No. 233 /  January 1-15, 2010
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23 Ecija police officers reshuffled

Twenty-three ranking police officials -- including 12 police chiefs --were affected by a major revamp at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office last January 9, coinciding with the implementation of the total gun ban.

Sr. Supt. Ricardo C. Marquez, provincial police director, ordered the reshuffle of the chiefs of police of Cabanatuan, Gapan, Muñoz, Palayan, Talavera, Guimba, Zaragoza, Quezon, San Isidro, Bongabon, Laur and Licab.

Those affected were Supts. Efren Ramos of  Cabanatuan City, Fernando Galang of the Science City of Muñoz, Epitacio Domingo of Palayan City and Diosdado Iniego  of Gapan City; Pedro Soliba  of Talavera, and Renato David of Guimba; Chief Inspectors Danilo Zulueta, Sr. of Zaragoza, Samuel Avila of Quezon and Arnel Santiago of San Isidro; and Senior Insps. Armando Santiago of Bongabon, Danilo Eduardo of Laur and Aniano Madrid of Licab.

Also relieved were Supts. Edgar Allan Okubo, chief, 307th Provincial Mobile Group; Jonathan Cabal, chief, provincial operations and plans branch; Moises Pagaduan, chief, provincial election monitoring and action center; Ricardo Villanueva, chief, provincial community relations branch; and Manuel Cornel,  chief, provincial personnel holding and accounting unit; Chief Insps. Angel Bondoc of the provincial logistics branch and Carlito Lopez of the Gapan police; and Senior Insps. Marcelino Veneracion of the Cabanatuan police, Raymundo Valera of the provincial investigation and detective management branch, Romeo Ramos of the provincial headquarters security group and Almario Evaristo of the Talavera police.

Ramos was reassigned to the PPHAU, exchanging posts with Cornel; Galang to the provincial legal section; Domingo to the PCRB, replacing Villanueva who took Iniego’s Gapan post; while Iniego was reassigned to the office of the deputy provincial director for operations. ###

Marquez: 'Let's make this election different'

Sr. Supt. Ricardo C. Marquez, Nueva Ecija police chief, challenged Novo Ecijanos to act to get finally rid of the "election hot spot" tag that has perennially been attached to the province during elections.

"Let's make this election different!" Marquez said.

He said that despite the positive descriptions of Nueva Ecija as the rice granary of the country, dairy capital of the Philippines and center of science and research,  the province has always been included in the so-called "areas of concern" during election periods.

Di ba kayo kinikilabutan na kahanay natin ang Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu at Lanao, kapag kapayapaan ang pinag-uusapan? Pilitin naman nating maalis sa hanay ng mga magugulong lugar sa bansa para puntahan tayo ng mga negosyante,” Marquez said.

He admitted the need for more police manpower to ensure the holding of orderly and peaceful elections in May.  He said that the total number of policemen in the province is 1,500, or merely two policemen for each of the 849 barangays in the province that have to be monitored.

Marquez also admitted that they are monitoring  private armed groups in the province but for the moment declined to identify them. ###

Licab mayor's cousin killed

A close relative of the Licab mayor and former town councilor was shot and killed by two motorcycle riding men in Quezon town last January 7.

The victim was identified as Dr. Alejandro Domingo, 77, a retired dentist of Poblacion Norte and reported to be a cousin of Mayor Wilfredo Domingo. He died of a gunshot wound in the head.

Sr. Insp. Jesus Avila, Quezon police chief, said that Domingo was on his way to the town proper on board his jeep being driven by Segmundo Domingo when the suspects appeared. One of the suspects with his face covered with a handkerchief, got off the motorcycle, pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and shot the victim at close range. The jeep driver was unhurt.

Though the police said that the motive for the shooting has yet to be established, Mayor Domingo -- who is running for reelection under the Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija (BALANE) -- said that he was the real target of the attack.

He said that his cousin had no known enemies.

“Imagine he's a doctor, a senior citizen, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a law-abiding citizen, yet he was not spared. What kind of personality and character do the brains behind this dastardly killing have?” he asked.

Domingo said that in the past few days, heavily armed men had been sighted roaming around Licab. He said that these men were not from Licab and were clearly guns-for-hire.

He recalled that two of his political allies were also killed in 2007.

Chief. Supt. Leon Nilo dela Cruz, Central Luzon police director, created a task force to investigate the incident following reports that the Quezon police arrived late at the crime scene and submitted a delayed report to the Nueva Ecija police director.

