Volume 17 / No. 01   |  January 15, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
end of the month.
All rights reserved.

Ecijano named bishop of
Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah

Pope Francis has named Filipino-American bishop Oscar Azarcon Solis -- a native of San Jose City -- as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States.

Solis will be the first Filipino-American bishop to lead a diocese in the United States.

He was born in San Jose City on October 13, 1953. He took up philosophy at the Christ the King Seminary of the Society of the Divine Word in Tagaytay City and pursued his theological studies at the seminary of the University of Santo Tomas.

Solis was ordained priest on April 28, 1979 in the Diocese of Cabanatuan and served as chaplain to a number of organizations, prefect of seminary studies and diocesan vocations director.

He emigrated to the United States in 1984 and was a parochial vicar in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey until 1988. Later at the Diocese of Huma-Thibodaux, Louisiana in 1992, he served in four different parishes.

Solis was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2014, becoming the first Filipino-American bishop ordained in the United States.

Solis will be officially installed as Salt Lake City bishop at the Cathedral of the Madelaine on March 7. ###

SC acquits ex-Cuyapo mayor

The Supreme Court (SC) acquitted former Cuyapo Mayor Amado Corpuz, Jr. in the falsification of public documents filed against him regarding the alleged forged certificate of marriage of two couples in 2009.

The acquittal was based on the failure of the prosecution to prove Corpuz's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The SC's Third Division granted the petition for review on a certoriari filed by Corpuz and reversed the decision of the Sandiganbayan on the two criminal cases.

In October 2009, Corpuz allegedly took advantage of his official position and falsified the certificates of marriage of couples Manny Asuncion and Dina Lumalan, and Alex Pascual and Esperanza Arizabal by certifying that it was he who solemnized the wedding when it was the local civil registrar, Thelmo Corpuz, Sr. who presided over the rites.

On February 27, 2014, the Sandiganbayan (SB) found Corpuz guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced him with imprisonment of up to eight years and a fine of P5,000.

Corpus filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied, prompting him to go the the SC.

In the recently released ruling written by Associate Justice Jose Portugal Perez and concurred in by Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Bienvenido Perez and Francis Jardeleza, the Third Division said that “in ruling that petitioner was not the one who solemnized the subject marriages, the SB relied heavily on the testimonial evidence of the prosecution’s witnesses, particularly on the common fact that they all witnessed an alleged ceremony conducted on said dates wherein Thelmo 0. Corpuz, Sr., the municipal registrar, was the one who acted as the solemnizing officer, and not petitioner.”

The SC said the prosecution failed to establish the elements of falsification of public documents. ###

Gabaldon to hold 'Gulayan Festival'

The municipality of Gabaldon will celebrate bountiful harvest in the "6th Gulayan Festval" from January 21 to 25.

The festival started in 2012 and features the rich cultural traditions and natural resources of Gabaldon, including a parade of floats decorated with vegetables and fruits.

The affair is held in honor of Saint Paul the Apostle.

For the first time, the environmental group Haribon Foundation will join the festival to call attention to the importance of protecting the endangered Philippine Eagle and help ensure a healthy biodiversity in Gabaldon.

In 2014, the town's Mount Mingan was declared a protected sanctuary of the Philippine Eagle after Haribon researchers confirmed the presence there of an adult pair and a juvenile. ###

Cabiao's 'Paistimaka Festival' scrapped for being too costly

Cabiao's "Paistimaka Festival" has been cancelled by Mayor Ramil Rivera for being "too costly".

Instead, the festival, held every first week of February, will be replaced by a dance festival among schools.

Rivera explained that the decision not to  hold the festival this year was because of the P1 million budget for its staging.

He said the move is not politically motivated, adding that the Catholic church has asked to integrate the festivities with the town fiesta in May to make the affair livelier.

Paistimaka is usually held from February 5 to 11 coinciding the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The festival aimed to showcase the agricultural products of Cabiao residents. The name is an acronym for "palay", "isda", "tilapia", "mais", "karme" and "ka" meaning "you". ###

San Jose City to pay P430-M worth of loans until 2025

The local government of San Jose City needs to pay P403 million until 2025 for loans made by the previous administration.

Mayor Mario Salvador, in a press conference, said the biggest challenge faced by his administration is how to pay outstanding loans in the next nine years.

He said the city's development funds for 2016 had already been obligated when he assumed office last July.

The loans were incurred by former three-term mayor Marivic Belena.starting in October 2009 up to last year, payable in seven and 10 years.

Salvador said that in November 2012, the Belena administration took a P69.6 million loan for the city government center building, payable in November 2022.

He said the biggest chunk was the P82 million loan obtained in March 2015 from the Nueva Ecija Lending Center-Cabanatuan branch of Land Bank of the Philippines which is payable by March 2025.

The other loans that Salvador mentioned were P16.1 for the city's computerization project, P139 million for the purchase of heavy equipment, P62 million for school buildings, P38 million for the public market parking area and P3 million for the market's vegetable section.

Of the loans, only the one for the computerization project has been fully paid.

Salvador said the city is largely dependent on Internal Revenue Allotment as source of P458.1 million funds, representing 76.48 percent of the annual budget. ###

NIA-UPRIIS assures enough water for dry season cropping

The National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems (NIA-UPRIIS) assures farmers that there is enough irrigation water in Pantabangan Dam and other small water reservoirs in the province for the dry cropping season.

