Posts Tagged ‘police’

Opinion: Philippine Lawyers say murder, extrajudicial killings, rape, extortion, illegal arrests should be investigated, prosecuted — Police should not be “death squads”

March 27, 2017

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Why does it feel as if he is waging a war against the people?

The Philippine Inquirer

President Duterte is wrong to promise immunity to law enforcers who abuse or exceed their authority, like those involved in “tokhang.”

There are standards and regulations that should be followed in police operations; these are codified to protect the citizens against the awesome powers of the state.  When law enforcers violate the law, when they commit crimes, they should be punished as everybody else. When law enforcers become criminals, they themselves are threats to public security.

Even the President, with his solemn oath to faithfully execute the laws of the land, is beholden by the same set of laws and ethics.

Image result for Philippine National Police, photos

Philippine Star photo

Allegations of murder, extrajudicial killings, rape, extortion, illegal arrests and other rights abuses and violations by the police must be seriously, fairly and timely investigated and prosecuted.

Mr. Duterte must not embolden erring and corrupt law enforcers into committing crimes, whether in his name or in the name of the state. It is morally reprehensible to condone organized brutality and criminality, and use the uniform as a shield against accountability. It is obstruction of justice and, in a sense, complicity, cultivating a mercenary tradition.

Mr. Duterte said he will wage a war against the illegal drugs trade. But measured by the number of dead and the magnitude of its toll, why does it feel as if he is waging a war against the people?

JULIAN F. OLIVA, adviser, MARIA KRISTINA C. CONTI, secretary general, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-NCR

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/102756/war-vs-people#ixzz4cWrcsPVv
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Philippines: Doctor Shortage — Why Not Pay Tuitions With Government Funds To Get More Doctors? (Editorial)

March 20, 2017

Philippines: Doctor Shortage — Why Not Pay Tuitions With Government Funds To Get More Doctors? (Editorial)

Taxpayers spend P2.5 million over four years to produce a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy. Why not make the same investment in producing surgeons and other physicians?

The proposal was made by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, who noted that the Department of Health already has an existing scholarship program for aspiring doctors. All that’s needed is to expand the program while at the same time making compensation and benefits more attractive for physicians working for the DOH.

Unless remuneration is improved, the nation may see its shortage of doctors worsen, especially in rural areas. Recto noted that of the 946 available slots in the government’s Doctor to the Barrios program from 2015 to 2016, only 320 were filled. The program is meant to provide at least one doctor in each low-income municipality, but there were few takers. Those 626 unfilled slots meant that millions were deprived of the services of a doctor in their communities.

The medical profession can pay handsomely – but only after many years of grueling studies and substantial financial investment in schooling and specialized training. The cost of medical textbooks alone can be beyond the reach of a low-income household.

Parents who have invested their life savings to send their child to medical school would naturally be reluctant to let the new doctor volunteer for a rural assignment that pays P56,000 a month, especially in conflict zones. The medical community is still waiting for justice for a Doctor to the Barrio volunteer, Dreyfuss Perlas, who was shot dead by still unknown assailants last March 1 while serving in Lanao del Norte.

If the government shoulders the schooling expenses of deserving medical scholars, the nation may be assured of a steady supply of physicians, even if the beneficiaries leave the DOH after a mandatory four-year service. The government may then have at least one doctor for every municipality, with the scholars encouraged to serve in their hometowns.

Health experts estimate that the country currently faces a shortage of 60,000 doctors. This means six out of every 10 Filipinos die without seeing a doctor. This need not be the case. The government is recruiting more police and military personnel. Why not boost resources to produce and recruit more doctors?

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/03/19/1682491/editorial-doctor-shortage

Tunisia to try six police over beach attack response (Fear of lost tourism money sinks in) — Tunisian police response was “at best shambolic, at worst cowardly”

March 1, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Tunisian security forces patrol a beach in Sousse, south of Tunisia’s capital Tunis, on July 1, 2015, following the previous week’s massacre at the resort there by a jihadist gunman

TUNIS (AFP) – Tunisia is to prosecute six policemen over their response to a 2015 gun and grenade attack on a beach resort that killed 38 foreign holidaymakers, a judiciary spokesman said Wednesday.

