Hits since May 13, 2000
Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.
Court stops Cabanatuan HUC plebiscite
Supreme Court has stopped the January 25 plebiscite for the
conversion of Cabanatuan into a highly
urbanized city (HUC).
decision issued on January 14 was in
answer to a petition filed by Gov.
Aurelio Umali to stop the plebiscite
because, according to him, all registered
voters in the province should be allowed to
participate since they will be affected once
Cabanatuan becomes a highly urbanized city
A provision of the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) resolution setting the January 25
plebiscite states that only registered
voters of Cabanatuan should take part.
setting of the plebiscite was contained in
COMELEC Resolution No. 1353 after the
postponements of the political exercise last
year due to the mid-term elections in May and
the barangay elections in October, and a case
pending in court.
The plebiscite was
intended to ratify Proclamation No. 418 that President Aquino
issued on July 4, 2012, declaring Cabanatuan a highly
urbanized city after it was able to comply with
all the requirements for HUC status based on the
Local Government Code of 1991.
a minimum population
of 200,000 as certified by the National
Statistics Office, an annual income of not below
P50 million as certified by the City Treasurer's
Office and an approved resolution signed by the
Sangguniang Panglunsod and with the support of
the city mayor.
Preparations for the January 25 plebiscite would
have included the deployment of some 200
policemen as additional security.
Soliba, city police chief, said the additional
troops would help in ensuring a safe and
peaceful conduct of the plebiscite in the city's
He expressed hope
that the electoral exercise would be
smooth and peaceful, saying "’Di naman siguro
magiging mainit pa ang labanan dito. Wala nang
puwestong pinaglalabanan at tapos na din ang
Meanwhile, a command
conference was called by Arsenio Reyes, Jr.,
acting Cabanatuan City election officer, last
January 11 to map out preparations, plans and
strategies for the holding of the plebiscite.
Among those who
attended were Director Bartolome J. Sinocruz Jr.,
COMELEC deputy executive director for
operations; lawyer Rafael B. Olano, regional
executive director-Region 3; Atty. Emmanuel T.
Ignacio, assistant. regional election director;
lawyer Panfilo C. Doctor Jr., Nueva Ecija
provincial election supervisor; Honorio L.
Castillo, city DILG officer; Lt. Col. Eugene M.
Mata, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry
Brigade; Senior Supt. Crizaldo O. Nieves,
provincial police director; Dr. May B. Eclar,
city schools division superintendent; Florida R.
Oca, city treasurer; and Renato Villaroman, city
top priority to Santa Rosa development
hometown of Gov. Aurelio Umali -- Santa
Rosa -- is on top of his list of development
priorities during his final term.
The governor vowed to
bring development and progress to his town,
saying he could not possibly help develop other
municipalities and cities if he could not
develop his own town.
He said this during
the induction into office of 14 newly elected
barangay chairs of Santa Rosa. He was assisted
by Vice Mayor Tony Romero, Sangguniang Bayan
Member Peter Marcus Matias and allies and
supporters of his party Unang Sigaw Partido ng
He said his
administration's priority is to improve the
infrastructure of the town such as roads and
continue the scholarship program that he and his
wife, Third Dist. Rep. Czarina Umali, started.
He called on the
barangay officials to convey to Santa Rosa
officials, particularly Mayor Josefino Angeles,
the needs of local residents so they can feel
that the he and his wife are helping them.
Cabanatuan condones unpaid real
The Sangguniang Panglunsod (SP) of Cabanatuan
approved an ordinance condoning interests and
penalties from unpaid or delayed payments of
real property taxes starting January 1.
The reason cited for
the move was the devastation that typhoon Santi
brought to the city on October 11 last year that
capability of the citizens to pay taxes.
City Mayor Julius
Cesar Vergara sought the passage of the measure
based on the clamor of residents for a tax
amnesty to enable them to update the payments of
their real property taxes.
Residents can avail
themselves of the amnesty until June 30.
Not covered by the
amnesty are real properties that are subjects of
court cases involving tax delinquency.