Engr Florentino David, NIA-UPRIIS manager, said the dam can sustain the irrigation requirements of farms mostly in Nueva Ecija and parts of the adjoining provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan.

This year, UPRIIS has programmed to irrigate 100,489 hectares of farms.

David admitted that they will experience difficulties in releasing irrigation supply in parts of San Miguel in Bulacan; and Gapan City and Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija because of their distance from the source but they are looking at ways for water to reach them. ###

2 Ecija universities enter 13th Smart SWEEP Awards finals

Student teams from two Nueva Ecija universities are among the ten finalists in the country's biggest technology competition -- the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

The finalists include a team from Wesleyan University-Philippines and one from the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology in Nueva Ecija; four teams from the University of San Jose-Recoletos, Cebu; two teams from Batangas State University, and teams from Ateneo de Manila University and Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

At stake in the February 9 final judging are P300,000 top prize for the team and P150,000 grant for their school.

This year's theme is "Changing Lives Through Mobile and Digital Innovations".

A total of 230 applications from 52 schools were received.

The SWEEP Awards was launched in 2004 to provide college students with a platform to create innovative applications that solve consumer problems and raise the standards of engineering and information technology education in the country. ###

4 barangay chairs arrested for illegal drugs

Two barangay chairs in Cuyapo were arrested for allegedly selling illegal drugs, with another one eluding arrest.

Nabbed last January 15 in simultaneous searches authorized by the court were Jaime Dumandan, chair of Barangay Bintegan; and Joel Alonzo, chair of Barangay Bantug.

Seven sachets of shabu were reportedly recovered from them.

Benedicto Monses, chair of Barangay Bulala, was not present during the search but three sachets of shabu were recovered from his house.

Last January 13, Reynaldo Santos, chair of Barangay Gomez, and Abundo Inovero, chair of Barangay Casile in Llanera were arrested during raids in their homes.

Four sachets of shabu and a 12-gauge shotgun were recovered from Santos while four sachets of shabu and a rifle were confiscated from Inovero. ###

Cabiao ABC chair, companion killed

The president of the Cabiao Association of Barangay Captains and his companion were ambushed and killed along the national road in San Isidro town before midnight last January 15.

Joel Vinuya, 48, chair of Barangay Bagong Silang and ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Bayan, was riding a motorcycle driven by Ronaldo Caingat, 37, when ambushed by men on a black pick-up truck, accompanied by two motorcycle-riding men.

Vinuya died on the spot; his companion was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital.

The victims were on their way back to Cabiao from Jaen after attending a cockfight.

Mayor Ramil Rivera has offered a reward of  P100,000 for any information that could led to the arrest of the killers. ###

CA confirms Ecija drug trader's life imprisonment

The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Gapan City last year sentencing a drug pusher to life imprisonment.

The ruling signed by Associate Justice Marie Christie Azcarraga-Jacob of the Special 17th Division denied the appeal of Joey Vicente Tingson thus affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court Branch 35.

Tingson was arrested in February 2011 by PO2 Laurence Binuya in a buy-bust operation in Gapan City.

The operation was recorded and the marked money and plastic sachet of shabu were found on the suspect.

The RTC found Tingson guilty without reasonable doubt for drug pushing and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Tingson later filed an appeal with the CA.

The CA ruling said the lower court was right in convicting Tingson, with the trial properly appreciating the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty .###

Widow dies in Aliaga fire

A 74-year old widow died when fire hit her home in Barangay San Juan, Aliaga at past midnight last January 12.

The victim was identified as Gregoria Grospe Cauba.

According to Jerry Cauba, 45-year old son of the victim, the fire started from a candle lit by his mother.

He said his mother customarily turned off the electrical lights before sleeping and used a candle to save on electricity bill. ###

Man torches home during spat with father

A drunken man burned his family's house after quarreling with his father last January 1 in Barangay Ariendo, Bongabon.

The suspect, identified as Salvador Bal-ot, 30, managed to escape.

Investigation showed that at about 6:40 P.M., Salvador arrived home drunk and started quarreling with his father, Salvador.

In the middle of the altercation, the suspect was able to get a gallon of gasoline, poured it around the house and lit it.

No one  was hurt in the fire that the Bongabon Fire Volunteers managed to control at 7:45 P.M.

The suspect was charged with arson. ###

3 die in San Jose road accidents

Three persons died in a series of traffic accidents in San Jose City last January 13.

The victims were identified as Almario Llena Capili, 59, single, STL collector, of Sitio Bubon, Barangay Santo Tomas, San Jose City; Roel Garcia Natividad, 46, teacher, of Malasin, Santo Domingo; and Julie Laureta Corpuz, 43, married, of Sitio Lomboy Bukid, Barangay Tayabo, San Jose City.

Investigation by SPO1 Joel Beltejar showed that at about 7:00 P.M., the motorcycles driven by Capli and Natividad collided along the national highway in Zone 3, Barangay Caanawan.

Capili, who was not wearing a helmet, died instantly, while Nativida died at San Jose City General Hospital.

Natividad, who was driving home from school in Lupao, tried to overtake a trailer  truck and did not notice Capili's motorcycle.

In the other incident, Corpuz was crossing the highway when hit by an Elf truck.

The truck driver, Perito Camaso Carolino, 43, banana dealer, of Barangay Andabuen, Benito Soliven, Isabela drove away but was stopped at the PNP-AFP Action Center in Barangay Puncan, Carranglan.

Carolino was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. ###

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