PO2 Arlene Manatad: One, only woman SWAT

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 11, (PIA)—So what’s with a woman in the elite police force?

There must have something that toughened this frail girl in a brood of four from a remote barangay in Buenavista, Bohol to let her squeeze through hardships as they fall one by one the moment she wears the bulletproof vest of prayer and determination.
The name Arlene Manatad is just like any ordinary Boholano name.
At 27, and a single parent to an 8 year old girl, this innocent looking face and disarming smile is a woman’s taser. But her normal build masks a core toughness that makes Arlene Manatad a name whispered among the elites of Bohol police force.
She has just crossed over the fence of the frail woman image to be honored as the first and only woman member of the elite police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in Bohol.
Said to be the toughest test of physical fitness and agility, mental and spiritual strength among elite police officer’s trainings, SWAT commissioning have been notoriously called the most physically rigorous and mentally straining activity for 77 days of police life.
But for Police Officer 2 Manatad, the pain and the strain are just hurdles towards her determined goal to bring the woman earn its rightful equal footing, with the men.
Born on June 4, 1989 as the youngest in a brood of four, three of them boys, Arlene traces her playgrounds in remote barangay in Lusong, Buenavista town. Their father works as the barangay captian and sallies back and forth with works at the National Grid Corporation while her mother does the child rearing and the housework.
For her, being alone to fend off for herself is never new: she has to walk from her barangay to the nearby elementary school in Lubang, and to stay in a boarding house in Getafe for her secondary schools. By the time she was ripe for college, she opted to sail across to Cebu and studied Bachelor of Science major in Criminology at the University of Cebu. Alone.
A class mate in college, whom she would have to be forced to marry, got her pregnant. Four days after her marriage, her husband left them and would show up again later in her life.
When ladies of less temper would have surrendered to the bad fate, she continued her school while nursing the baby and keeping them eating square meals in economically challenging Cebu.
By December 1, 2010, she was accepted in the police force after passing the board, at that time, her estranged husband showed up to seek favors, but having survived after he abandoned them, she has had enough.
Her first assignment was at the Cebu Provincial Police Office, but desk work bores her that she decided to barge into the world of men in the police force: the Regional Public Safety Battalion.
There she showed what a woman can do in a world dominated by testosterone: become intelligence chief among Alpha ones.
To prove she still has a fight left in her, she jumped into the chance to train into the anti-insurgency police force: the PNP Scouts.
Along with 2000 at the trainings, Arlene was said to be the youngest but was the source of inspiration among women in the training camp.
“I was the youngest but I hand to be the mother taking care of the women who feel too tired to go on,” she beamed.
For that, she said she felt lucky to be among the 264 police officers accepted.
And that plus her precise operational skills endeared her to the elder SWAT: she was often borrowed to infiltrate anti-drug and anti- crime ring operations.
After completing years of meritorious service for Cebu, PO2 Arlene requested for transfer, where the SWAT and RPSB take turns using her skill and intelligence gathering skills in operations, enough to push her to finally officially join the SWAT training in Bohol.
Of the 4 women in the 72 who started training in November, PO2 Manatad flew through the hurdles, grimacing but the pain paid off when she finished among the top ten in a graduating class of 64.
“The training was hard but what was harder was when my father left us and my mother for another woman in 2012,” she bared.
But, if it had to happen, it should, she finally hinted.
Already whetted by the abrasive stones of trails, the acid test of endurance in trainings and the firm resolve to fight it out; nails and teeth, when life hands a dirty deal, living as a woman, mother and a crime-buster for PO2 Arlene Manatad has always been a multi-tasking feat.
“Of course, life is tough, she hints, but with the playing fields now expanding for women to get on the arena, all one needs is to commit to the tasks at hand and never give up,” she advised.
“As women, we should never be afraid to stand for our rights,” she stressed.
We are not alone. We have agencies that are there to help us, she capped.
That statement etched an image in our minds, “fix eyes to the target, breathe, relax, aim and shoot.”
It could have been PO2 Manatad’s unspoken motto.
She is an undisputed sharpshooter, co SWAT graduates proudly told us. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Fixing the eyes to the crosshairs, breathe, relax, aim, squeeze and shoot. PO2 Arlene Manatad shares what being a woman is in a world brimming with testosterone. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Police adopt parameters for antidrug enforcement teams

TAGBILARAN CITY, March 9 (PIA)—They are back, and while there are stricter parameters for police participation in the government’s anti drug campaign, they come in with a new tenacity.