The announcement comes a day after an inquest into the deaths of the 30 Britons among them found that the response of Tunisian police was “at best shambolic, at worst cowardly”.

The six policemen, who will remain at liberty pending trial, have been charged with “failing to come to the assistance of a person in danger,” said Sofiene Sliti, spokesman for the judiciary’s counter-terrorism section.

No trial date has yet been set.

Sliti said that the six officers were among a total of 33 people who are being prosecuted in connection with the June 2015 attack in Sousse, which was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

Of the others, 14 have been remanded in custody, six are out on bail pending trial, and seven are on the run and to be tried in absentia.

Sliti declined to give any details of their identities or the charges that they face.

The examining magistrate finished his investigation of the beach massacre in July last year but it is only in recent days that the case has been referred to the criminal court.

Lone gunman Seifeddine Rezgui was able to go on an extended rampage around the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel and the adjacent beach and pool before police arrived and shot him dead.

In his findings on Tuesday, British judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith was scathing about the police response.

“Their response could and should have been more effective,” he said. “The response by the police was at best shambolic, at worst cowardly.”

Lead lawyer Samantha Leek told the inquest that the Tunisian investigating magistrate had found that “the units that should have intervened in the events deliberately and unjustifiably slowed down to delay their arrival at the hotel.”

But Tunisia’s ambassador to Britain, Nabil Ammar, told the BBC that the accusation that the police had deliberately delayed their arrival was “exaggerated and unfair”.

The Obama Legacy

January 10, 2017

A Presidency of great promise ends in rancor and disappointment.

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The Wall Street Journal
Jan. 9, 2017 7:05 p.m. ET

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President Obama once said that as President he aspired to be the progressive Ronald Reagan, and as he prepares to leave office he has succeeded in fundamental if ironic ways.

While Reagan left behind a calmer, more optimistic country, Mr. Obama leaves a more divided and rancorous one. While the Gipper helped elect a successor to extend his legacy, Mr. Obama will be succeeded by a man who campaigned to repudiate the President’s…

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Amid Reported Human Rights Violations and Talk of Martial Law, Philippines To Give Army, Police 20% Pay Raise

January 3, 2017
Once approved, a private soldier and police officer I will see his or her annual regular pay rise 20.04 percent to P327,834, according to official estimates. File
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MANILA, Philippines — The police and soldiers could be up for a New Year’s gift after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) proposed an across-the-board base pay hike that would see their annual earnings rise by a fifth.
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In a statement on Tuesday, the DBM said it already submitted the proposal containing the pay increases to Malacañang for approval. It also needs to be okayed by Congress afterward.
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Aside from base pay, hazard pay and provisional allowances will also increase, following the hike in combat pay last year through President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 3 issued last September.
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This will also come on top of the second tranche of the salary standardization for the bureaucracy approved in 2015.
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Once approved, a private soldier and police officer I will see his or her annual regular pay rise 20.04 percent to P327,834, according to official estimates.
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“(This is) in line with the Duterte administration’s pledge to provide better compensation and benefits to the country’s uniformed personnel,” the DBM said.
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“In effect, the upsurge in compensation for military and uniformed personnel will arise from a combination of hikes in allowances and increases in base pay,” it added.
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A total of P27.5 billion will be spent for the increase to be charged under the national outlay’s Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund.
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The 2017 budget worth P3.35 trillion took effect Tuesday, the first working day of the year.
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Pay increases for uniformed personnel was one of Duterte’s campaign promises. They came amid criticisms of alleged human rights violations committed y the police in the president’s drug war.
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The police had consistently denied such allegations and also pertained to vigilantes for the killings that already reached around 5,000 in the six-month drive.
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France pushes to give police greater freedom to use their guns

December 21, 2016

AFP

© AFP archive | French police are routinely armed, but have strict rules restricting their ability to use them in self defence.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-12-21

The French cabinet was set Wednesday to fast track a proposed law that will widen police officers’ ability to use their sidearms in self-defence.

