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METRO BRIEFS: Sept. 16, 2019

04:02 AM September 16, 2019

Cimatu wants to ban parked vessels on Pasig River

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from illegal structures built beside the Pasig River and its tributaries, Environment Secretary and now Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) Chair Roy Cimatu will also  address yet another “eyesore:” illegally berthed vessels.

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In his first visit to the PRRC office last week, Cimatu said that the parked vessels were also contributing to pollution, considering the waste that the crew of the vessels may be dumping in the body of water.

“The Pasig River is not for parking,” he said. “They cannot park there. [Removing them] will be our first operation.”

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Cimatu clarified that during inclement weather, vessels would be allowed to dock in the river. Once the weather clears, however, they should head back to their designated harbors.

Last week, the environment official said that under his leadership, the agency would strengthen its crackdown on illegal structures built on the riverbanks as well as the connecting tributaries. —Jhesset O. Enano

NCRPO chief commends men for refusing P2-M bribe

MANILA, Philippines — Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), has commended the Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) after three suspects, including a lawyer, were arrested for allegedly offering a P2-million bribe in exchange for the release of a Chinese woman earlier apprehended in an antihuman trafficking operation in Makati City.

Eleazar identified the suspects as lawyer Joselito Vasquez, 56, of 7109 Anselmo Street, Makati; driver Meljohn Palma, a 43-year-old Army reservist with a rank of corporal; and Huang Xiang Fei, 28, a native of Hunan, China, who now resides in Binondo, Manila.

Caught red-handed in an entrapment video, the three offered the money to the RSOU chief, Lt. Col. Rogarth Campo, inside his office at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City , around 2 a.m. on Sept. 6, for the release of “Miss Li.”

Believed to be a member of a Chinese prostitution syndicate, Li was earlier arrested along with six other Vietnamese women.

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Bribery charges were filed against Vasquez, Palma and Huang in the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office.

In an NCRPO statement, Campo said no amount of money from criminals could make his team do anything that would dishonor the leadership of Eleazar, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde and President Rodrigo Duterte.

Eleazar added: “Here in NCRPO, the law is not for sale. Don’t try to bribe our policemen.” —Contributed

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