Now reinforced with the 64 newly graduated members of the Police and the military’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), the Philippine National Police again rejoins the fray with a resolve: erase the vile left by rogue cops using the drug raids to mask their corruption.

PNP Central Visayas Chief PCSuperintendent Noli Taliño told media that when the police rejoin the anti-drug campaign, those involved would he a team of disciplined and police with a good track service record.

This as the police resume their tasks in the anti illegal drugs campaign with the return of Oplan Double Barrel Alpha Reloaded.

“Unlike then, not all the police in the force can now join the drive,” General Taliño bared during the recent turn-over of the P4.87 million modern police station in Cortes.

Even Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mike Sueño admitted that when the government started the anti drugs drive, they just accepted those who volunteered, without going for a background investigation.

“That is where we allowed the bad elements to contaminate the program, Sueño candidly admitted during a forum with barangay chairmen in Bohol last month.

Determined not to fall into that same trap, the PNP organization firms up the national Drug Enforcement Unit, PCSupt Taliño, upon which his office also draws guidance from the DILG during operations.

The provinces also form their Provincial Drug Enforcement Team (DET), and so would the towns firm up their Municipal DETs, CSupt. Taliño explained further.

Those who constitute the DETs would be going past a rigorous personality check and background information to make sure they are fit and can be trusted, hinted the police chief for Central Visayas.

He said everyone would be placed under investigation, before getting admitted to run the government anti drug drive in their areas.

Even then, these DETS would still need to coordinate their operations with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The PDEA is the government agency primarily tasked to head the government anti drug campaign.

Drug operations, like then would need a barangay official, a priest, imam, pastor or any leader of a religious sect in the area, as witnesses.

And to get past that, in its efforts to internally cleanse its organization, the regional chief said they did random drug tests to its 8,000 officers and men in the region, including its non-uniformed personnel.

At the random drug tests, 9 tested positive and are now facing summary dismissal proceedings, he told the modest crowd gathered at the turn-over.

“If found to be truly guilty, I am sure they would be dismissed,” he sternly declared.

On their return to rejoin the drug war, he urged his men: Let’s restore the good support given to us, with a good service.”(rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Double Barrel Alpha Reloaded gets its confirmed resumption when PNP Regional Director PCSupt Noli Taliño announced it in Cortes during the recent turn-over of the new police station. Taliño said they will be back, but it would be via a disciplined team of credible officers passing a rigorous test of honesty and courage. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

PCSupt Taliño turns over P4.87 M Cortes station

CORTES, Bohol March 8 (PIA)–Central Visayas regional Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Noli Taliño led police and local government officials in the inauguration and turn-over of the P4.87 million three-storey Cortes Police Station, March 8.

Accompanied by Regional Deputy Director for Logistics PSupt. Pedrillo Villlamor Jr, Bohol Police Chief PSSupt Felipe Natividad, Police Regional Chief for engineering PSinspector Jason Gutierrez, regional and provincial office staff, PCSupt. Taliño openly beamed his appreciation for the Cortes local officials led by Mayor Lynn Ivenn Lim for the support.

“With the lot donation, the only PNP requirement for the setting up of the fund for the building, we have this to show,” the regional chief said, referring to the iconic blue and white police station building.

“This is part of the police transformation program which CPNP General Conrado Lomibao initiated and put in the funds so the PNP can have separate police stations,” Taliño explained.

He said the PNP minimum lot donation is 400 square meters, and the donation would not go to the PNP, it still belongs to the town.

“We just make sure that it is the PNP which uses the building,” he added.

Cortes Parish Priest Roderick Pizarras officiated the blessing which was also attended by local advisory council members and town constituents.

Although seemingly getting to be credited by the accomplishment, Cortes mayor Lim also insisted that the success also goes to the past leaders and the Sangguniang Bayan members led by Vice Mayor Leo Pabotoy.