Sr. Supt. Ricardo Marquez, provincial police chief, said that they are considering the relief of two police chiefs -- Chief Insp. Samuel Avila of Quezon and Sr. Insp. Aniano Madrid of Licab -- for lapses committed in the investigation of the shooting incident. ###

4 die in San Antonio massacre

Four members of the Galicia family, including an 8 month old baby, were shot dead inside their house in Barangay Lawang-Kupang, San Antonio last January 13.

Reports reaching the office of Chief. Supt. Leon Nilo dela Cruz, Central Luzon police chief, identified the victims as Marcela Saclolo Galicia, 50; her son Mark Arthur, 28; daughter-in-law Cecille, 29; and baby granddaughter Aicelle. They had multiple gunshot wounds in their heads and different parts of their bodies.

The bodies of Marcela and her son were discovered outside their house while those of her daughter-in-law and granddaughter were found inside.

Sr. Supt. Marvin Bobabola, who heads investigators from the 3rd Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, said that they are zeroing in on personal grudge as a possible motive for the massacre. 

The killings happened at a time when the police and military forces are enforcing the Commission on Election's nationwide gun ban.

Meanwhile, Mayor Arvin Salonga condemned the incident and said that it should awaken law enforcers to strictly implement the total gun ban policy.

“It's saddening. We are supposed to have a total gun ban policy in force yet the shooting to the death of four persons were committed in wild abandon and with impunity,” said Salonga, president of the Nueva Ecija chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

He urged the Philippine National Police to work for the immediate solution of the crime and 
bring the perpetrators before the bar of justice. ###

New Year's Eve aftermath
39 injured in 'cracker explosions

A total of 39 persons were injured in the New Year's Eve revelry in Nueva Ecija.

Sixteen of the victims were youngsters aged 18 and below.

The number  included 15 from Cabanatuan City, six each from San Jose City and Gapan City, three from Muñoz, two each from Gabaldon and Palayan City and one each from General Tinio, Lupao and Rizal.

Among the victims were John Wayne Eugenio, 5; Julius Caezar Sebastian, 7; Mark Alvin Matias, 12; Joel Sarmiento, 23; Angel Javier, 7; John Bin Alcantara, 11; Neryz Gil, 22; Jervy Lising, 6; Maricris Ladignon, 27; Flor Villaflor Talindan, 20; Kevin Carlo Capule, 8; Ulysses Calija, 12; Elmer Conca Pablo, 19; Rizlyn Valino, 20; and Alexander Gan, 51, all of Cabanatuan City; Jerald Morete, 30; Diosdado Sylvestre, 58; Lolita Sylvestre, 43; all of Muñoz; Joel Yu Biado, Melvin Esteban, 24, of Rizal; John Caulali, 7, of Lupao; and Eric Bote  of General Tinio. ###

Cops seize 15 rifles at Muñoz checkpoint

Fifteen automatic rifles were seized from a government vehicle at a checkpoint in the Science City of Muñoz last January 9.

The 15 baby Armalite rifles were found in a Toyota Revo with government plate number SVS 505 at a checkpoint set up in front of Central Luzon State University.

The four occupants of the vehicle identified themselves as employees of the local government of Santiago City in Isabela and produced documents for the firearms but were still placed under investigation.

Checkpoints have been put up on major thoroughfares around the country in connection with the implementation of total gun ban during the election period. ###

Ecijano UN peace keeper among trapped in Haiti quake

Army Sgt. Eustacio Bermudez of San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija is among the members of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti who were trapped when a hotel collapsed following a strong earthquake.

Bermudez's mother, Teresita, continues to pray for her the safe recovery of her son and two other Filipino peace keepers.

It turned out that it was the second time for Bermudez to experience being trapped in a collapsed building following an earthquake..

Teresita said that he is a survivor of the 1990 earthquake that brought down the six story Christian Colleges of the Philippines (CCP) in Cabanatuan City.

She said that her son was then taking up BS in Education at CCP when the school building collapsed. He later transferred to Araullo University.

She said that she last saw her son, the eldest of her five children, on August 22 last year. He was formerly connected with the Army in Aurora before joining the UN force.

She said that she hopes that Eustacio could return to celebrate his 39th birthday together with his wife Ruby and their 16 year old daughter on February 1. ###

Man dies of heart attack while visiting father's tomb

A 50 year old man died when he suffered a heart attack while visiting the grave of his father at Sagrada Familia Memorial Park in Barangay Kapitan Pepe, Cabanatuan City last January 12.

The victim was identified as Josefino Aves Galang, single, of 74 Sarmiento St., Barangay Bantug Bulalo, Cabanatuan City.

Galang suffered chest pain and collapsed beside the tomb of his father. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

It was learned that Galang had been hospitalized recently for hypertension. ###


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