Under current rules, officers are only allowed to use their weapons on the basis of “necessity and proportionality”, and only if they are faced with a direct personal threat.

They can only fire if they are directly assaulted by armed individuals, to defend an area they have occupied or if repeated demands to stand down have been ignored.

Police often do not use their sidearms even when faced with threats to their life because they are afraid of breaking the rules, which can lead to their immediate suspension pending an inquiry.

Their anger came to a head in October after four officers were subjected to a Molotov cocktail attack on their car.

They didn’t use their weapons, officers told FRANCE 24 at a protest in Paris the following month, because they “probably hesitated because they were not being shot at”.

Decades of neglect

At the protest, Versailles police officer Nicolas explained that their current rules of engagement were “identical to civilian rules governing self-defence”, and that criminals were both perfectly aware of them and conscious of officers’ fear of getting into trouble.

“It’s a Catch-22,” he said. “When someone is holding a petrol bomb and is ready to throw it, if you use your weapon you are in big trouble. If the petrol bomb lands on you before you can use your weapon, you are also in big trouble because you are being burned. So what’s the point of being armed?”

Officers also complained of chronic under-funding and being “fed up after decades of neglect by changing governments that have eroded our ability to function properly in a job we love”.

“We work in filthy, run-down police stations, we have to provide much of our own equipment – business cards and even pens. We don’t have up-to-date communications or radio equipment and we are expected to rely almost completely on our private mobile phones,” said Nicolas’ colleague Alexandre Langlois. “Above all, none of us feels we can defend ourselves properly.”

Law and order issues ahead of election

The bill would strengthen a law passed in June 2016 that allowed officers to shoot if it would “prevent loss of life in the immediate aftermath of an act of murder”.

It would also allow officers to fire at vehicles that are bearing down on them.

Other proposed measures include doubling sanctions for insulting police, easing conditions to wear hoods to better protect the identity of police officers and €250 million (£222.78 million) to buy new equipment.

The bill, which was proposed in November 2016 and is due to be submitted to Parliament in January 2017, also provides for a tightening of how investigators are identified during criminal proceedings in order to protect them from public retribution.

It is being rushed through parliament by the Socialist government at a time when law and order issues are likely to feature highly in next year’s presidential elections.

Latest polls show the ruling Socialists trailing in third place behind far-right candidate Marine le Pen, and conservative opposition candidate François Fillon, as the two most likely to go through to the second-round face-off.

Germany: Cologne ramps up New Year’s police presence after sex assaults by immigrants last year

December 12, 2016

AFP

© AFP/File | German authorities will deploy 1,500 police officers on the streets of Cologne during the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebrations

COLOGNE (GERMANY) (AFP) – The German city of Cologne Monday announced a ramped-up police presence, more CCTV and a fireworks-free zone at upcoming New Year’s Eve celebrations to avoid a repeat of last year’s mass sexual assaults.

Hundreds of women that night described being mugged and groped in a crowd of men of mainly Arab and north African appearance, incidents that shocked Germany and fuelled criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal refugee policy.

Cologne police chief Juergen Mathies said 1,500 officers would be deployed on the streets of the western city this year, up from some 140 last year, when police came under fire for failing to properly respond to the chaotic events.

Mathies told reporters he regretted that officers last year were “not there for people when they needed the police”.

“This must never happen again,” he said at a presentation of the city’s security plan for New Year’s Eve.

The city will also be stepping up its video surveillance, with hundreds more CCTV cameras and more officers wearing bodycams, Mathies said.

Much of the increased security will focus on the square between the city’s iconic Dom cathedral and the train station where most of the assaults took place.

Cologne mayor Henriette Reker said access to the square this year would be tightly controlled, with no firecrackers or other pyrotechnics allowed in the safety zone.

The square will also be flooded with light as part of a video and light installation by German artist Philipp Geist that will be projected onto the Dom.

Of the roughly 1,200 criminal complaints filed about last year’s New Year’s Eve incidents, more than 500 were for sexual assault, Cologne police reports showed.

The majority of the perpetrators were never caught. Of the suspects who were identified, many were migrants from Morocco and Algeria.