He told the crowd that it was during the incumbency of then Mayor Leo Pabotoy when the lot donation happened in 1989.

Lim said he was still a councilor then.

When then police inspector Lamberto Hibaya resurrected the plan to build a station, and asked for a donation, all he did was ask the secretary of the council to dig the records, the mayor narrated.

Cortes donated the lot of which the National Government through the Philippine National Police and its Regional Office implemented the P4.87 million structure.

The building incorporates detention cells for male and female inmates, offices for Women and Children, Admin and Operations, Chief of Station, officers quarters, radio room, and an open space for conferences at the third floor.

Built according to the standards followed by the PNP for their buildings, the new structure, according to Mayor Lim, is the first public building built in Cortes during his term.

PCSupt Taliño also thanked the Mayor over local reports that the Cortes leadership intends to purchase furniture and fixtures to the new building which the government fully funded.

Cortes Officer in Charge SPO4 Josue Lungog along with PCSupt Taliño signed the acceptance documents even as Mayor Lim received the symbolic key to the infrastructure.

Upon receiving the key, Mayor Lim stressed his gratefulness to the PNP stressing the key role of the police in maintaining peace and order and in effecting progress in the town.

Taliño urges the police and the town folks to take care of the building as it might be long after a new building for the police could be built.

And to his men, General Taliño commanded: We will repay the town with a good service. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Cortes Mayor Lynn Ivenn Lim shows off the ribbon to the town folk after the ceremonial cutting signaling the turn-over of the P4.8 M facility for the local police, while PNP7 RD Noli Taliño (back towards cam) witnessed and graced the event. Also there was Fr Roderick Pizarras, PSupt Baja and regional and provincial office staff. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Best Pinagsanib SWAT grads to lead AFP anti-drugs opns

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 28 (PIA)–The past month may have seen a lull in the local anti-drugs war, but now, expect some change.

If the suspension of police in anti-drug operations dealt a huge setback in the anti drug war, the undermanned Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the lead role, and the army being thrown into the task they were not trained for, arrests which then happened daily, ebbed.

Both the military and the PDEA are not equipped to wrestle the immensity of the beast that the drug problem has mutated, a Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) member commented at the February 2016 drug war accomplishment.

Last Tuesday however, two teams of nine squads from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) completed the 77 days 496 hours of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) along with 46 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The full 72 hours training course equips the AFP with 18 men some serious capability to handle a variety of crisis situations in urban warfare, counter-terrorism, urban assault, hostage taking, close quarter combat and a menu of aggressive breaches of closed structures, said PNP Deputy regional Director for Administration PCSupt. Franklin Moises Mabanag.

Coming in as keynote speaker and guest in the possibly first in the country joint training for AFP and the PNP, General Mabanag hailed Bohol for the rare convergence of police and army and assured that the PNP still has some more skills for the trained group which has just been enthroned to the ranks of the police elites.

All belonging to Class 32-2016, Class Pinagsanib is actually a team of 63 men and a woman survivor of the converged PNP and AFP men and women from the initial 72 who showed at the start of the training in November of last year.

But when police SWAT have been feared for their strategic planning and offensives, this batch may have an ace in its sleeves.

Two of the top three performing graduates come from the AFP ranks.

Army 2Lts Giovanni Payumo and Michael Imperial took the top and the third spot among the 64 graduates who have successfully racked up points in theory, physical fitness and psychological strength tests to be rated the top among elites.

And another thing, from the ranks of the Army SWAT team is the batch’s fire-arms proficiency expert: Corporal Kurt Agapito, who received a Certificate of Proficiency.

The three from the 18 officers and men of the AFP would now be leading their teams in keeping up with the presidential mandate to lead anti-drug operations in Bohol.

47IB Commander Colonel Jose Dodgie Belloga, in fact reported at the PPOC that they would have to commit their two squads for the anti-drug operations.