The ordinance also
stopped the public auction of delinquent real
properties during the amnesty period. ###
other provinces declared 'insurgent-free'
Nueva Ecija and 28 other provinces in the
country have been "normalized" or freed from the
influence of the New People's Army (NPA)
Lt. Col. Ramon
Zabala, Armed Forces of the Philippines
spokesperson, said normalization means that the
military will transfer to local government
officials and civilian agencies the lead role in
maintaining peace and security in the area.
Aside from Nueva
Ecija, Zabala said the list includes Cavite, La
Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Quirino, Aurora,
Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet in Luzon; Cebu,
Guimaras,bohol, Leyte, Aklan and Antique in the
Visayas; and Misamis Oriental, South Cotabato,
Davao Oriental, Sarangani and Camiguin in
He attributed the
normalization to the military campaign called
"Bayanihan" which sought to end insurgency by
removing its root causes, particularly poverty
and lack of basic services.
The 44-year old
insurgency waged by the NPA is considered the
longest in Asia and the Pacific. ###
... but Bongabon
residents want return of Army to stop
Residents of Bongabon
have asked local officials to ask for the
re-posting of a Philippine Army brigade in the
town because of the widespread fear of the
resurgence of activities of the New People's
Mayor Allan Gamilla
said he has been negotiating with Army officials
to relocate the 702nd Infantry Brigade to
Barangay Calaanan from Binmaley Pangasinan where
it is now based.
The Army unit had
been based in Barangay Calaanan -- once a known
NPA stronghold -- for 25 years until it was
pulled out in 2012 when the owner of the site of
its camp wanted to sell the property.
Gamilla said they
are negotiating with the landowner to have him
donate a parcel of his land for the Army camp.
He said the clamor
for the return of the 702nd IB was growing not
only in his town but in nearby areas as well
because of increasing attacks by the NPA. ###
Ecija LGU, personality,
association cited as most PDW-friendly
The Regional Council on Disability Affairs
(RCDS) recently cited the town of Jaen as "Most
PWD-friendly Municipality" in Central Luzon in
Also awarded were
Marivic Alcantara of San Jose City as "Most
PWD-friendly Leader" and the Nueva Associatiion
of PWDs Multi-Purpose Cooperative's desk-making
project as "Most PWD-friendly Community
The other awardees
were Bulacan as "Most PWD-friendly Province" and
Olongapo as "Most PWD-friendly City".
Meanwhile, the new
officers of the Central Luzon Federation of PWDs
Among them were
Rodolfo Mendoza of Nueva Ecija as president and
Marivic Alcantara of San Jose City as one of the
public relations officers. ###
Ecija NGO receives USAID,
sa Kaunlaran (ASKI), a non-government
organization in Nueva Ecija dealing with
microfinancing, has been chosen as one of only
three organizations worldwide that will receive
a grant from the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) and NetHope
under the Electronic and Mobile Payment
Implementation and Evaluation Grants Program.
The grant from the
two agencies is aimed at supporting leading
development organizations committed to testing
electronic payments, and comparing and
documenting the costs, challenges and benefits
of using cash versus electronic payments.
The $42,000 grant
will be used to demonstrate the potential uses
of electronic payments in relief and development
programs, provide insights into procedures for
making the transition to the system and
encourage the adoption of electronic payments by
other implementing partners.
Besides ASKI, the
other grant recipients were Concern Worlwide in
Malawi and Mennonite Economic Development
Associates in Tanzania, both in Africa.
ASKI will use the
grant to evaluate the mobile banking platform
that it has implemented in partnership with BPI
Globe BanKo, the Philippines' first mobile
phone-based microfinance-focused bank.
In 2012, ASKI and
BanKo entered into an agreement to introduce the
mobile banking platform in its micro-agri loans
for rice farmers. This was tested with
farmers receiving a crop management
recommendation from Rice Crop Manager, a
web-based tool developed by International Rice
Research Institute, that provides rice farmers
with a fertilizer recommendation matching the
nutrient needs of their crops.
ASKI will document
the continued expansion of the transition of its
loan disbursement from check to the cashless
mobile platform not only for farmers but also
for other microentrepreneurs.
