

For those who will be in the country on March 10, 2010, perhaps we can arrange for a more grand celebration. This invitation is open not only to class 67 but to all other Parochialites who were in DPS at the time Sor Victorina was the Mother Superior.

Please write your comments and suggestions to this blogsite or to our egroup:

dps-class67@googlegroups.com

What about putting up a Foundation for Sor Victorina to promote Alternative Learning System for the out-of-school youth? (not just class-67's efforts but perhaps the Alumni Association). Let's open this topic up to brain-storming, so no shooting of ideas yet. That would come later. What would be welcome are your ideas.

If you also have old pictures or articles with Sor Victorina in them, please scan and send them to this egroup. We hope to do a more extensive video presentation on Lola Madre.

(Thanks to Angelica David, Ate Marynat’s niece for taking pictures and for uploading them).

The complete set of pictures will be uploaded to our photo gallery later. In the meantime, if you want to see them all, watch the video of the celebration in our video bar.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Two Inspiring Stories

What a touching, inspiring story !
Read on.. ...... ........

Bert

Two Stories - BOTH TRUE

There are 2 stories here. The last line of the 2nd story tells it all.

STORY NUMBER ONE


Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars , and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.

And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.

Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.

He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface " Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze 20 of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street . But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at lat e or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will.. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."



STORY NUMBER TWO

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.

He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.

He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes . Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.

Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.

Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft
This took place on February 20, 1942 , and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?


Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Summary of Life

Contributed by Bing

Summary of Life



GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a dust-buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.

GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair That you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:

1 -- You believe in Santa Claus.

2 -- You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3 -- You are Santa Claus.

4 -- You look like Santa Claus.


SUCCESS:

At age 4 success is . ... . Not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is . . . Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . . . Having money.
At age 50 success is . . . Having money.
At age 70 success is . . . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . Having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . Not peeing in your pants...

--------------------------
Pass this on to someone who could use a laugh.
Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way;
BUT NEVER forget the blessings that come each day.

Have a wonderful day with many smiles

Take the time to live!!!
Life is short. Dance naked
And eat dessert first!



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Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

HS Solo Graduation Pictures

DPS Class67 HS Graduates, 40 Years After

This Day in History

Today's Birthday