“We are deploying 2 army squads graduating from the SWAT course to support the campaign against drugs,” Col Belloga said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

Do not be deceived by the new SWAT members. They may be looking weak and fragile but behind that innocent smile is a core so tough you would rather not mess with them. 64 new SWAT members graduated to complement Bohol’s drug drive. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

BPPO Proud of 62 new SWAT Members Innovation 1st in the country-PA

AFTER THE TRAGEDY that hit the Province of Bohol which left everyone stunned, the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) is sending the message that Boholanos can now feel safer.
This is because just last Tuesday, sixty-two members of the Philippine National Police and of the Armed Forces of the Philippines gladly participated in the graduation rites as new members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Class “Pinagsanib” group after an exhaustive and rigid two-month special training.
The number started out with sixty-four trainees, but then, of the three women who have initially enlisted, two dropped out which then left a sole woman survivor who eventually graduated with sixty-one men in uniform.
The SWAT graduation ceremonies at the BPPO grounds commenced with a simulation of an actual combat situation where SWAT know-how and special mind tactics were deployed right before the very eyes of the guests.
The adrenaline rush was upped even more when three explosions were witnessed by everyone and the graduating class exhibited more special tactics, not only to please the audience, but more so, to show what would happen to offenders when they cross paths with Bohol’s latest SWAT corps.
Participants and guests were warmly greeted by Bohol PNP Chief Felipe Natividad, with Guest of Honor, PCSupt. Franklin Moises R. Mabanag, Deputy Regional Director for Administration, PRO-7; and Provincial Administrator Alfonso “Ae” R. Damalerio, in lieu of Gov. Edgar M. Chatto.
The Bohol SWAT Team is a composite group of the PNP and AFP, a clear innovation of the 302nd Achievers Brigade, the 47th Infantry Brigade, BPPO, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), and the Provincial Government of Bohol under the helm of Gov. Edgar M. Chatto.
Provincial Administrator Damalerio proudly informed everyone that “this innovation is the very first in the country, and for the next step, we are now planning on an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training.”
EOD performs, supervises, and manages explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) operations; and locates, identifies, disarms, neutralizes, recovers, and disposes of hazardous explosives; conventional, chemical, biological, incendiary, and nuclear ordnance; and criminal or terrorist devices.
Other guests during the SWAT graduation ceremonies were Colonel Arnulfo Matanguihan, Commander of the 302nd Brigade of the Philippine Army, LTC Jose Dodjie Belloga Jr., Battalion Commander of the 47th IB of the Philippine Army, Superintendent Renato Dugan of PRO-7 and Tagbilaran City PNP Chief Col. Nicomedes Olaivar. (JLV/PGBh/EDCom)

Police deny claims of abductions in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, February 28 (PIA)–Camp Dagohoy has categorically denied the claims rounding up social media sites claiming alarm on attempts of kidnapping of school children.

Bohol Police Camp Dagohoy, through Police Superintendent Vincent Paul Dumaguing said there is no such reports reaching Camp Dagohoy.

At the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting February 28, the Camp Dagohoy Spokesperson said they are collecting filed reports every 6 AM and 6 PM, and there has been no such thing indicated in reports from police stations in the town.

Earlier, reports citing police authorities advising the public about the alleged activities of a group roaming around Bohol onboard a van to kidnap children along roads seeped through the social media.

At least a local paper also had the report printed.

The news reports cited incidents in Sikatuna, Sierra Bullones, Valencia, Tubigon and Cortes.

In a radio interview, Cortes police officer 1 Gregorio Pacot shared that two brothers: 7 and 11 were allegedly walking along the national highway in Loreto, when a black van suddenly blocked their path.

As to reports, a bonnet-clad man stepped out of the van and allegedly tried to take the children.

According to the Cortes cop, the kids’ parents narrated that the children ran away and escaped, and the alleged kidnappers did not pursue the fleeing children.

Also in the report was another case that purportedly happened in Tubigon town, which also accordingly pushed local authorities to dispatch army and police authorities to secure their barangays.

At the same meeting, a member of the PPOC privately tried to get a confirmation about another text message of similar child kidnapping alarm in Antequera.

Minutes later however, by confirmation of Antequera police authorities and the Department of Education, the message turned out to be a false alarm.

The reported missing kid was proven to have hidden himself out of a game. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

PNP Camp Dogohoy spokesperson PCInspector Vincent Paul Dumaguing denies there are cases of kidnapping in Bohol, and added that they should know because they collect updates from police stations every 6 AM and PM. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)