Similar assaults were reported during end-of-year festivities in other German cities.

The ugly scenes in Cologne made global headlines and deepened concerns about how to integrate the nearly 900,000 newcomers who arrived in Germany last year.

U.S. intel warning of possible al Qaeda attacks in U.S. before election on Monday

November 4, 2016

CBS News

Last Updated Nov 4, 2016 7:43 AM EDT

NEW YORK —  CBS News has learned about a potential terror threat for the day before the election.

Sources told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton that U.S. intelligence has alerted joint terrorism task forces that al Qaeda could be planning attacks in three states for Monday.

It is believed New York, Texas and Virginia are all possible targets, though no specific locations are mentioned.

U.S. authorities are taking the threat seriously, though the sources stress the intelligence is still being assessed and its credibility hasn’t been confirmed. Counterterrorism officials were alerted to the threat out of abundance of caution.

A senior FBI official told CBS News, “The counterterrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States.  The FBI, working with our federal, state and local counterparts, shares and assesses intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety.”

Intelligence about potential threats always increases during holiday seasons and when big events are approaching.

As Election Day nears, federal law enforcement is planning for several worst-case scenarios.

Earlier this week, an alert warned local police of “polling places” being seen as “attractive targets” for “lone wolf”-type attacks by individuals motivated by violent extremist ideologies, sovereign citizen or other extremist activity.

Four French police officers are set on fire during a patrol near Paris

October 9, 2016

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Four French police officers were set on fire after masked thugs pelted their two cars with petrol bombs during a patrol on a notorious housing estate near Paris. Investigators are pictured at the scene

Four French police officers were set on fire after masked thugs pelted their two cars with petrol bombs during a patrol on a notorious housing estate near Paris. Investigators are pictured at the scene

 

  • Officers were on patrol in Grande Borne estate south of the French capital
  • Their cars were attacked ‘from all sides’ by thugs hurling Molotov cocktails
  • Attack likely to be linked to the drug gangs who roam the notorious estate

Four French police officers were set on fire after masked thugs pelted their two cars with petrol bombs during a patrol on a notorious housing estate near Paris.

The horrifying attack took place on the Grande Borne, in the southern Paris suburb of Viry-Chatillon, on Saturday afternoon.

‘The cars were parked up on the estate as a part of a surveillance patrol monitoring a surveillance camera near a set of traffic lights’ said a police source, who said the violence started just before 3pm.

The horrifying attack took place on the Grande Borne, in the southern Paris suburb of Viry-Chatillon, on Saturday afternoon

The horrifying attack took place on the Grande Borne, in the southern Paris suburb of Viry-Chatillon, on Saturday afternoon

‘They were attacked from all sides. Assailants in a group of around a dozen threw Molotov cocktails at the car.

‘Two of the officers were very badly burned and rushed to intensive care units. Two others received hospital treatment.

‘The other officers hurt managed to call reinforcements who turned up to secure the area.’

The surveillance cameras pointed towards a stretch of road where a lot of robberies have taken place in recent months, said the source.

The attack comes during a State of Emergency put in place across France last year following a series of terrorist attacks by ISIS.

Protests against the government over employment reform has also seen a series of savage attacks on police officers, including their patrol cars being set on fire.

Protests against the government over employment reform has also seen a series of savage attacks on police officers, including their patrol cars being set on fire

Protests against the government over employment reform has also seen a series of savage attacks on police officers, including their patrol cars being set on fire

The latest incident is likely to be linked to the drug gangs who roam the Grande Borne, a housing project that was built in the 1960s and is now officially classed as a 'sensitive security area'

The latest incident is likely to be linked to the drug gangs who roam the Grande Borne, a housing project that was built in the 1960s and is now officially classed as a ‘sensitive security area’.

Responding to the violence, President Francois Hollande said: ‘Everything will be done to find the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to justice so they receive a sentence in-keeping with the severity of their crime.’

He said the Grande Borne attacked was ‘unspeakable and intolerable because it endangered the lives of officers whose job was to protect the population’.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls meanwhile said the attack had been ‘extremely serious and very cowardly’.