ASKI executive director, said that since the
implementation of the program, there has been no
comparative study to look into the benefits of
going from cash-based to cashless transactions.
councilor killed, tanod hurt in gun
barangay kagawad was killed while a barangay
tanod was hurt in two separate shooting
incidents in Talavera on the night of January 5.
Killed was Kagawad
Ruferto dela Cruz, 62, married, of Barangay
Dela Cruz had just
attended a barangay session and was on his way
home when trailed by two unidentified
motorcycle-riding men who shot him repeatedly.
In the second case,
Barangay Tanod Bernardo Matias, 39, of Barangay
Collado was allegedly shot in the left thigh by
Jonathan dela Cruz, 28, who was later arrested
by the police.
The gun that he used
was surrendered to the police by his father.
Dela Cruz was
charged with frustrated homicide. ###
San Isidro man arrested for
man with a gun tucked in his waist was arrested
as he emerged from a chapel in Baranagay Santo
Cristo, San Isidro last January 4.
In a report
submitted by Supt. Ricardo Villanueva,
Provincial Public Safety Company commander, to
Sr. Supt. Crizadlo Nieves, provincial police
director, the suspect was identified as Rolando
Vicencio dela Cruz, 54, of the same barangay.
Dela Cruz had just
gotten out of the chapel when policemen noticed
gun tucked in his waist and acting suspiciously,.
When accosted, dela
Cruz could not present the required documents
for his gun and was immediately arrested. ###
4 nabbbed for illegal mineral
men were held in San Jose City after they were
found transporting several sacks of mineral ore
for which they could not present the required
documents from the Department of Environment and
Arrested at a
checkpoint in Barangay Tayabo were
Alexander Espiritu, 37, driver; Dave Arvin
Felipe, 23, trader; and Felizardo Espiritu, 36,
helper, all of Bgy. Anyatam, San Ildefonso,
Bulacan; and Xyrix Bryan Galang, 25, of Centro
Poblacion, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya.
Villanueva, commander of the Provincial Public
Safety Company, said the four were riding an
Isuzu van when flagged down at the checkpoint at
6:00 A.M. last January 8.
Found in the van were
85 sacks of mineral ore valued at P45,000
allegedly taken from Sitio Banban, Barangay
General Luna, Carranglan, and to be delivered to
a buyer in Metro Manila.
The four were charged
with theft of mineral ore and their vehicle was
Cabanatuan 'shabu queen' nabbed
City's "shabu queen" with a pending warrant of
arrest for illegal drugs was arrested by
anti-narcotics police agents in a buy-bust
operation last January 9.
Supt. Pedro Soliba,
city police chief, identified the suspect as
Perla Magno, 46, of Barangay Imelda District.
She was arrested by
members of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Enforcement
Unit of the local police in a sting operation in
Barangay D.S. Garcia at about 3:30 P.M.
Found in her
possession were 54 sachets of shabu worth about
Magno was found to
have a standing warrant of arrest for violations
of sections of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Act issued
by Judge Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo of Cabanatuan
City Regional Trial Court Branch 23.
interrogation, police learned that Magnoks
husband and son are also detained for illegal
drugs at the Bureau of Jail Management and
Penology Center in Barangay Kalikid, Cabanatuan
Hot lumber seized in San
A combined team of
policemen and Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR) personnel raided
a lumberyard and seized about 8,000 board feet
of illegally sawn timber worth around P400,000
during an anti-illegal logging operation in
Sitio Tumana, Barangay Malloca, San Leonardo
last January 3.
Raided was the Jose
Longalong compound at around 9:00 A.M.
Sr. Supt. Crizaldo
Nieves, provincial police director, said the
DENR team under Ariel Mendoza, community
environment and natural resources officer,
joined forces with the San Leonardo policemen
under Chief Insp. Renato Morales in the
operation that resulted in the seizure of 8,000
board feet of ordinary and yakal lumber flitches
worth around P396,000.
provincial environment and natural resources
officer, said he and Nieves personally
supervised the raid after Mendoza received a
letter-complaint about the stock of illegal
lumber in the area.
Ignacio said the
site was remote and somewhat dangerous to
venture into, thus the joint operation with the
The seized lumber
were brought to the DENR facility in Palayan
City for proper disposition. ###