Mr Hollande said the gang would be ‘relentlessly pursued and brought to justice. At a time when the security forces are bravely responding to the(terrorist threats facing our country, such intolerable acts call for exemplary sanctions’.

Jean-Marie Vilain, the mayor of the area that covers the Grande Borne, said: ‘The next step will be to go inside Grande Borne to put an end to all the drug dealing, because that is really what the cameras interfere with.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3829197/Four-French-police-officers-set-FIRE-thugs-pelt-car-petrol-bombs-patrol-near-Paris.html#ixzz4MaKmCPXB
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Presidential Debates Will Be a Major Influence for a Third of Voters, Poll Says

September 25, 2016

Some 34% say matchups between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be very important in picking a candidate to support

The first of the presidential debates comes as the campaign heads into the home stretch, with Hillary Clinton narrowly leading Donald Trump in polls.
The first of the presidential debates comes as the campaign heads into the home stretch, with Hillary Clinton narrowly leading Donald Trump in polls. PHOTO: ANN PARRY/ZUMA PRESS
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Sept. 25, 2016 9:00 a.m. ET

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One-third of voters say the presidential debates will be very important in helping them decide whom to support for president, with slightly more Republicans than Democrats saying so, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.

Some 34% of registered voters said the set of three presidential debates that start on Monday in New York would be extremely or quite important to their decision.

Among Republicans, 37% said the debates would be important to them, while 31% of Democrats said the same.

About two-thirds of voters said the debates would be only somewhat important to their voting decision or not important at all.

The first of the presidential debates comes as the campaign heads into the home stretch, with Democratic nominee Hillary Clintonnarrowly leading Republican Donald Trump in opinion polls. The election is shaping up as a lesser-of-two-evils choice for many voters, as the Journal/NBC News poll found that the two major-party candidates are viewed negatively by large swaths of the electorate.

The debates give the candidates a chance to make a better impression before a broad national audience, including many who are just beginning to consider their options.

Voter groups that seem poised to pay the most attention include several that Mrs. Clinton is counting on to win. Some 49% of Hispanics, 42% of African-Americans and 39% of voters under age 35 say the debates will be extremely or quite important to them.

But two other voting blocs important to Mrs. Clinton are showing low interest in the debates, suggesting that their voting decisions are already set. Some 74% of liberals and 71% of white women with college degrees said the debates would be only somewhat important or not important at all.

Some of the most attentive viewers of the Clinton-Trump debates may be supporters of a candidate not on the stage: 44% of people supporting Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson consider them very important.
Melissa Huber, 39, a day-care provider in Oklahoma, is considering supporting Mr. Johnson but might be persuaded to back one of the major-party candidates, instead.

“I feel like they are both bad choices,” she said. “I’m hoping that through the debate one of them will come out as a preferred option.”

MORE CAMPAIGN 2016

Ms. Huber said she is more inclined to support Mr. Trump over Mrs. Clinton and that the best thing he could do in the debate to win her over was to “show a little decorum. Show that he can be presidential.”

Arnitress Dowdy, 39, an African-American who hasn’t settled on a candidate, is inclined to support Mrs. Clinton and is hoping to hear her address issues of race and police violence in the wake of the turmoil in Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m not sure who is really well equipped; I just need to hear more,” said Ms. Dowdy, a mother of two in New York. “I know she has advocated for children. I want to know what she will do so things will calm down.”

The television audience for Monday’s debate is expected to break records. But it may not change a record-breaking number of minds, the Journal/NBC News poll suggests. While one-third of voters say the debates will be important, only 11% of voters are the most persuadable. These voters say the debates will be important and that they are undecided in their choice, are currently backing a third-party candidate or only leaning toward Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton.

For all the drama surrounding the Clinton-Trump matchup, the level of interest in these debates isn’t very different than in previous presidential elections. The share of voters who said the debates were important was 38% in 2012, 31% in 2004 and 36% in 2000, close to the 34% of this year’s voter pool.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted Sept. 16-19. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Write to Janet Hook at janet.hook@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/presidential-debates-will-be-a-major-influence-for-a-third-of-voters-poll-says-1474808400